Categorized | Rosacea

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Acne Rosacea – The Telltale Blush

Given its irritating and embarrassing nature, I have always thought Acne Rosacea has too pretty a name. In essence, Acne Rosacea is a condition of the skin that resembles acne but is not the same thing, despite the acne before the rosacea. In fact, it would be more appropriate to simply call the condition Rosacea.

Before we go on to the symptoms of Acne Rosacea, I can’t help indulging in a little trivia. One of the most interesting aspects of Acne Rosacea is that it appears to affect mainly white-skinned people of northwestern European descent, so much so that Acne Rosacea was dubbed ‘curse of the Celts’ in Ireland. The other curious thing about Acne Rosacea is that it seems to affect women more than men, particularly in the 30-60 years age group.

Symptoms of Acne Rosacea

The first symptom of Acne Rosacea is redness, almost always on the face (Rosacea rarely attacks other parts of the body, another notable fact). There may follow slight inflammation, pimple-like eruptions and a roughening of the skin. As rosacea progresses, the redness of the skin can become semi-permanent, the superficial blood vessels on the face may dilate, eyes will turn red, pimples and pustules will become more pronounced, and a patient will experience burning and stinging sensations. In extreme cases, a person (mostly men) may develop a red lobulated nose, a condition known as rhinophyma.

Cause & incidence of Acne Rosacea

At a rough estimate, Acne Rosacea affects nearly 15 million people in the United States alone, a majority of them women like I said earlier, and most of them white. Why women contract Rosacea more than men remains a mystery, though some research has linked the condition to menopause. And women may be more affected but it is men who tend to develop more severe forms of Rosacea.

Indeed, the cause of Rosacea as a whole remains unknown. 43-year-old Claire Maloney of Akron, Ohio, who underwent treatment for an acute attack of Rosacea, says that initially, her condition would be aggravated by even minor embarrassment or stress. “At the first sign of trouble, my face would go a fiery red, and because I did not realize I had Rosacea, I thought it mighty odd that I had suddenly started to blush like a schoolgirl at the age of 40,” she says.

Recent research has proved that people with Rosacea have higher levels of the peptide cathelicidin and of stratum corneum tryptic enzymes (SCTE). In addition, as already mentioned, Rosacea tends to affect fair-skinned people of European or Celtic ancestry more then other racial groups.

Triggers of Acne Rosacea

People with latent Rosacea may trigger it off through activities that cause them to blush or flush. Among these are exposures to extremes of temperature, rigorous exercise, stress, sunburn, use of certain cosmetic chemicals, and the consumption of certain food and beverages such as alcohol, caffeine-based drinks, and spicy dishes. So rule number one is to avoid activities that cause you to blush or ‘go red’.

Dos and don’ts

From what has already been said, it is pretty obvious that people with Acne Rosacea should avoid certain foods and beverages, take adequate protection against temperature swings and strong sunlight, avoid potentially tense situations, exercise with restraint, and avoid harsh cosmetics and facial products.

Consulting a dermatologist should top your list of priorities if you display symptoms of Acne Rosacea. Depending on your condition, you will have to use topical lotions of varying strength, or antibiotics. Cortisone creams can, over a period of time, significantly reduce redness and inflammation, while LASER surgery may be required in extreme cases.

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