Rosacea is a common but poorly understood disorder of the facial skin that is estimated to affect well over 16 million Americans. Rosacea is a chronic progressive adult disease that cannot be cured,. Many are not aware that they have this condition. However, it can cause significant psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated.
Symptoms of rosacea may come and go and have episodes of flaring. Symptoms include redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, small visible blood vessels on the face, bumps or pimples on the face, and/or dry or irritated eyes. These symptoms may be triggered by hot or spicy food or drink, alcoholic beverages, extreme temperatures, hot baths, sun exposure, stress or embarrassment, strenuous exercise, medications that dilate blood vessels, topical and oral corticosteroids.
Although the specific causes of rosacea are unknown, a combination of hereditary and environmental factors appears to be involved. There is not cure but several treatments are available to relieve symptoms, address chronic worsening of the condition and treat flares. Treatments include sun avoidance/protection, avoidance of triggers, topical creams/gels, oral medications, and laser treatments. Eye drops may be necessary for ocular rosacea.