What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a acne-like skin condition, not acne, that affects many people, primarily Caucasians or Europoids, throughout the world (45 million) mostly those over the age of 30, both sexes. It is usually more frequent in women but more severe in men, and rarely seen on darker or black skin.

It is considered a chronic (long-term), incurable but diagnosable and treatable skin condition with periodic ups and downs. It generally appears as a red rash at the central region of the face, mainly the forehead, the chin, and the lower half of the nose.

Redness is often followed by bumps sometimes containing pus, red cysts, pimples, skin blemishes and that is the reason why it is so commonly mistaken for acne. Tiny broken blood vessels may become more visible on the skin so it can also be linked to this particular redness.

There are 4 determined rosacea subtypes:

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea also called as permanent redness
  2. Papulopustular rosacea: permanent redness with red bumps possibly filled with pus so it could easily be mistaken for acne.
  3. Phymatous rosacea: this type of rosacea causes swelling of the nose and also cause enlargement of the affected area.
  4. Ocular rosacea: this type of rosacea affects the eyes and eyelids causing redness and irritation.

Rosacea is not considered contagious or infectious but if untreated it can become progressive and severe skin problem just like acne (rosacea conglobata, rosacea fulminans, rosacea pyoderma, gram-negative rosacea).

The exact cause of rosacea is unfamiliar but number of factors are considered as triggers for this disease, and many factors can aggravate the condition

These are some well known triggers for rosacea:

– emotional factor like stress, fear, anxiety, embarrassment
– spicy food
– hot food and drinks
– gastrointestinal disorders caused by bacteria Helicobacter pylori
– cold weather
– extreme heat exposure (especially from the sun or solarium and sauna)
– sunburn
– alcohol
– caffeine
– nicotine
– cosmetics containing alcohol (especially after-shave lotion)
– medication like steroids, tretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, isotretinoin, microdermabrasion, and certain  chemical peels
– mite Demodex folliculorum found in hair follicles
– heavy exercise

To avoid any complication with rosacea you might want to consider implementing the proper diet and gentle skin care into your daily schedule. There is no proof that rosacea can be spread by touching the infected area of the skin, sharing towels, or through inhalation.

Finally, rosacea treatments are not the same as those for acne vulgaris and anyone who is suffering from rosacea should visit the specialist.