rosaceaWe’ve just finished Rosacea Awareness Month, during which we shed light on a skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans. Unfortunately, due to a lack of understanding and awareness, rosacea is often confused for sunburn, eczema or other skin conditions, leading to a large number of cases going completely undiagnosed

The specialists at RI Skin Doc and Rejuvaderm want our patients to be aware of the signs and symptoms of rosacea so they can seek care and begin to manage their condition. Here are a few frequently-asked questions about rosacea that may help you determine whether or not you’re living with the condition:

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that involves an inflammatory response to certain triggers. The condition usually looks like a red rash in the center of the face, and it is easily mistaken for other facial rashes such as contact dermatitis (allergic rash), sunburn or acne. When left untreated, rosacea can have further detrimental effects, including thickened skin and permanent redness of the face.

What causes rosacea?

There are several potential factors to developing rosacea. These variables include:

  • A genetic predisposition for rosacea.
  • Frequent exposure to sun and hot weather.
  • Being predisposed to allergies and other abnormal immune system responses.

 Studies also show that rosacea tends to affect those with fair skin more often than people with darker complexions. 

What are the main symptoms of rosacea?

As indicated previously, the symptoms of rosacea can progress beyond simple flushing when left untreated. Further symptoms that may appear as a result of rosacea include:

  • Facial sensitivity to accompany redness
  • Red pustules on the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin 
  • Firm swelling, especially in the eyelids

Some patients with untreated rosacea may also experience rhinophyma, or an enlarged nose.

How can I reduce flare-ups at home?

Rosacea flare-ups are almost always due to exposure to particular triggers that cause a response from your skin. With this in mind, reducing flare-ups is often about knowing your triggers and avoiding them as much as possible. Common triggers for rosacea include:

  • Excessive sunlight
  • Excessive heat
  • Exposure to hairspray
  • Increased stress
  • Eating spicy food
  • Drinking alcohol

Patients with rosacea should also avoid scenarios that cause facial flushing whenever possible, and use only water-based cosmetic products instead of oil-based creams and make-up. 

As it is a chronic condition, treating rosacea is an ongoing process that revolves around managing your symptoms and reducing the instance of flare-ups. The skin specialists at RI Skin Doc can help you develop a personalized treatment plan dedicated to helping you take control of your rosacea and feel comfortable in your skin.

With safety as our main objective, RI Skin Doc and Rejuvaderm MediSpa are offering telehealth visits by appointment only. RI Skin Doc has a tentative reopening date of Monday, April 27th, 2020. To learn more about our COVID-19 response, visit our website.