Rosacea Symptoms

How rosacea symptoms develop over time:

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rosacea symptoms earlyHow do rosacea symptoms develop over time? Rosacea is a skin condition that causes a constant redness on the face, especially on the cheeks, nose and forehead. Rosacea at first starts as a facial blush that does not seem to go away completely.

The initial redness may come and go, but over time develops into a more lasting redness that looks like inflammation (like a sun burn). Also, the face often will feel itchy and painful.

The condition is estimated to affect 45 million people worldwide. It affects mostly fair-skinned people between the ages of 20 and 50. Rosacea symptoms will become worse over time if the condition is not treated.

Small blood vessels in areas on the face that normally blush become dilated and swollen. What’s more, these blood vessels become visible through the skin as small red lines (telangiectasias). These widened blood vessels tend to become larger in size over time.

Rosacea symptoms often also include papules (red bumps) and pustules (pus filled/oozing bumps), which resemble ordinary pimples. However, unlike teenage acne, there are no whiteheads or blackheads in rosacea.

Possible Rosacea Causes

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What causes rosacea is unknown. However, much debate exists about many contributing factors. Since rosacea mainly affects the areas in the face that blush, emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, embarrassment etc., play a large role in how symptoms develop. Also, food items (alcohol, coffee, foods high in histamine, spicy foods) and weather (heat or cold) all make rosacea symptoms worse. Sun exposure also has a negative effect on rosacea.

Research suggest that a skin mite (Demodex folliculorum), which infests hair follicles, can be a contributing factor. Some studies have found some rosacea patients with a high number of demodex mites.

A bacterium (Helicobacter pylori) found in the digestive system of some people with acid reflux disease, has also been investigated as a possible cause.

Many topical treatments exist to treat rosacea (e.g. antibiotic creams or gels). Doctors often give patients an initial oral tetracycline regimen to get symptoms under control. Although antibiotic treatments may work for most people, these treatments could become less effective over time. Because of this, rosacea flare-ups can become more frequent.

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In addition to topical treatments, there are a few things people can do to limit their symptoms. For example, you can drink more water by drinking at least 8 glasses of water. This will help the body get rid of waste products and to remain cool. Identifying and staying away from so-called “trigger” foods can also help.

Common Triggers

Trigger foods differ from person to person, so it helps to keep a food diary. Eliminating certain foods from your diet for a period of time will help to identify those trigger foods. Those foods could be chocolate, red peppers, tomatoes or any food that is high in histamine, alcoholic drinks and drinks containing caffeine.

By reducing exposure to stressful situations (at work, at home or commuting), people can further lessen their symptoms.

Do not use skincare products that can make rosacea symptoms worse. Steroids worsen rosacea symptoms and should be avoided at all costs. If you are using steroids on your face and you know you have rosacea, it is very important that you stop using steroids slowly. Avoid topical treatments for regular acne such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid as well as treatments containing alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids.

Rosacea & Sunscreens

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It is important to protect your face from the harmful rays of the sun with a sunscreen. However, many rosacea patients are sensitive to the chemicals found in most sunscreens. Also, many sunscreens are waterproof and are thick and oily, which causes heat to build up.

The inability of your face to control heat when a sunscreen is applied, can result in more redness. It is therefore important to cut down on your sun exposure. If you’re outdoors for a long time, use a sunscreen that does not cause sensitivity (look for non-waterproof sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide). Also, avoid sunscreens containing alcohol.

Rosacea and Your Eyes

Rosacea can affect the eyes: Ocular Rosacea often goes along with rosacea and presents itself as red, burning and itchy eyes. Ocular rosacea often develops slower than the other rosacea symptoms. Most people may not notice any symptoms in their eyes. Rosacea patients should have their eyes checked regularly by an eye doctor, especially those who wear contact lenses.

Watch our video about rosacea stages:

Common misspellings of rosacea: roscea, rosace, roacea, rosaca, rosacae.
Update 3/6/2018

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for educational purposes only. It is in no way intended to replace the advice from your health care professional. Always talk to your health care professional.