Rosacea is a facial skin damage affecting especially Irish, Scottish and English people, but also African Americans and around 13 million Americans. It represents a chronicle inflammation of the skin with redness of the nose, chin and chicks; it can appear for the first time in the adolescence and develop through dilatation of blood vessels and appearance of red papules all around the face.
According to the latest researches Rosacea is mainly caused by a very sensitive blood vessel system of the face or even dysfunctions of vascular origin. Most predisposed to Rosacea are people who easily blush due to a hyper-dilatation of blood vessels. Also some external factors can worsen symptoms of Rosacea: sun, wind, some skin care products, cold or hot air, physical irritation as well as alcohol, very warm beverages and spicy foods. Internal triggers are strong feelings and emotions, stress, different hormonal activity such as menstruation and menopause, exhausting exercises and anxiety.
The first stage of Rosacea debuts with passing blushing, further on comes the persistent redness and an enlargement of the nose called rhyonphema. There is also a medium form of Rosacea manifested by swollen face and week till months lasting redness. Different pustules and papules can appear causing days lasting pain and discomfort leading to a shaken social and emotional life. Patients with Rosacea are very sensitive to skin care products such as cosmetics, sun filters, and acne preparations. Misinterpreted can easily be ocular symptoms like dry eyes, conjunctivitis, irritation, foreign object sensation and frequent tears.
The medical prescription for Rosacea includes local and oral antibiotics that manage to treat pustules and papules in middle cases but have no effect whatsoever on blushing, teleangiectasia or facial redness. This kind of treatment can lead to a disruption in patient’s social lives as it necessitates a restraining from all personal factors causing Rosacea.
Usually patients treated this way complain of little improvement and also worsen symptoms. Their face turns into a permanent red surface accompanied by a burning sensation. As rhynophema starts to appear, meaning an enlargement of the nose, the only remaining option is surgery that can only be performed when the growth is extreme. Everyday life becomes a challenge as there are triggers you simply cannot avoid, such as:
1. All kind of skin care products or cleansers as well as sun filters, constraining you to stay away from sun
2. Passing from cold to hot environments
3. Food and beverage triggers causing you to rapidly lose weight
4. Any kind of strong light, especially fluorescent light in the microscope
5. Strong emotions like crying or laughing, stress at work or professional deadlines leading to instant flush
All this triggers tend to make your life more stressful and hard, and you slowly start to develop erytrophobia, an extreme fear of being red. Discussion with other Rosacea patients informs you it’s not only you having these problems. Most of them don’t react well to antibiotic treatment which forces them to give up their usual habits.
Although every case of Rosacea is unique, there are a few general treatments that might just work:
1. Laser and Photoderm IPL correct dilated vessels, improve redness of the face and can decrease the blushing periods.
2. Accutane containing Isotrentinoin with vitamin A helps treating several disorders of the skin by improving keratinisation, controlling the activity of sebaceous glands and reducing skin inflammation. Its use treats papules, burning sensation and controls rhynophema. The only side-effect is it cannot be used by pregnant women as it induces fetus malformations.
3. Epidermis, the external layer of the skin could show some abnormalities leading to local inflammation and an increased blood flow. Most common used and with good results are zinc oxide and dimethicone, both protecting against irritation, sun, wind and other external triggers if applied on the face.