What is rosacea?
Rosacea (pronounced roh-zay-sha) is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects the face. Rosacea causes one’s face to turn red and may cause swelling and ultimately skin sores.
Although there is no known cause the following factors are said to contribute:
• Light skin colour. A much higher percentage of people with fair skin develop rosacea.
• Abnormalities in facial blood vessels. This causes the skin to look flushed, red and inflamed.
• Family Genes. People with rosacea usually have family members with the same condition.
• Certain triggers. Some triggers, such as caffeine, spicy products, sunlight and stress, may aggravate the condition, causing increased blood flow to the surface of the skin.
• Age. If you are between the ages of 30 and 50 you are more likely to be affected.
Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms will vary from person to person depending on the severity of the rosacea. The main symptom is redness that appears on the face, (although it can spread down to the neck and chest area), but you might experience the following:
• Small blood vessels appearing on the face
• Pimples or inflammation around the face
• Red, irritated and watery eyes
• A stinging sensation on the face
Unfortunately, rosacea seldom clears up on its own. It also tends to worsen over time if left untreated. Depending on the severity of your condition, there are various medical treatments and options available help relieve the signs and symptoms. This often requires a few lifestyle changes and some prescription medication.
You may need to change your face wash and moisturiser (your dermatologist will advise you on what you should use). You will often need to combine topical medication such as a gel, lotion or cream with oral medication. A common oral medication used is tetracycline – but your doctor or dermatologist will advise you on any medication.
Make-up is a great way to cover up rosacea. Find a foundation that truly acts as a second skin, making sure it matches your skin tone. This will look very natural and will cover up the redness as much as possible. Remember to clean and moisturise your face every night before going to bed – you don’t want to cause any more aggravation.
In severe cases of rocasea there are other options such as laser and surgery which will help to reduce some of the redness and visibility of the blood vessels.
Remember to always consult a dermatologist for the best advice.