Rosacea is a dermatological condition that is easily mistaken for a variety of other skin problems, including acne or an allergic reaction. This skin condition is primarily characterized by visible blood vessels that make the skin appear red. In some cases, the patient may also develop multiple pus-filled bumps.
In addition to facial redness and acne-like bumps, rosacea can also cause the eyes to become swollen and irritated. In rare cases, the skin around the nose can thicken and appear bulbous.
Risk Factors for Rosacea
The condition is most often seen in fair-skinned women; however, it can occur in anyone. Many patients with rosacea experience episodic flares that may last for several months followed by periods when their symptoms diminish. Rosacea is most likely the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition can be aggravated by factors that increase circulation to the surface of the skin, including alcohol, spicy foods, windy weather, temperature extremes, stress, or exercise.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Rosacea
Anyone experiencing persistent skin redness should consult their doctor or an expert in dermatology for proper diagnosis and treatment. To diagnose rosacea, the doctor will rely on both a medical history and a physical exam. Lab tests may also be performed to rule out lupus, psoriasis, eczema, and other conditions that can appear similar to rosacea. There is no cure for the condition; however, treatment can help improve the appearance of the skin. Topical and oral medications may reduce the redness, inflammation, and bumps.
Some of these medications should not be used during pregnancy, so female patients should tell their doctor if they are currently pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. Laser therapy, dermabrasion, electrosurgery, and intense pulsed light therapy may be used to diminish the appearance of enlarged blood vessels. Alternative therapies, such as emu oil, colloidal silver, and oregano oil claim to treat rosacea; however, the effectiveness of these treatments has not been scientifically studied. It is best to consult a dermatologist or a dermatology provider before using any alternative therapy to treat rosacea.