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Rosacea: Symptoms and Causes

Are you becoming concerned about that persistent reddening on your face? Are you beginning to notice unusual pimple outbreaks and thin red lines on your face, too? If you do, chances are you are experiencing a skin condition commonly referred to as rosacea.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is one of the most common inflammatory conditions of the skin of the face. Once it afflicts you, your face will take on a characteristic redness that looks like a permanent flush or blush. Soon after, pimples and thin red lines will likewise develop. This condition is sometimes referred to as acne rosacea but this can be terribly misleading since acne and rosacea are two different conditions.

Rosacea affects both males and females and usually begins after the age 30. The condition is aggravated by several lifestyle and environmental factors such as eating hot, spicy foods, drinking alcohol and/or caffeine, exposure to the sun, rain, or wind, temperature changes and stress. Some medications such as ACE inhibitors are also linked with the development of the disease.

However, it is important to remember that the triggers do not affect all people in the same way. What affects some may not affect others. So, to identify what factors are actually causing your symptoms to appear, you may need to keep a diary for a few weeks. Jot down everything you have eaten or drunk during the day, your emotional state and the weather. This will help you identify what factors trigger your rosacea flare-ups the most.

What Are the Symptoms of Rosacea?

Erythema, or flushing of the face or neck: This happens when the blood vessels on the face and the neck expand to accommodate the increased volume of blood flow. The redness will disappear during the initial stages but will eventually become permanent as the disease progresses.

Telangiectasia, or the formations of red lines on the face: The red lines you see on your face are actually the enlarged blood vessels underneath the skin. Unfortunately, they become more prominent as the redness fades.

Formation of papules or pimples: The pimples of rosacea are commonly characterized as small lumpy red pimples. Some of these pimples may contain pus and may appear as small white bumps. In rosacea, no whiteheads or blackheads are present.

Burning or itching of the skin.

Edema or swelling of the face.

Rhinophyma or the enlargement of the nose: This condition usually accompanies rosacea and is most common among older men.

Ocular rosacea: Most people afflicted with rosacea also develop mild to severe eye-related problems. Inflamed, dry and crusty eyelids and conjunctivitis characterize ocular rosacea. If left untreated, ocular rosacea can give rise to more serious problems, which includes irisitis or the painful inflammation of the iris and keratitis or the ulceration of the cornea.

What Causes Rosacea?

Nobody knows for sure. For all we know, there may be a number of factors that lead to this condition. However, it was observed that some people are more prone to developing the disease and that it seems to run in the family.

What Now?

So, what do you need to do once you suspect that you are afflicted with rosacea?

First, go see your doctor. He or she is in the best position to make the correct diagnosis and give you the most appropriate treatment. Do not take this matter lightly. Early diagnosis and treatment are necessary to ward off other problems associated with the disease.

Second, make the necessary lifestyle changes. Avoid the triggers as much as you can.

Third, protect your skin. Use moisturizers to soothe your skin when it feels dry or sore. Don't forget to put on your sunblock and use a scarf to protect your face when it is cold or windy outside. Do not use skin care products that contain harsh ingredients and do not rub or scrub your face!

And lastly, keep your cool. Stress aggravates rosacea and may lead to a nasty flare up. So, if you are feeling stressed out, take time out to cool down. You can use slow, deep breathing techniques to keep your emotions under control.

Author: Michael Russell

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