April is National Rosacea Awareness Month.
Sixteen million Americans (415 million worldwide) suffer from rosacea, yet we know very little about it. Many don’t even know they have it. This condition is frequently mistaken for acne or an allergic reaction. Experts aren’t sure as to what exactly causes rosacea, but they suspect certain environmental and hereditary conditions may play a part. While rosacea is more commonly found in women, men suffering from the condition frequently experience more severe symptoms.
If left untreated, rosacea may get progressively worse and can cause significant damage – particularly to the face and eyes. While doctors cannot cure rosacea, they can help patients manage symptoms. Because of the potential long-term effects of the condition, it is essential to obtain a proper diagnosis and to manage your rosacea under the supervision of your board-certified dermatologist.
Seven Signs of Rosacea
Redness: Chronic redness across the cheeks, nose, and forehead is the classic symptom of rosacea. Sometimes, this redness will spread to the neck and chest.
“Broken” Blood Vessels: Rosacea is a vascular disorder and can cause the small blood vessels on your nose and cheeks to swell. Without treatment, these may become more prominent.
Bumps and Pimples: Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples resembling acne may develop. However, unlike acne, rosacea does not cause blackheads. Affected skin may burn, sting, or feel tight.
Swollen, Bulb-Shaped Nose: Rosacea can cause the skin to thicken on the nose, giving it a bulbous appearance. This is more common in men than women.
Enlarged Pores: The bumps and pimples, as well as skin thickening, that may accompany rosacea causes pores to enlarge and become more visible.
Bumps on the Eyelids: Rosacea can cause eyelids to become red, swollen, and sties may develop. The area around the eyelid may develop a crust or scaling and, much like the nose and cheeks, blood vessels may become visible.
Gritty Eyes and Irritated Eyes: Eyes may become watery and bloodshot. If you are experiencing vision problems, seek medical attention immediately.
Anyone experiencing persistent facial redness should see a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. There are methods to decrease redness with topical medications and laser treatment. For those who have already been diagnosed with rosacea, management is critical to keeping symptoms under control.