What Is Rosacea?
There are 4 major types of rosacea which may be distinct; and it’s common for the features to overlap.
1. Telangectatic Rosacea
An overall redness to face, neck or chest
2. Pustular Rosacea
An overall redness to face, neck or chest.
3. Rhinophyma Rosacea
Enlargement of oil glands on the nose leading to distortion and enlargement of the nose.
4. Ocular Rosacea
Redness, irritation and discomfort of the eyelids and eyes, sometimes leading to permanent visual impairment.
Stages of Rosacea
The earliest features of rosacea are a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. Later, the condition tends to worsen. Rosacea appears during the middle to late years for most people. As skin gets thinner with age, the hyper-irritable blood vessels are more easily triggered.
Rosacea breakouts often stem from exposure to “triggers.” The most common triggers are:
- - sun exposure
- - emotional stress
- - hot weather
- - wind
- - heavy exercise
Other well-known rosacea triggers include alcohol consumption, cold weather, spicy foods, humidity, indoor heat, menopause, and certain skin care products, foods, or medications.
Over time, rosacea may result in permanent redness (“ruddiness”) to the face, areas of oil gland enlargement, bumps and pustular acne-like lesions, skin thickening and enlargement of the nose, and irritation/burning and redness of the eyes and eyelids. The redness of rosacea can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead, chin, neck and chest.
Rosacea is often accompanied by a sister condition: sebaceous gland hyperplasia (oil gland enlargement) throughout the face, leading to the presence of multiple pink-yellow facial bumps. Those with rosacea may complain of excessively oily skin, or excessively dry, irritated and hypersensitive skin.
7 Facts About Rosacea
- Rosacea is an inherited condition that affects about 22% of the population.
- Nearly all patients with rosacea experience physical discomfort (most commonly facial skin sensitivity, burning, itching, stinging, redness, and swelling). But the degree to which this impacts their emotional lives is often underappreciated.
- In studies, more than one-third of those surveyed reported feeling uncomfortable meeting new people or dating.
- And more than three-quarters reported the appearance of their skin produced emotions ranging from embarrassment to sadness or depression.
- In a poll of nearly 7,000 people from eight countries, results showed that across cultures, people with facial redness were strongly associated with having poor health or health habits, and negative personality traits.
- In this same poll, participants noted that the red and blemished quality of skin was the first thing they noticed, and that they were more likely to be friends with or hire a person without facial redness.
- Not surprisingly, rosacea can greatly affect a patient’s self-esteem and quality of life, leading to avoidance of public contact or social activities when their condition is active. Many respondents felt others judged them unfairly (specifically as having drunk too much), or were labeled as having acne.
Rosacea is Complicated
Because rosacea is a complex disease. There is no one medication and no single combination of treatments that work for everyone.
Rosacea treatment must be tailored to each individual, and followed for responsiveness. Generally, You can expect your dermatologist to treat your rosacea with multiple products from different classes and then, as the condition improves, the program is simplified to one or two products.
Treatments For Rosacea
Rosacea is predominantly a genetic condition, although any skin type is prone, rosacea is seen most often in those with fair skin. Because the condition is genetically based, it cannot be “cured”.
Dr. Kenner says: “When I counsel patients, I liken the disease to a train, with medical treatments modifying the speed or locale of the train.”
“Topical and oral medications can slow the train, while treatments such as medical microneedling, microdoses of neurotoxin, or laser treatments, patients can take the train to an earlier station.”
There is a lot of misinformation about rosacea and many people suffer unnecessarily. Consult a dermatologist to get a medical diagnosis. If you do have rosacea, learn what subtype (or subtypes) you have, and get an individualized treatment plan. Your treatment plan should include an appropriate skin care regimen that is tailored to your subtype and medical history.
Getting proper rosacea treatment is important to ease discomfort, improve self-esteem, and stop the rosacea from getting worse. Many people find that with proper treatment, rosacea can have little to no impact on their daily lives.
Key Tips For Treating Your Rosacea
Be patient! Rosacea can be slow to respond to medications.
Follow the program! Rosacea programs vary per individual and finding the best combination therapy to bring the condition under control may take some time and testing different regimens. Seek advice only from those with expertise in managing this condition.
Recognize rosacea is variable! Different types of rosacea may require different medication programs.
Be consistent! Rosacea is a chronic problem, and responds best if the skin care regimen recommended is followed faithfully as recommended.
Be aware! Rosacea can change forms over time naturally; sudden worsening may be brought on by very stressful events such as a divorce, or major illness.
Get educated! Genetics plays the biggest role in rosacea presentation, with MANY triggers, which have different effects on different individuals. Seek advice from experts familiar with the disease, and be easy with yourself as you navigate through the possible triggers for your disease, and determine what you may or may not be able to modify.
Be easy on yourself! Rosacea has an enormous psychological impact at any age! It is important to remember, there are experts to help you, and there are many treatments for rosacea.
Be gentle! Use a gentle facial cleanser and don’t scrub; harsh soaps or practices may aggravate rosacea and stimulate oil glands.
Do your best! Try not to pick, use your sunscreens, strive to minimize your rosacea “triggers”, and follow the skin care regimen recommended by your dermatologist.
Prescription Rosacea Treatment Options
There are dozens of classes of medications used to treat rosacea. This is because the disease itself is very complicated, and different medications work on different aspects of the disease.
Rosacea sufferers are plagued by high rates of medication failure, either due to ineffectiveness, non tolerance, dangerous side effects, or lack of proper instruction.
Topical medications such as tretinoin or certain forms of metrogel, are irritating or no longer effective, especially when used as solo agents.
Topical steroids especially can seem to make rosacea better initially, but will actually worsen the condition and need to be avoided entirely.
Older generic medications are not formulated well and tend to be drying, irritating, stinky, or not mix well with other products such as make-up, patients often stop using them in spite of the benefits they promise.
Oral medications, particularly oral antibiotics such as doxycycline and minocycline, have long been used to treat rosacea — most often to calm inflammation and reduce bacterial load. Unfortunately, this widespread practice has led to dangerous rates of drug resistance around the globe.
Dr. Kenner’s philosophy has always been to use leading edge blended ingredients, in elegant base formulas. Dr. Kenner takes great care to write down explicit instructions on use, and gives tips and expectations throughout the treatment course.
Clinical Treatments for Rosacea
In addition to a medical diagnosis and treatment plan, the following clinical services can help rosacea.
Medical Grade Facials (Hydrafacials)
The Hydrafacial MD is a professional level facial treatment using vortex extraction of surface dead skin, blackhead plugs, and dirt/pollution buildup, followed by infusion of therapeutic and rejuvenating serums.
Medical microneedling uses a unique combination of techniques to effectively rejuvenate the skin at all levels: stratum corneum, epidermis, and upper dermis. This treatment evens out skin tone and creates a smoother appearance.
Rosacea: Before & After
Jared had always had a red face with exercise. But when pimples and a flaky rash appeared on his chin area, he decided to see a doctor. Unfortunately, Jared was misdiagnosed with acne and was given Retin A and salicylic wash. Jared had always been sensitive to skin products (even sunscreens), so his skin went berserk and became bright red, itchy, flaking, and very embarrassing.
When Jared went to see Dr. Kenner, she told him he had rosacea, a common acne look-alike. He began a skin care program that not only soothed him, but also calmed the redness, pimples, and dryness. He is now back to great looking skin, and loving the sun with the sunscreen recommended by Dr. Kenner.
Table of Contents
Maria’s Rosacea Success Story
Deborah’s Rosacea Story
Can you use retinoids if you have Rosacea?