What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects approximately 14 million Americans. Rosacea causes redness and visible blood vessels on the skin of the face. It may also create small, red, pus-filled bumps. These signs occur during flare-ups that may last for a period of weeks, even months. Then the signs may subside for a period of time before again recurring. People sometimes mistake rosacea for simple blushing, acne, or an allergic reaction. While it is not painful, the condition can be difficult for the person to handle emotionally.
Although there is not currently a cure for rosacea, Dr. Shondra Smith offers treatment options to relieve its symptoms and prevent flareups, including oral medications, topical creams, IPL, and other laser treatments.
If you suffer from rosacea in Lake Charles LA and surrounding areas, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Rosacea?
These are common signs and symptoms of rosacea:
- Facial Redness — Persistent redness in the central area of the face. Small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks often swell and become visible.
- Swollen Red Bumps — People with rosacea may develop red bumps that resemble acne. They may contain pus, and the skin may feel hot and sensitive.
- Eye Problems — About half of the people with rosacea have eye dryness, and irritated swollen reddened eyelids.
- Enlarged Nose — In rare cases, rosacea can cause the skin on the nose to become thicker. This makes the nose appear bulbous. This occurs more in men.
What Are The Triggers Of A Rosacea Outbreak?
Why one person gets rosacea and not another is somewhat of a mystery. It is thought to be a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. In those prone to the condition, they must avoid triggering an outbreak.
These are some factors that can trigger an outbreak of rosacea:
- Temperature Extremes
- Spicy Foods
- Hot Drinks
- Medications that dilate blood vessels
- Sun Exposure
- Wind Exposure
Although the specific causes of rosacea are unknown, a combination of hereditary and environmental factors appears to be involved.
How Is Rosacea Diagnosed?
Diagnosis is accomplished through a simple physical examination of the skin on the face. Sometimes tests are administered to rule out other possible skin disorders, such as eczema or lupus. While there is no cure for rosacea, many treatments are available to relieve symptoms. Through a medical consultation with Dr. Smith, patients should be able to pinpoint some of their triggers and learn to avoid them.
How Is Rosacea Treated?
There is no cure for rosacea. When Dr. Smith diagnoses a patient with rosacea, her treatment approach is a combination of treatment and education. It’s important for the patient to know that things they are doing every day can be causing their outbreaks, or at least exacerbating them. Dr. Smith focuses on controlling flare-ups, usually with a combination of skincare and medication.
Medications for Rosacea
The types of drugs we use to handle rosacea can be broken into three categories:
- Medications to Address the Redness — The drug brimonidine (Mirvaso) has proven to be effective for reducing redness. When applied topically to the skin it works to constrict the blood vessel. Other topical products that reduce redness and the pimples with mild rosacea are azelaic acid and metronidazole. These drugs take from 3-6 weeks to improve rosacea.
- Lasers or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
- Oral Antibiotics — Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline, may be used to fight the inflammation showing in pimples and bumps.
- Isotretinoin — This powerful acne drug also helps to clear up acne-like lesions stemming from rosacea.
Identifying & Mitigating Rosacea Triggers
Beyond that, Dr. Smith can isolate the triggers that are leading to your flare-ups. Educating you about these can help you avoid or minimize these foods or behaviors that are aggravating your rosacea.
Sun protection is important. Wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is crucial. Hats and protective clothing are helpful, as well.
Your skin care regimen can also involve triggers. Actions such as scrubbing the skin can cause a flare-up. Many skin care products and cosmetics can irritate your skin.