While the direct cause of rosacea remains unknown, there are many factors that researchers and physicians believe play a part in this chronic condition…such as having a history of family members with rosacea (genetics), as well as inflammation reactions in the skin that are caused by the immune system. Rosacea most commonly affects individuals between the ages of 30 and 50, those with fair and/or sensitive skin, and has a higher prevalence in women than men.
Due to its very noticeable effects – facial redness, in particular – rosacea can be an incredibly frustrating condition to live with. In addition to facial flushing, someone with rosacea can also experience visible blood vessels as well as a burning or stinging sensation on the skin, and pimples, which are often mistaken as acne. Rosacea can affect any spot of the face including the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead and neck. Individuals with this condition may also experience something called ocular rosacea, causing red, irritated eyes. Rosacea may also be associated with a condition known as rhinophyma (enlargement of the nose due to excess tissue), causing bumps and unusual thickening of the skin.
Depending on the patient, rosacea can be mild, moderate or severe. Some individuals may also have two types of rosacea occurring at the same time – and if left untreated, the condition can worsen. If you experience persistent, noticeable skin redness, burning or bumps that do not go away, Ali Ghahary, a family doctor from Vancouver, recommends seeking medical attention. It is also important that you do not use any over-the-counter products on the skin, as they may cause further irritation. Instead, your physician will recommend a medication they feel is best suitable for you.
Metronidazole is a common topical agent prescribed by physicians like Dr. Ali Ghahary for the treatment of Rosacea. Available in a gel, cream or lotion formula, it has both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects, which help to reduce the symptoms of rosacea, and is safe to use long-term. Steroid creams may also be prescribed to help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with rosacea, but should only be used short-term, as long-term use of steroids may make your symptoms worse. Antibiotics such as Tetracycline may also be prescribed.
By seeking treatment for rosacea, you can help get it under control and significantly improve your outlook on life as a result.