According to Wikipedia, Rosacea is a chronic skin condition which affects both men and women of all ages, but is almost three times more common in women. Rosacea is commonly found in people between the ages of 30 and 50 and is more common in those of Caucasian descent. Rosacea is characterized by facial redness, small and superficial dilated blood vessels on facial skin, papules, pustules, and swelling. Rosacea has four different subtypes, three affecting the skin and the fourth affecting the eyes (ocular type). If left untreated it worsens over time. Treatment in the form of topical steroids can aggravate the condition. It primarily affects people of northwestern European descent and has been nicknamed the “curse of the Celts” by some in Britain and Ireland, although recently this has been questioned.
Rosacea typically begins as redness on the central face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead; however, it can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. In some cases, additional signs, such as semi-permanent redness, telangiectasia (dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face), red domed papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, and in some advanced cases, a red lobulated nose (rhinophyma), may develop.
What causes rosacea?
Experts are not sure what causes rosacea; however, they know that skin irritations occur. Rosacea doesn’t seem to be an infection caused by bacteria, but tends to affect people who have fair skin or who blush easily, and it seems to be genetic and run in families.
Doctors are able to diagnose rosacea by the pattern of redness on a person’s face. Most of the time medical tests are not needed or used.
In the past, people thought rosacea was caused by alcohol abuse. However, drinking alcohol may cause symptoms to get worse or flare up in people who have rosacea. Rosacea often flares when something causes the blood vessels in the face to expand, causing redness called triggers. Common triggers are exercise, sun and wind exposure, hot weather, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot baths. Swings in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also cause a flare-up of rosacea.
What are the symptoms?
People with rosacea may have:
- A flushed, red face with sensitive, dry skin that may burn or sting.
- Small bumps and pimples or acne-like breakouts.
- Skin that gets coarser and thicker, with a bumpy texture.
- Dry, red, irritated eyes.
In rare cases, untreated rosacea may cause permanent effects, such as thickening of the skin on your face or loss of vision. It may also cause knobby bumps on the nose, called rhinophyma. Over time, it can give the nose a swollen, waxy look. But most cases of rosacea don’t progress this far.
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