Rosacea: Types, Causes, and Treatments

Here at Skin Wellness Physicians in Florida, Rosacea Awareness Month is upon us, providing the perfect opportunity to discuss one of the most common skin conditions we see in dermatology.  

Rosacea is most thought of as causing rosy cheeks or a red face. There are, however, several variants of rosacea, each with differing presentations and treatments. Recognizing the difference is essential to properly managing the condition.

Facial redness, dilated blood vessels, and flushing are classically seen in erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.

In papulopustular rosacea, patients are faced with red, raised, pimple-like bumps on the face. Patients may also have a combination of these types.

Other variants include rhinophyma (in which patients exhibit changes to nasal tissue, giving the appearance of thick, bulbous skin on the nose) and ocular rosacea (which correlates with eye sensitivity and irritation).

The exact cause of rosacea has not yet been identified, though there are many factors that are thought to be involved. Among these are skin barrier dysfunction, genetics, the immune system, vascular hypersensitivity, and even microorganisms such as demodex mites. Though the precise cause is unknown, it is important to identify and avoid triggers of rosacea when possible. The most common triggers include sun exposure, hot or spicy foods, hot or cold weather, alcohol, stress, exercise, and use of topical steroids.

Rosacea is a chronic condition, but can be well-controlled with the appropriate treatment regimen. Management begins at home and involves diligent sun protection and utilization of a gentle skincare regimen, including a daily moisturizer to maintain the skin’s protective barrier. Primarily, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is most responsive to laser therapy or oral medications that target vasculature. In the case of papulopustular rosacea, there are several topical and oral antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory options that are safe and effective. Patients should collaborate with their dermatology provider to select which option is best suited for them.  

At Skin Wellness Physicians, we are happy to help you navigate all of your skincare needs (including rosacea). We look forward to seeing you! Call us at (239) 732-0044 to arrange a consultation, or contact us online.

Renee Deneweth

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