Can Teenagers Get Rosacea?
Due to the surge of hormones that happens during puberty, teenagers often struggle with a variety of skin concerns, acne being the most common. However, teenagers could also suffer from chronic inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea, even though this condition is more commonly seen in men and women over the age of 40. If you or your teen might have rosacea, read on to learn more about what rosacea is, what causes it, and what you can do to treat it.
Rosacea is a common inflammatory condition that is typically characterized by red flushing of the skin. However, it can also affect other areas of the body and may result in an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and other health concerns (National Rosacea Society). Because of this, it is important to seek an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible to help not only clear your skin but also reduce these underlying health risks. Although most people begin to notice symptoms of rosacea between the ages of 30 and 50, it is possible for teenagers to notice persistent redness and flushing (American Academy of Dermatology). What complicates things a little more, however, is that a subtype of rosacea can cause small acne-like bumps or lesions to form on the skin. Thus, some teens who have rosacea could be mistaking these symptoms for acne.
What Causes Rosacea?
Researchers are still unsure of the exact mechanisms that cause rosacea, although numerous studies have been able to link rosacea symptoms with a few intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including:
- Genetics. It seems that people who have family members with rosacea are more likely to develop rosacea themselves, although not everyone with a family history of rosacea will get the condition.
- Sun exposure. According to a survey of rosacea patients, 81 percent of the participants reported that sun exposure triggers the redness, flushing, and other symptoms associated with rosacea (National Rosacea Society).
- Skin mites. Everyone’s skin, whether they have rosacea or not, is home to a variety of living microorganisms. In most cases, these organisms are completely harmless or even helpful to the skin. However, even too much of a harmless bacteria or mite could cause problems. Researchers believe that large numbers of a common skin mite, called Demodex, could contribute to rosacea (New Scientist).
- Hormone fluctuations. Although hormones may not be the underlying cause of rosacea, they can trigger an inflammatory response in your skin, which can cause a flare-up of rosacea symptoms.
How Is Rosacea Treated?
Anyone of any age can have rosacea, and the sooner you start treating it, the better. You can start by trying to identify and avoid the specific triggers that seem to cause your symptoms. Some of the most common rosacea triggers are:
- Sun exposure
- Extremely hot or cold temperatures
- Spicy foods
- Hot beverages
- Intense exercise
- Certain skincare and personal care products
In addition to making some changes to your day-to-day routine to minimize exposure to these triggers, you’ll want to talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment approach to help keep your symptoms at bay. Thankfully, there are now a number of different topical and oral medications that can help to reduce rosacea flare-ups. Most recently, prescription Rhofade™ has been approved by the FDA as a safe and effective treatment for rosacea. This is a topical cream that only needs to be applied once each morning for relief from redness and other symptoms for up to 12 hours. You can also talk to your dermatologist about treatment options like laser therapy and using the right skincare products to help keep your skin clear and comfortable.
The Bottom Line
Although rosacea tends to show up in your 40s, anyone of any age can start exhibiting symptoms. Teens who struggle with redness and acne should consult a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis of their skin and treatment recommendations to help manage acne or rosacea. Even though there is not currently a cure for rosacea, people with this condition can lead happy, healthy lives with the right treatment plan.
Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through Derm.net.