Symptoms of Rosacea

Rosacea is a condition most often seen in fair-skinned individuals. It is characterized by persistent redness and broken blood vessels on the face, most often caused by frequent flushing. These individuals might have a hypersensitivity to spicy food, hot food, alcohol, and the sun. Exposure to these triggers causes blood to rush to the face, causing it to redden. The condition can occur in darker-skinned people, too, but it likely to be less noticeable.

The Four Phases of Rosacea

Rosacea has four phases, though it does not always progress through all four in every person.

  • Frequent flushing – a person will tend to flush quite frequently
  • Vascular level – the blood vessels swell and leak at a faster rate than normal, causing the skin to look puffy and feel warm. Dilated blood vessels are easier to see. They are commonly called spider veins. The skin can also become more sensitive to cosmetics or sunscreens, resulting in a slight burning or tingling sensation
  • Inflammatory phase  – characterized by small red bumps and pustules. It looks similar to acne, but is treated differently. A dermatologist can identify the underlying cause of the bumps.
  • Severe phase – in its final and most severe phase, late rosacea includes all the symptoms of the previous stages but they are more severe. More spider veins can develop and appear more noticeable. At its worst, the skin can thicken and cause the nose to become bulbous.

Are there treatment options for rosacea?

Despite common belief, rosacea is treatable. People with fair skin or frequent flushing should use a sunscreen with a minimum 30 SPF every day. Topical cleansers containing sulfur or sodium sulfacetamide can be used to gently clean the skin. Topical medications and creams may be prescribed to control the redness and inflammation. Broken blood vessels can be treated with lasers. The V-Beam Laser is an extremely popular treatment option, not only because of its effectiveness, but also because of the integrated Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD), which emits a short spray of cryogen onto the skin milliseconds before each laser pulse. This results in far greater comfort for patients during treatment.

Because rosacea normally progresses, it is important to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. A doctor can offer preventative measures to keep rosacea from worsening, and to also treat the symptoms that come along with this skin disease.

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