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Mar 052011

Rosacea is a skin condition in which the cheeks, nose and sometimes even the neck is involved. They flush and turn red easily due to some external stimuli and take a long time to return to normal. The aggravating factors are direct exposure to sun, extreme cold, spicy food, hot beverages, alcohol, strenuous exercise and stress. This disease travels in the genes of fair skinned people. Since it is hereditary, many people in a family suffer from it. It is also known as adult acne.

The causative agents are suspected to be bacteria which induce infection in the gastrointestinal system. Others believe it is due to mites living in the hair on the face which block the opening of the glands in the skin. Still others think that it is a disease in which the blood vessels of the face swell and become red. The cause may not be certain but if treatment is not sought, then the condition progressively becomes worse.

  • Pre-rosacea is the preliminary stage in which redness appears for a short time and then goes.
  • Vascular Rosacea is most common in women. The blood vessels of the face become red and swollen and the face is warm to touch.
  • It often progresses to inflammatory rosacea. The blood vessels become larger and can be seen through the skin. Pink pimples may also appear.
  • Rhinophyma pertains to the nose and is the severest form. The nose becomes enlarged and knobbly because of swelling in the sebaceous glands and the tissues around the nose.

These conditions follow no cycle and may occur in any order of severity. There is no known cure but it can be kept under control by medication. For mild cases an antibiotic cream is prescribed which is to be applied on the affected part. In severe cases oral antibiotics have to be administered.

Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 13 should be applied daily. Even if you remain indoors, ultraviolet light enters your living area and may trigger rosacea. Choose skincare products devoid of alcohol and other such ingredients which may irritate your skin.

To pinpoint what triggers the disease in a particular person’s case, maintaining a diary is very helpful. All activities should be noted down which deviate from the normal, like exposure to sun for a long time, cold winds, undue stress or the consumption of spicy food. Note down the name of any new cosmetics you have used. If moderation was not practiced in drinking, or a bout of coughing is experienced, this should also be noted. All this will help your doctor to treat you and lessen the chances of the disease flaring up.