Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea

Facial Redness, Flushing may be Signs of Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic disorder that causes redness and swelling of the skin, often localized to the face, though the neck, chest, or other parts of the body may be affected as well. It is diagnosed more frequently in women, but the most severe cases of rosacea tend to manifest in men.

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Rosacea Risk Factors

Rosacea may affect anyone, but certain groups are at greater risk of developing the disorder than others. Women are at greater risk, for example, as are individuals with fair skin, those who have a family history of the disorder and those between 30 and 60 years of age.

Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea Subtypes

The medical community has divided rosacea into four subtypes based on common symptom patterns.

Rosacea and Quality of Life

Rosacea is a chronic disorder, so it may have an impact on an individual's day-to-day life for years or decades. Those who live with it may have to deal with feelings of embarrassment and frustration or worry that the disorder will get worse with time or leave scars. According to a survey by the National Rosacea Society, nearly 70 percent of individuals with rosacea report that the disorder negatively effects self-esteem.

Rosacea Causes and Treatment

The cause or causes of rosacea remain unknown, though it is thought that the disorder results from some combination of environmental and hereditary factors. Some environmental factors, such as stress, alcohol and spicy foods, have been shown to aggravate or trigger rosacea by increasing the flow of blood to the skin's surface. Indeed, hot foods or drinks, exercise, corticosteroids or even sunlight may trigger symptoms of rosacea.

Generally speaking, the disorder is more treatable in its early stages. Some medical experts have theorized that symptoms are often more severe in men because men are more likely to delay or avoid seeking medical care.

Because it may manifest in a number of different ways, treatment of rosacea must be tailored to the individual. Common treatment options include topical medications like metronidazole or creams and gels made with azelaic acid. Dietary adjustment and regimented skin care may also be beneficial for some.

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