What may at first glance appear like something as common as blushing or redness may in fact be symptoms of a common skin condition known as Rosacea. Rosacea affects both men and women and while visible blood vessels most commonly begin in the cheeks, Rosacea can quickly extend to other facial and surrounding features such as the chin, nose and neck and forehead. In more severe cases, Rosacea can spread to the ears, chest, and back as well. A common case of Rosacea appears surface level but can lead to other complications including eye issues, making it something a physician should be involved with for treatment options. There are a variety of symptoms that indicate Rosacea is present and fortunately, a variety of treatment plans in place as well.
Four distinct and separate types of Rosacea are recognized today by leading medical experts. Erythematotelangectatic Rosacea (ETR) is an extremely common form of the condition. Patients living with ETR often notice severe redness and flushing across their face and skin accompanied by visibly broken blood vessels often referred to as spider veins. The skin that presents with Rosacea tends to be sensitive and swollen or even present as dry, rough and scaly. In addition to common Rosacea, patients with ETR do tend to become flushed more quickly than those without ETR.
Papulopustular Rosacea is a secondary form of the condition that includes swelling, redness and even acne-like breakouts across the skin. Occurrences of these breakouts are unpredictable and come and go frequently. Similar to those living with ETR, patients with Papulopustular Rosacea often report experiencing sensitive and stinging skin that may be accompanied by a burning sensation as well. It’s not uncommon for individuals suffering from this form of Rosacea to possess a network of visible spider veins and additionally, may present with raised patches on the skin referred to as plaques. Oily skin is another common side effect for individuals with this form of Rosacea.
The third type of Rosacea is known as Phymatous Rosacea and patients suffering from this condition present with thick and bumpy skin. While this form of Rosacea is rare, it is often a follow up to one of the other types of Rosacea. With Phymatous Rosacea, the nose is primarily affected and the thickened skin in this area can develop into a condition known as Rhinophyma. The forehead, cheeks, chin, and ears are commonly affected as well for patients with Phymatous Rosacea.
Ocular Rosacea is considered a fourth form of the condition and presents in patients as red and irritated eyes that often appear bloodshot or watery. With Ocular Rosacea, the development of a cyst in the eye is common and can easily be mistaken for a standard sty. Individuals with Ocular Rosacea often report their eyes to feel gritty, burn, itch or sting on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon for Ocular Rosacea to be associated with a sensitivity to light as well as blurry vision.
If any of the four forms of Rosacea go left untreated, there’s a potential that symptoms become a permanent condition. In order to avoid this scenario, it’s important that those suffering from symptoms not only see a physician but understand the many treatment options available. While there is no complete cure for this chronic condition, the symptoms of Rosacea can be diminished by sticking to a personalized treatment plan.
As the first line of defense, many physicians recommend individuals suffering from Rosacea wear sunscreen daily to help prevent sudden flare-ups and to block out potentially harmful external pollutants that might aggravate the condition. Emollients can also be useful in helping to repair skin that has been damaged as a result of Rosacea. Where topical solutions aren’t enough, a physician may prescribe a patient with Rosacea antibiotics that can help fight the symptoms.
For those individuals who are unhappy with the physical effects of Rosacea, there are options to undergo a variety of laser and light treatments. These treatment options are particularly helpful for those with Phymatous Rosacea as laser-based techniques work to smooth out thickened skin.
For many individuals, the condition of the skin is closely linked with a sense of self. Whether you’re concerned about the potential of Rosacea or have questions regarding other skin treatment options, the team at the St. Louis Laser Lipo and Vein Center is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Wright and begin your journey to smoother, healthier and more youthful-looking skin. We’re proud to offer a comprehensive approach to patient care and take both the emotional and physical aspects of cosmetic change into consideration for each and every patient we work with. Be sure to ask about the many other cosmetic services we offer as well!