Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and pimples on the face. It can also cause eye irritation. Rosacea occurs most commonly in people 30 to 50 years of age. Although women have rosacea more commonly than men, men tend to suffer more severe forms. Although the cause of rosacea remains unknown, it appears to involve a combination of genetics and environmental factors. It is not contagious.
Rosacea usually develops over a long period of time and progresses to include one or more of the following:
- Facial redness - flushing and persistent redness with visible blood vessels
- Bumps and pus-filled pimples - persistent facial redness with bumps or pimples, inflamed and itchy
- Skin thickening - skin thickening and enlargement, usually around the nose
- Eye irritation - watery or bloodshot eyes, irritation, burning or stinging
Many people report that their rosacea flares up following exposure to certain triggers. Some common rosacea triggers include sun exposure, spicy foods, caffeine, hot baths, alcohol consumption and emotional stress. Early diagnosis and treatment of rosacea can't prevent it, but can control symptoms, alleviate discomfort, and stop rosacea from progressing.
With treatment and lifestyle modifications, rosacea can be effectively controlled. Rosacea treatments include oral and topical medications (such as doxycycline and Metrogel), lifestyle modifications, laser and light therapies. Your doctor will recommend a combination of treatments based on the severity and type of rosacea, your skin type, and results from previous treatments.