Rosacea


How Do You Know if You Have Rosacea?

The following symptoms may be signs of rosacea. It is not necessary to have all of the symptoms to have a diagnosis of rosacea. Depending on the type of rosacea, there may be relatively mild symptoms or in severe cases, rosacea can be very disfiguring.

•You blush and flush more easily than other people.
•Your face becomes excessively bright red during exercise, warm weather
or when drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods.
•Your eyes are usually bloodshot.
•Your eyes usually feel irritated, dry or scratchy.
•Your nose is red and bumpy.
•You have pimples on your face that seem to never go away.
•Everything you put on your face seems to sting and burn.

What Happens if Rosacea is Untreated?
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition involving blood vessels and oil glands in the skin. Rosacea characteristically has cycles of remission and exacerbation. If the inflammation causing rosacea is not treated, over time the blood vessels in the skin permanently enlarge. There is a generalized redness to the face and prominent blood vessels appear on the nose, cheeks and chin. The surface of the skin may develop an irregular texture as oil glands enlarge. In severe cases, the nose becomes bumpy, enlarged and assumes a distorted, unattractive shape.

Who Gets Rosacea?
Rosacea appears commonly in individuals of Celtic descent. Asians are the second most common group. Rosacea usually has an onset in one’s 30’s and 40’s.

What Causes Rosacea?
Alcohol and the sun can exacerbate rosacea but are not direct causes of rosacea. Rosacea sufferers have an increased amount of cathelicidins in their skin. This is an antimicrobial peptide normally produced by skin cells as a defense against bacterial infections. Cathelicidins cause inflammation and the growth of capillaries in the skin.

Can Rosacea Be Cured?
Although there exist effective treatments for rosacea, there are no permanent cures. Therapy is aimed at controlling the disease. Laser and intense pulsed light can treat redness and dilated blood vessels. Prescription medications can treat red bumps, inflamed oil glands, and inflammation.
There are preventative and protective measures that can help minimize flares. Dr. Wong can educate and guide you in making the right choices to care for your rosacea so it does not interfere with your quality of life. An excellent resource for more information on rosacea is the National Rosacea Society’s website: www.rosacea.org.