Rosacea (pronounced “roh-ZAY-sha”) is a chronic but treatable condition that primarily affects the central face, and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions.
Although rosacea may develop in many ways and at any age, it typically begins any time after age 30 as flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go.
Although rosacea can affect all segments of the population and all skin types, individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are believed to be at greatest risk. The disorder is more frequently diagnosed in women, but tends to be more severe in men.
Diagnostic Signs of Rosacea
The presence of either of these signs is diagnostic of rosacea.
Persistent Redness Persistent facial redness is the most common individual sign of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that does not go away.
Skin Thickening The skin may thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, most commonly on the nose (known as rhinophyma, pronounced “rye-no-FY-muh”). This condition is less common, but can lead to facial disfigurement and inadequate nasal airflow if severe.
Major Signs of Rosacea
The presence of at least two of these signs is diagnostic of rosacea.
Flushing Many people with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. This facial redness may be accompanied by a sense of heat, warmth or burning comes and goes, and is often an early feature of the disorder.
Bumps and Pimples Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stinging may occur.
Visible Blood Vessels In many people with rosacea, prominent and visible small blood vessels called telangiectasia (pronounced “tell-ANN-jeck-TAY-zha”) become on the cheeks, nasal bridge, and other areas of the central face.
What Triggers Rosacea?
According to the National Rosacea Society, the most common rosacea triggers include:
How is Rosacea Treated?
At Evolution Medical Spa we use the GentleMax Pro by Syneron/Candela vascular laser treatment which targets the small, dilated blood vessels that cause the flushing and redness associated with rosacea. The GentleMax Pro laser system uses Candela’s patented Dynamic Cooling Device ™ (DCD ™) technology to protect the skin with a cooling burst of cryogen, minimizing potential side effects and delivering the best possible result.
Patients should check to ensure their skin care routine is compatible with their rosacea. A gentle skin care routine can also help control rosacea. Patients are advised to clean their face with a mild and non-abrasive cleanser, then rinse with lukewarm water and blot the face dry with a thick cotton towel. Never pull, tug or use a rough washcloth.
Patients may apply non-irritating skin care products as needed, and are advised to protect the skin from sun exposure using a sunscreen that delivers UVA/UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or higher and look for sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium dioxide. Rosacea patients should avoid any skin care products that sting, burn or cause additional redness.
Acknowledgments: This section was reviewed and edited by Dr. Jerry Tan, adjunct professor of dermatology, the University of Western Ontario, and Dr. Diane Thiboutot, professor of dermatology, Pennsylvania State University.