Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a common skin problem that appears as a vivid blush, yet redder than normal. It most commonly affects the nose and cheeks, but if left untreated, it can spread to the chin and forehead. It will often flare up and remit at any time, but since there is no permanent cure, it won’t go away for forever.
Keep in mind that rosacea is not a skin disease, but a condition. Although rosacea can affect anyone of any age, race, and ethnicity, we most often see it in fair-skinned patients, especially those who blush easily.
What Are the Symptoms and Treatments of Rosacea?
The AAD estimates that 14 million people in the US alone show the symptoms of rosacea. That’s about 1 in every 20 Americans! Because not everyone recognizes the tell-tale signs of rosacea, the National Rosacea Society declared April as Rosacea Awareness Month to help educate patients on common symptoms, what to look for, aggravators of rosacea, and possible treatment options.
Learn How to Recognize Rosacea →
We want to do our part to help patients become more aware of rosacea and what they can do to find relief.
4 Types of Rosacea
Because rosacea affects so many people, and the severity of the condition varies so widely, it has been divided into 4 subcategories. However, many patients who struggle with rosacea experience more than one type at a time, and treatment options are similar.
We’ll discuss each of these subtypes in detail, but keep in mind that a board-certified dermatologist is trained to detect which type of rosacea each patient has. If you aren’t sure, simply schedule an appointment and we’d be happy to help!
1.) Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea
Don’t let the long name make you feel uncomfortable (and you won’t be asked to pronounce it!). This type of rosacea is characterized by facial redness, frequent flushing, and visible small blood vessels.
These damaged blood vessels, technically referred to as telangiectasia in the medical field, are caused by inflammation from the rosacea. Here at Helendale Dermatology, we can improve the appearance of ruptured blood vessels with one of our cosmetic lasers (the VBeam® Perfecta, to be exact).
2.) Papulopustular Rosacea
Papulopustular rosacea is often confused with acne – understandable, due to the acne-like breakouts that are common with this type of rosacea. Of course, it is also accompanied with facial redness (characteristic of any type of rosacea) and swelling.
Patients with exceptionally oily skin frequently struggle with papulopustular rosacea. However, the bumps, pimples, and whiteheads are more consistent than acne, and must be treated persistently. The goal of treatment is dryness. We recommend a gentle, non-chemical moisturizer and cleanser, such as All Calm 3-1 from colorescience – this proprietary formula treats, covers, and protects.
3.) Phymatous Rosacea
Phymatous Rosacea specifically targets the nose and is found more commonly in men than women. You’ll know it by the skin on your nose thickening and acquiring a bumpy texture. An extreme case results in rhinophyma nose, recognized by a large mass at the end of the nose.
Excessive alcohol consumption does not cause Phymatous Rosacea, as was previously believed, although it may cause a flare-up typical to any type of rosacea. Instead, it is caused by an increase in tissue of the sebaceous glands.
The best way to treat depends on the degree of severity, but in most cases we recommend prescription acne medication, non-chemical based topical creams, and low doses of antibiotics. If severe enough, some patients resort to plastic surgery.
4.) Ocular Rosacea
As the name implies, this kind of rosacea affects the area around the eyes, leaving the eyes red, irritated, dry, or exceptionally teary. The eyelids may become swollen and develop what looks like a stye (a tender, red bump at the edge of the lid). In extreme cases, you might experience loss of vision and corneal damage.
Ocular Rosacea can be treated with gentle lid scrubs for teary eyes, warm compresses for dry eyes, and topical antibiotics or anti-inflammatories to address inflammation.
Get Treatment for Rosacea
If you think you show signs for one or more of these types of rosacea, get help immediately! Rosacea often gets worse over time if it’s not addressed as soon as possible. Dr. Arthur can determine the best solution for your skin type and get you started on a healing regiment. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment!