Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects the face. It typically presents as erythema (redness) and telangiectasias (dilated blood vessels) on the central face, but can also cause papules, pustules, and ocular symptoms. It typically affects adults between the ages of 30 and 50, and is more common in fair-skinned individuals, particularly those of northern European descent.
There are four subtypes of rosacea, which are distinguished by their symptoms:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: characterized by persistent central facial erythema and telangiectasias.
- Papulopustular rosacea: characterized by the presence of inflammatory papules and pustules, often with central facial erythema.
- Phymatous rosacea: characterized by thickening of the skin and irregular surface nodularities, most commonly on the nose (rhinophyma).
- Ocular rosacea: characterized by symptoms affecting the eyes and surrounding structures, such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis, and keratitis.
There are several potential triggers for rosacea flare-ups, including sun exposure, emotional stress, hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, and certain skin care products. Avoiding known triggers and maintaining good skin care can help prevent exacerbations of rosacea.
The mainstay of treatment for rosacea is topical therapy, with options such as metronidazole, azelaic acid, and ivermectin cream. Oral antibiotics like doxycycline and minocycline are also used for moderate to severe papulopustular rosacea. Isotretinoin is an option for patients who have not responded to other treatment, but it should be used with caution due to the risk of significant side effects.
In advanced cases of Phymatous rosacea, surgical intervention like laser or surgery might be considered. In addition, oral and topical antibiotics may be used to decrease the population of Demodex mites, which are present in higher numbers in people with Rosacea and are considered as one of the possible factors in the development and perpetuation of the disease.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects the face and causes redness, visible blood vessels, and in some cases, acne-like breakouts. While there is currently no cure for rosacea, it can be managed with a combination of avoiding triggers, maintaining good skin care, and using appropriate medications as prescribed by a dermatologist.