The 4 Types of Rosacea and How to Manage Their Symptoms
According to the National Rosacea Society, rosacea is a common, yet poorly understood skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans, and this number doesn’t include those with undiagnosed flushing and persistent redness. Although the exact cause of rosacea is currently being studied, ongoing research continues to uncover previously unknown information about this skin condition, including the various types of rosacea, its common triggers and the most effective treatment options. Click here to watch a short video explaining rosacea.
Types of Rosacea
Based on recent findings, rosacea may be more complex than previously believed. Experts now understand that there seem to be four distinct types of rosacea, and the new drugs that are currently being developed represent new ways to treat each of these four types.
One especially interesting and important finding is that the skin plays host to many more types of organisms than previously thought. Genetic research has identified previously undiscovered bacteria on skin that are unable to grow in culture dishes, and it’s now believed that these newly discovered organisms may play a role in the various types of rosacea (Nature Review).
- Broken blood vessels: Visible broken blood vessels are likely caused by years of dilating and constricting. At this time, laser and other light-based treatments are the most effective treatment options.
- Flushing: This type of rosacea is due to dilated blood vessels that cause redness. New drugs are being researched to prevent the dilation of blood vessels and related flushing.
- Papular or acne-like rosacea: This type of rosacea is characterized by skin redness that is accompanied by overlying red bumps in the center of the face that are often mistaken for acne. These bumps may be caused by organisms on the skin such as Demodex, which is a particular type of mite, or by organisms that have not yet been identified.
- Rhinophyma: This type is characterized by having a red, bulbous nose (MedlinePlus). Although it was once believed that this condition was caused by excessive alcohol use, experts now know that this is not the case, as alcohol does not seem to be linked with rhinophyma. Doctors still have no idea why this occurs or how it is related to rosacea, but it tends to be found in people with a history of rosacea.
Those with rosacea may notice that their symptoms tend to flare up due to certain environmental factors known as triggers. By paying close attention to your unique triggers, you can help to alleviate or even prevent flare-ups. Although not everyone will respond in the same ways to every possible trigger, there are a number of common environmental factors that tend to lead to rosacea flare-ups, including:
- Sun exposure
- Spicy foods, hot drinks, caffeine and alcohol
- Extreme hot and cold temperatures
- Seasonal changes
- Certain types of fabrics, such as wool
- Skincare ingredients
- Perfumed laundry detergents and other fragrances
There has been much progress in rosacea research in recent years, and the identification of the four distinct types of rosacea represents a major step forward. Also thanks to continued research, there are now a variety of treatment options available to help alleviate your symptoms. These might include:
- Using skincare products that have been specifically formulated with anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea, argan oil, resveratrol and chamomile that help soothe the skin
- Prescription medications that help to prevent flushing and acne lesions associated with rosacea
- Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments to help reduce redness and visible blood vessels
- Adopting a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties
If you have facial redness, be sure to see your dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and a professional treatment plan designed to fit your unique Baumann Skin Type. Rosacea is progressive. It is best to catch it early and get on the correct skincare products and avoid products that can worsen it. It is never too early to start to use preventative skincare including daily sunscreen. Find a physician to help you find a skincare routine to help with your 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.