Rosacea

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What it is

Rosacea is a chronic sensitive skin condition that produces facial redness and blemishes, and generally affects adults between the ages of 30 and 60. It affects more women than men, yet men exhibit more destructive presentations. This condition develops and worsens over time, but it is not considered a normal part of skin aging.

What causes it

Rosacea can be the result of a family history or can be caused by environmental triggers, such as exposures or situations that cause a flare-up or flushing of the skin. Common triggers include sun exposure, alcohol (topical or consumed), spicy food, and overly aggressive topical products and treatments.  If left untreated over a long period, rosacea can lead to permanent disfigurement, ocular inflammation and vision loss.

What it looks like

Rosacea generally occurs on the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. There are four acknowledged subtypes of rosacea:

1. Subtype one (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea) – flushing and persistent redness of the central third of the face, typically with visible telangiectasias;

2. Subtype two (papulopustular rosacea) – persistent redness of the central third of the face accompanied by papules and pustules;

3. Subtype three (phymatous rosacea) – thickening of the skin, irregular surface nodularities and enlargement; most commonly presented as rhinophyma (enlargement of the nose), but may affect other locations, such as the glabella and chin;

4. Subtype four (ocular rosacea) – irritation of the eye area, including watery, bloodshot eyes, foreign body sensation, burning, stinging, dryness, itching and frequent styes, that may result in blepharitis, conjunctivitis or irregularity of the eyelid margins.

How to treat it

The most important step in the treatment of rosacea is educating patients about the importance of identifying and avoiding their rosacea triggers. Rosacea responds well to oral and topical antibiotics. Other common topical treatments include metronidazole, sulfacetamide lotion, azelaic acid, salicylic acid, topical vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid); the anti-inflamatory agents bisabolol, capparis spinosa (caper bud extract); and the hydrating ingredients glycerin and urea.

PCA SKIN® product options for treatment include: Creamy Cleanser, Acne Gel, Hydrating Serum, Rejuvenating Serum, Anti-Redness Serum, Clearskin, ReBalance, Protecting Hydrator SPF 30 and Hydrator Plus SPF 30.

Source:  Aaron F. Cohen MD and Jeffrey D. Tiemstra, MD.  “Diagnosis and Treatment of Rosacea.”  Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, May 1, 2002, vol. 15, no. 3, pp 214-217.

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