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Rosacea: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About rosacea

Rosacea is a condition which affects mainly the skin and the eyes. However, it may also affect the head and the neck region in some individuals. The condition is characterised by pimples and redness of the skin. It is usually misdiagnosed as ‘acne rosacea’ in most affected individuals.

Rosacea: Incidence, age and sex

Rosacea is found to be more common people who are fair-complexioned. Its incidence is the same in men and women. It is generally seen in individuals after the age of 40 years.

Signs and symptoms of rosacea: Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of rosacea include flushes or redness of the skin, especially that of face. It is most commonly seen in the area of nose when it is termed as Rhinophyma. Sometimes, the affected skin may become thick. It may later appear as pimples and be mistaken as acne rosacea. If the eyes are affected, then there may be redness, dryness and inflammation of the eye.

The diagnosis is that of exclusion and established by ruling out all other skin diseases. This is done by clinical examination by a skin physician. Sometimes, biopsy of the skin may be needed to rule out skin conditions like lupus or sarcoidosis.

Causes and prevention of rosacea:

The cause of rosacea is not known. It is seen associated with mites called Demodex folliculorum or bacteria namely Helicobacter pylori. Hereditary or environmental factors are also seen associated with this skin condition. It may most likely due to dilatation of the blood vessels located beneath the skin.

People with this disease should avoid using cosmetics to prevent any flare-ups.

Rosacea: Complications

Rosacea may develop into pimples and cause increased thickness of the skin. There may be irritation of the eyes, excessive sensitiveness to light or the vision may get blurred.

Rosacea: Treatment

Rosacea is treated generally with antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline. The thickness of the skin may be corrected by surgery for cosmetic reasons. This condition cannot be cured completely. The dilated blood vessels may be operated to prevent further flushing and redness. Appropriate treatment for mites and H. pylori may be given, if present. Eye symptoms can be managed by giving steroid eye-drops.