Rosacea

Many patients deal with persistent redness, blushing, or flushing of the skin, often with associated blemishes or pimples. This is typically a condition known as rosacea, which is especially common among those with fair skin, a family history, or who are over 30. If you notice rosacea symptoms, Dr. Damstetter can help you learn to manage the condition and prescribe effective treatment options to reduce redness or other issues.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common condition which causes flushing, visible blood vessels, and acne-like bumps, typically across the cheeks and nose. Rosacea is most common among middle-aged, fair-skinned people, but can affect virtually any patient or skin tone, especially those who have a family history of the condition. There is no cure for rosacea, though appropriate treatment options can effectively control and reduce symptoms.

Can rosacea affect your eyes?

Ocular rosacea can affect the eyes and lead to symptoms of dry eye, blurry vision, gritty or sandpapery sensation, and discomfort.

How do you know if youve got rosacea?

You may have rosacea if you have any of these symptoms: persistent flushing or stubborn facial redness; visible blood vessels; pimples or fine bumps on the face; easily irritated or sensitive skin; or thick textural changes to the skin of the nose, chin or forehead (also known as phymatous rosacea). A board-certified dermatologist can confirm the diagnosis during a consultation.

Can laser treat rosacea?

Certain types of lasers and light devices that target blood vessels in the skin can be helpful for reducing the appearance of rosacea. These include intense pulsed light (IPL), pulsed-dye laser (PDL), KTP laser, NdYAG laser and more.

What products to avoid with rosacea?

Avoid aggressive exfoliation, scrubs and chemical peels with uncontrolled rosacea. Avoid any products that will increase sensitivity to the sun, as rosacea naturally worsens with sunlight.

What causes rosacea on eyelids?

Rosacea on the eyelids is called blepharitis and is commonly seen. This is part of an inflammatory skin condition that leads to irritation, dryness, sensitivity and redness. A dermatologist and ophthalmologist can recommend treatments to improve the appearance and discomfort of blepharitis.

Common Rosacea Symptoms

The first rosacea symptom that comes to mind for most people is persistent facial flushing (redness). This is particularly noticeable for patients with fair skin and typically occurs in the middle of the face along the cheeks and nose. Visible blood vessels in this area are also common.

Some rosacea patients may also develop swollen bumps or pimples on their face. These bumps will resemble acne and may or may not contain pus.

In some cases, the skin may feel hot, tender, or burning along the affected area.

Rosacea patients can also develop ocular rosacea, or eye symptoms. In some cases, these symptoms can precede any noticeable flushing or breakouts on the skin. Eye problems associated with rosacea include dryness, irritation, and swelling of the eyelids.

Finally, some patients may develop rhinophyma, or an enlarged nose due to thickening of the skin causing a bulbous appearance. This is more common among men with rosacea.

Your Expert

Liz Damstetter, MD

Board-Certified Dermatologist

Rosacea Triggers

The root cause of rosacea is believed by some researchers to be an overactive immune system, and the condition runs in families. Patients who suffer from rosacea will typically notice that their symptoms flare due to certain environmental or habitual triggers. Avoiding these triggers as much as possible can help control symptoms. Common rosacea triggers include:

  • Hot drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol, especially red wine
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Wind
  • Emotions or stress
  • Exercise
  • Smoking
  • Blood pressure medication or other drugs that dilate blood vessels
  • Certain skin care or cosmetic products

Reviews

“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”

“Wonderful experience here! The doctor took the time to educate me on a variety of cosmetic options and gave her candid opinion resulting in just the right amount of cosmetic adjustments! Her staff was delightful and attentive! I would highly recommend for general derm needs and cosmetic adjustments.”

“Dr. Damstetter was the first dermatologist I trusted to do my Botox. She is both knowledgeable and professional and did a fantastic job. I will be using her for any and all of my future needs.”

Rosacea Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Typically, rosacea can be diagnosed by visually examining the skin and reviewing your health history. In some cases, Dr. Damstetter will complete other tests to rule out similar conditions like psoriasis. Rosacea is often misdiagnosed, so careful consideration is required to reach an accurate diagnosis and develop the appropriate treatment plan.

Several treatment options are available. Prescription topical medications are available to control redness and swelling. Dr. Damstetter may also suggest topical products to control pimples. In some cases, oral antibiotics or acne medications are also used to reduce pimples.

Laser or IPL (intense-pulsed light) treatments are highly effective to reduce redness in rosacea and are a popular choice for decreasing the background redness (erythema) associated with rosacea. This leads to a more even skin tone and reduced sensitivity. A board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Damstetter can effectively treat patients of nearly all skin types.

Finally, Dr. Damstetter will help you identify your rosacea triggers and make suggestions to help you reduce flare-ups. Protecting the skin with SPF, using gentle products, and avoiding triggers are all important steps to take to manage your rosacea symptoms at home.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about your rosacea treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damstetter at Reserve Dermatology. Call our Glenview, IL office or contact us online.

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