What is Rosacea?

Rosacea’s main symptom is skin redness, broken blood vessels that typically appear on the nose, cheeks and sometimes the chin. Its exact causes are unknown though it can be genetic. Another possible cause are microscopic mites that live on the skin. Called ‘Demodex’ they release bacteria as they die which can lead to inflammation and redness. Some studies have shown that people with rosacea may have more than 10 times the Demodex mites on their skin than people without the condition.

Rosacea is often confused with acne. How to tell the difference?

Acne covers a broad range of symptoms that occur when pores on the skin become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The blackheads of acne do not occur with rosacea. The two conditions further differ in that acne is most common in teens, while rosacea generally occurs later in life.

Can menopause cause Rosacea?

Yes. The hot flashes and hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause can trigger a rosacea flare up.

Rosacea is a chronic condition and can not be cured. But it can be treated. For mild cases over the counter skin care products can reduce the inflammation and diminish redness. Avoid alcohol and spicy foods as well as UVA from sun exposure. One study found that sunscreen reduces the number of rosacea flare-ups. Look for sunscreen with zinc oxide.

For severe cases a dermatologist can prescribe medication and offer VBeam laser therapy. VBEam is a pulse of light that penetrates the skin and eliminates the vascular lesions (broken blood vessels) visible on the surface. Seek the advice of your health care professional if you are interested in this treatment option. Ask if your dermatologist is board certified to ensure the highest level of expertise.

For many of us over 50 the dullness and hyperpigmentation of sun exposure should not be confused with Rosacea, an actual medical condition.

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