Rosacea - Marlene J. Mash, MD

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Rosacea

Medical Dermatology
Rosacea is a chronic condition characterized by facial redness and sometimes pimples. Rosacea affects all ages and has four subtypes, three affecting the skin and the fourth affecting the eyes. Left untreated it worsens over time.

Rosacea typically begins as redness on the central face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. In some cases, additional signs, such as semi-permanent redness, dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face, red domed papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, and in some advanced cases, a red lobulated nose, may develop.

Triggers that cause episodes of flushing and blushing play a part in the development of rosacea. Exposure to temperature extremes can cause the face to become flushed as well as strenuous exercise, heat from sunlight, severe sunburn, stress, anxiety, cold wind, and moving to a warm or hot environment from a cold one such as heated shops and offices during the winter. There are also some food and drinks that can trigger flushing, including alcohol, food and beverages containing caffeine
(especially, hot tea and coffee), foods high in histamines and spicy food. Foods high in histamine (red wine, aged cheeses, yogurt, beer, cured pork products such as bacon, etc.) can even cause persistent facial flushing in those individuals without rosacea due to a separate condition, histamine intolerance.

Certain medications and topical irritants can quickly trigger rosacea. Some acne and wrinkle treatments that have been reported to cause rosacea include microdermabrasion and chemical peels, as well as high dosages of isotretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, and tretinoin.

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