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What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a prevalent, long-term skin inflammation, typically manifesting on the face, including the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. Rosacea symptoms include red and pimple-like bumps resembling acne, facial flushing, dry eyes, and persistent nasal swelling. Rosacea affects your blood vessels, immune system and nervous system, with more than 14 million people diagnosed in the U.S. (1). Though it cannot be cured, certain treatments and modifications in lifestyle can mitigate your symptoms.

The precise cause of rosacea in unknown, but may include:

  • Microscopic skin mites (Demodex): Your body has a natural, microscopic mite that lives on your nose and cheeks. Having too many of these mites causes symptoms of rosacea.
  • An infection: The H. pylori bacteria in your stomach can cause an infection. Studies suggest that people who had this infection can develop rosacea.
  • A malfunctioning protein: The cathelicidin protein protects your skin from infection. If the protein isn’t working as it should, you’ll experience symptoms of rosacea.

Women with lighter skin are at higher risk for developing rosacea (2). The condition most commonly affects Caucasian women between the ages of 30 and 60 (3). Other risk factors include a family history of rosacea.

  • Facial flushing
  • Persistent redness
  • Dilated blood vessels
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Swollen, red bumps
  • Dry, gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Enlarged, irregular shaped nose

  • Sun exposure
  • Spicy foods
  • Temperature-hot foods and drinks
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Intense physical exercise

A board-certified dermatologist like providers at Bliss Dermatology should evaluate conditions that resemble rosacea. Numerous other skin conditions, including acne, seborrheic dermatitis, cutaneous lupus, allergies, contact dermatitis, and more, can appear similar. A physical examination and medical history evaluation is important to differentiate these conditions. Left untreated, rosacea and its symptoms can become increasingly more severe (3).

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the areas affected. Multiple therapies can be utilized to minimize the signs and symptoms of rosacea. Identifying and avoiding specific triggers will help calm exacerbating symptoms. A daily sunblock or protection from direct sunlight is important to reduce ultraviolet light exposure. Topical medications such as metronidazole and azelaic acid are useful in reducing the underlying inflammation in the skin. Whereas topical alpha-adrenergic receptor agonists like brimonidine will temporarily reduce the appearance of redness by constricting superficial blood vessels. Laser therapies are important to target and ablate more permanent redness and blood vessels in the skin.

Schedule a dermatology appointment.

If you or a loved one are suffering from rosacea, schedule a dermatology appointment today with Bliss Dermatology. Bliss Dermatology provides board-certified dermatology care. Bliss Dermatology is proud to be regarded as one of the best dermatology practices on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with offices in Venice and Englewood. Schedule a consultation today.

At a Glance

Michelle Pennie, MD

  • Board-Certified Dermatologist
  • Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon
  • Founder and Lead Dermatologist of Bliss Dermatology
  • Learn more

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