A bit of blushing every once in a while is a normal, healthy reaction in your blood vessels. But if you’ve noticed that your skin is flushed frequently or for long periods at a time, it could be a sign of a chronic skin condition called rosacea. While people with rosacea tend to be self-conscious, it’s a treatable condition that an estimated 14 million Americans have. Whether you think you may have rosacea or you have a loved one with rosacea, our experienced board-certified dermatologists and other providers at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta are here to give you a crash course.
Fact #1: Rosacea is a chronic condition that causes blood vessels in the face to dilate.
While researchers don’t yet know why some people get rosacea, we do know that it causes the blood vessels in the face to dilate, leading to a flushed look and facial spider veins. It can also cause redness in the eyes, pimple-like bumps, and thickening skin on the nose.
Fact #2: Rosacea isn’t contagious.
There are multiple factors that researchers believe are involved with rosacea, including heredity, your immune system, dermodex mites which live on everyone’s skin, certain bacteria, and internal inflammation. However, we know for sure that the condition is not contagious.
Fact #3: The symptoms of rosacea come and go.
People with rosacea may have flushing that lasts for extended periods of time, but overall, their symptoms vary from one day to the next. This is because certain triggers will aggravate the condition and cause the symptoms to worsen. Every patient is going to display these symptoms differently, but the most common triggers include sun exposure, drinking alcohol, strenuous exercise, hot weather, spicy foods, and certain skin care products.
Fact #4: Rosacea can affect your eyes.
Ocular rosacea occurs when the symptoms of rosacea appear in your eyes. Namely, the eyes are frequently and/or persistently red, but blurry vision can develop too. Ocular rosacea can appear in addition to typical rosacea symptoms or by itself, and it should be treated by an ophthalmologist.
Fact #5: Rosacea isn’t curable, but it’s treatable.
Perhaps someday researchers will find a way to cure rosacea, but in the meantime, we have a variety of highly successful treatment options. First, identify your unique triggers and try to avoid them. Second, schedule a dermatologist appointment for rosacea to discuss long-term treatment options. These may include laser and light-based treatments to reduce the dilated blood vessels, oral and/or topical antibiotics or other medications, and in severe cases of thickened tissue, laser treatments or surgery to reduce the excess skin. Based on your specific needs, one of our expert providers can recommend any of these or other rosacea treatments.
Rosacea can be an emotionally stressful condition when it first begins, because most patients don’t know what it is or how to keep it at bay. For many, getting a diagnosis and starting treatment gives them a better sense of control over their condition and shows them how to mask their symptoms in the short term and keep them to a minimum in the long term. If you believe you may have rosacea, schedule an appointment with us to start working toward clearer, more comfortable skin.
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