Rosacea (pronounced “rose-AY-sha”) is a common skin condition which begins as a tendency to become flushed or blush more easily than others, only the redness slowly spreads beyond the usual areas of the nose and cheeks to the chin, forehead, and possibly the chest, ears, and back. However, rosacea can cause additional complications beyond mere redness in the skin.
Read on to learn more about rosacea, its symptoms, options for treatment, and more.
There are four types of rosacea: erythematotelangiectatic (shortened to ETR), papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular. If left untreated, the redness that is common in all four types can become permanent. Below are the common rosacea symptoms for each type.
Erythematotelangiectatic (ETR) rosacea results in redness and flushing in the skin, as well as visible broken blood vessels, or spider veins. Skin may be swollen, sensitive, dry, rough, scaly, or be generally very sensitive. Patients with this type of rosacea may also blush or become flushed more easily than most people.
Papulopustular rosacea consists of swelling, redness, and acne-like breakouts on the skin which come and go. Like ETR, patients with papulopustular rosacea may also experience sensitive, burning, and stinging skin, as well as visible spider veins. However, their skin may also be oily, or have raised patches of skin known as plaques.
Phymatous rosacea causes the skin to thicken and gain a bumpy texture. This type of rosacea is rare, though patients suffering from it often see signs of other types of rosacea first, such as visible broken blood vessels. The nose is the most commonly affected area, resulting in thickened nose skin in a phenomenon known as rhinophyma. Additionally, skin can also thicken on the forehead, cheeks, chin, and ears. Skin may also be oily with large pores.
Ocular rosacea shows itself in red and irritated eyes that appear watery or bloodshot, with or without swollen eyelids, and what appears to be a sty but is actually a cyst. The patient’s eyes may feel gritty, like they’ve gotten sand in them. They may also burn, sting, itch, or feel very dry or sensitive to light. Patients may also have blurry vision and not see as well as before.
Rosacea can truly have a negative impact on the affected patient’s life, causing feelings of embarrassment, frustration, worry, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. If the condition is severe enough, it may even cause them to miss work or other important obligations.
Fortunately, there are a number of rosacea treatment types available. Wearing sunscreen daily can help prevent flare-ups, while topical medication can be applied to the rosacea, and emollients can assist in repairing the skin. Patients may also be prescribed antibiotics, taken either topically or in pill form.
Laser and other light treatments can also be used to treat multiple forms of rosacea—even phymatous rosacea, the least common form of rosacea. In the case of phymatous rosacea, thickened skin on the nose or other parts of the face can be removed via dermabrasion, electrocautery, or lasers. For ocular rosacea, patients may need to see an eye specialist for treatment.
Unfortunately, rosacea is a chronic skin condition, meaning that there is no ultimate cure. However, patients do not have to suffer with rosacea without hope; active rosacea treatment regimens can stave off flare-ups and greatly improve quality of life.
Begin your journey to clearer skin when you contact our office today to schedule a consultation appointment and learn more about the procedures we can perform to treat rosacea and other conditions.