Rosacea is a common, chronic disorder that impacts the skin and eyes, and typically presents as intense facial redness with swollen bumps and visible blood vessels. The cause of rosacea is not well understood, and many factors are thought to play a role, including:
Rosacea symptoms may come and go.
- Genetics (rosacea runs in families).
- The immune system.
- H. pylori, a common bacteria.
- Demodex, a mite that lives on every person’s skin, mostly on the nose and cheeks where rosacea occurs.
- Cathelicidin, a natural protein that normally protects skin from infection, may cause redness and swelling in some people.
Anyone can develop rosacea but it is most common in light-skinned women ages 30–50. Rosacea is rare in patients younger than 30, but can occur at any age. Women are more likely to have rosacea, but a severe type of rosacea with phymatous changes occurs almost exclusively in men.
Central facial redness is the most common symptom of rosacea, with chronic or episodic redness of the nose and medial cheeks. Rosacea can be triggered by sun exposure, hot and cold temperatures, hot and spicy foods, alcohol, medications, and emotional stress. On the skin, rosacea might cause:
- Acne-like lesions.
- Telangiectasia (also known as spider veins).
- Phymatous changes, including thickened skin with a bumpy texture and large-looking pores.
- Rhinophyma, when phymatous changes occur on the nose.
- Burning or stinging pain.
Eye symptoms occur in greater than 50% of patients with rosacea, and may cause:
- Burning or stinging pain.
- Light sensitivity.
- A gritty feeling or foreign-body sensation.
- Crusting on eyelashes.
- Lid margin irregularities.
Essential Self Care
Sunscreen. If you have rosacea, intentional skin care is a must. Sun exposure is the number one trigger for rosacea, so we recommend that our patients with rosacea use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen every morning. We offer a wide range of excellent sunscreens for patients with rosacea, including Elta MD.
Sensitive Skin Care. Harsh cosmetic products, like those with strong fragrances or dyes, can exacerbate rosacea. Do not use them. Instead, use mild products. Daily moisturizing is essential, and can help prevent damage to the skin that can exacerbate rosacea.
At BV Derm, our tool kit for treating rosacea is extensive, with innovative options to manage and minimize your symptoms. Options include:
Treatment for acne-like lesions:
- Topical metronidazole (Metrogel, Metrocream): anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative.
- Topical azelaic acid (Finacea): anti-inflammatory and antioxidative.
- Topical ivermectin (Soolantra): anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
- Topical sulfacetamide-sulfur (Plexion): anti-microbial.
- Oral antibiotics: used as a first-line defense for rosacea flares, and in conjunction with topicals for rosacea maintenance.
Treatments for facial redness:
- Topical brimonidine (Mirvaso) to temporarily constrict blood vessels, thus decreasing facial redness.
- Vbeam Pulsed-Dye Laser for telangiectasias (spider veins). Our board-certified physicians use Vbeam therapy to mitigate redness caused by visible blood vessels. Learn more.
Let us help you manage your rosacea with a smart and comprehensive treatment plan. Start with a visit to our offices. Call us at (303) 604-1444.