Rosacea is a common non-contagious chronic skin disorder characterize by flushing, small blood vessels, and red pimples primarily on the nose, cheek, forehead and chin. The scalp, neck, ears, chest, back and/or eyes may also be affected.
Although anyone can be affected, rosacea typically appears in light-skinned adults aged 30-50.
What causes rosacea?
The exact cause is unknown. Experts believe that there is a vascular cause or that blood vessels are a significant component in the cause since flushing is a an essential part of the rash. Demodex (microscopic skin mites) are found in the follicles of about half of those with rosacea. Clinical investigations are debating the role of these mites. H.pylori, a bacteria from the GI tract, has been suggested as a cause because there is a hormone that the stomach produces that encourages flushing. However, recent studies have shown that H.pylori was no more common in patients with rosacea than in those without.
What factors aggravate rosacea?
Factors that stimulate flushing, such as hot beverages, alcohol, spicy foods, sun exposure, wind, exercise, emotional factors, as well as certain medications frequently exacerbate the condition. Perfumed cosmetics and other topical irritants such as scrubs, toners, acetone, and alcohols should be avoided. Sun protection is a must and we recommend broad spectrum sunscreens.
What treatments are available for rosacea?
The presentation of rosacea can vary from person to person; therefore, the treatment must be tailored for each patient. Treatments include low-dose oral antibiotics and/or topical therapies to bring the condition under immediate control followed by topical therapy for long-term control.
Laser treatments may be used to remove visible blood vessels, reduce redness, or correct disfigurement of the nose.
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