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How Do I Know If I Have Rosacea?

While it’s not uncommon for the face to become a little flushed after an intense workout or even when drinking a glass of wine, redness that doesn’t seem to fade over time could be a sign of rosacea. Rosacea is a fairly common inflammatory skin condition that affects millions of men and women in the United States. However, because its primary symptoms–redness, flushing, and pimple-like bumps–are often mistaken for other conditions, rosacea frequently goes undiagnosed. Here is a guide to help you understand more about what rosacea is, who gets it, and how to determine if you have it.

Who Gets Rosacea?

Signs of rosacea tend to show up between the ages of 30 and 50, although anyone at any age could begin to notice the first signs, including children. While we still don’t know the exact cause of this condition, we do know that rosacea can be linked to genetics, so if a close family member has rosacea, your chances of also having it may be increased. Additionally, more women tend to have rosacea than men, although men are more likely than women to have severe rosacea symptoms (American Academy of Dermatology).

Common Signs of Rosacea

When most people think of rosacea, its characteristic facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels come to mind. However, this is not the only symptom of rosacea, and not all people who have rosacea experience these symptoms. Rosacea patients can also present with small pustules or bumps that can resemble acne or bug bites. You may also notice thickening of the skin, which could be accompanied by redness. This symptom most commonly occurs on the nose. In other cases, people with a certain subtype of rosacea can experience red, itchy eyes that may be very sensitive to light.

Four Subtypes

Because rosacea doesn’t always present has a red, flushed face, it can be helpful to understand the different subtypes of this condition to give you a better idea of whether or not you might have it. The four main rosacea subtypes are:

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea. This is one of the most common types of rosacea and is characterized by red flushing of the face, also called erythema, and visible blue or red blood vessels through the skin.
  2. Papulopustular rosacea. Patients with this subtype will notice acne-like bumps on their skin, although these lesions are not caused by the same bacteria that cause acne. You might also see visible blood vessels and flushing with Subtype 2.
  3. Phymatous rosacea. People with this subtype develop thick, red skin, usually on their nose. W.C. Fields and Bill Clinton both showed signs of this type of rosacea.
  4. Ocular rosacea. Many people don’t realize that rosacea can also affect the eyes. With ocular rosacea, your eyes might burn, sting, appear bloodshot, or feel gritty. In some cases, this can cause blurred vision.

What to Do If You Think You Have Rosacea

If you think you might have the beginning signs of rosacea, the best thing you can do is make an appointment with your dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. One of the complicated things about treating rosacea is that there have been numerous underlying health concerns related to this condition, so its treatment needs to address both superficial symptoms on the skin and underlying health risks (National Rosacea Society). Although there isn’t a cure for rosacea, there are a number of medications your dermatologist might recommend to help manage your symptoms, including new prescription Rhofade™. This is a topical cream that only needs to be applied once each day for 12-hour relief from redness and other symptoms. For more information about rosacea and how to tell if you might have it, take a look at this excellent article recently published by SELF Magazine. It does a wonderful job of outlining the various skin and underlying health conditions associated with rosacea, and provides some great tips for creating a gentle skincare routine if you have rosacea.

 

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.

July 3, 2017 Rosacea

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