In the United States, about 16 million people have rosacea, according to the National Rosacea Society. A chronic skin condition, rosacea is characterized by redness of the face and acne-like skin sores.
Individuals who are fair-skinned or between the ages of 30 and 50 are more likely to have the condition. While women are more likely to have rosacea, men tend to have more severe symptoms.
There are four subtypes of rosacea.
The first subtype, called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, causes persistent redness and flushing. Patients with this type of rosacea may have visible blood vessels.
Papulopustular rosacea, the second subtype, also causes persistent redness, as well as acne-like breakouts and swelling.
Patients with the third subtype of rosacea, called phymatous rosacea, have a thickening of the skin, which develops a bumpy texture. The National Rosacea Society noted that the skin thickening may cause an enlargement of the nose.
The last subtype, ocular rosacea, affects the eye, causing symptoms such as dry eye, swollen eyelids and recurrent styes. Patients with this subtype of rosacea have a risk of vision loss due to corneal damage.
Patients with rosacea may have more than one subtype at a time.
Certain triggers can make the symptoms of rosacea worse. Common triggers of rosacea symptoms include sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather and hot baths.
Some types of food and drink may trigger symptoms, such as spicy foods, heated beverages, alcoholic beverages, marinated meats and dairy products, according to the National Rosacea Society.
If you have rosacea, you can figure out what your triggers are and try to avoid them in order to reduce your symptoms.
Getting proper treatment for rosacea can also help patients manage their symptoms. Options include medications, such as oral and topic antibiotics and isotretinoin, an oral medication used in cases of severe rosacea.
Some patients may require surgery, such as electrosurgery or laser surgery. Surgical intervention may be used to remove excess tissue around the nose or reduce the visibility of blood vessels.