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The National Rosacea Foundation defines Rosacea as: “a chronic, acne-like condition of the facial skin that may affect as many as 14 million Americans. It typically first appears when people reach their 30s and 40s as a flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that comes and goes. If left untreated, Rosacea tends to worsen over time. As the conditions progresses, the redness becomes more persistent, bumps and pimples called papules and pustules appear and small, dilated blood vessels may become visible. In some cases the eyes also may be affected, causing them to feel gritty, and appear watery, irritated and bloodshot. In advanced cases, the nose may become red and swollen from excess tissue – the conditions that gave the late comedian W.C. Fields his trademark bulbous nose.”
Rosacea is a condition that occurs when blood vessels in the face, particularly on the cheeks, chin, forehead, nose and skin around the mouth, become dilated and inflamed, creating flushed, rosy patches. Along with the redness, pus-filled red bumps can also develop, which many people confuse for acne. A tell-tale sign that a breakout is rosacea is that there are typically no blackheads or whiteheads present.
Rosacea is most often triggered by extremely hot or cold temperatures. Alcohol (particularly red wine), strenuous exercise, extended sun exposure, and spicy foods can also trigger a flare up.
Regardless of the cause, there are many factors that can make rosacea worse. All of the following are triggers:
Common topical irritants include:
In addition to avoiding the triggers outlined above, following a skincare regimen designed for sensitive skin is usually very effective for controlling rosacea flareups.
If you are not able to control your rosacea after following the above guidelines, you may want to consult a dermatologist for a topical prescription containing brimonidine or azelaic acid. These medications are often be covered by insurance.
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