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Rosacea – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

    • Ever heard of Rosacea? Many people may not have – until they find themselves with midlife pimples or a flushed face that doesn’t fade back to normal.

      We asked Yuba City Doctor Robert Peppercorn of Sutter North Medical Foundation to answers questions about Rosacea, rosacea symptoms and treatments for rosacea.

      Rosacea is a very common skin condition that appears in adulthood. It is unrelated to whether you have had acne as an adolescent.

      Symptoms of Rosacea

      Rosacea symptoms may vary from person to person and include:

      • Persistent redness of the central face – like a slight sunburn that doesn’t fade.
      • Acne-like pimples in the central face.
      • Enlargement of tiny veins in the face, known as telangiectasias.
      • Stinging or burning of the skin.
      • Eye irritation and styes
      • For some, an enlarged, bulbous and bumpy nose (think of W.C. Fields)

      Who gets Rosacea?

      Rosacea is most common between the ages of 30 and 60, with the majority of people experiencing it for the first time in their 30s to 40s. It occurs most often among fair-skinned people of European and Celtic origin. In fact, one of its nicknames is “the curse of the Celts.” While it is most common among fair-skinned Europeans, some of the most severe forms of Rosacea happen to those of Asian or African descent.

      Causes of Rosacea?

      Rosacea appears to be caused by inflammation of the sebaceous oil glands and hair follicles within the dermis of the skin. Some patients are observed to have an overgrowth of various skin bacteria and even a microscopic skin mite call Demodex.

      Many factors can trigger a flare up, including:
      • Hot temperature beverages
      • Alcohol
      • Spicy foods
      • Emotional stress
      • Extremes of hot and cold weather
      • Hot baths and showers

      Preventing Rosacea

      Dr. Peppercorn notes that there is no way for an asymptomatic person to “prevent” Rosacea from developing. However, if you have already developed symptoms or been diagnosed with the condition, there are a number of options for dealing with it.

      Ways to cope with Rosacea
      • Avoid triggers - which may include food and beverages, temperature extremes and sunlight.
      • Experiment with skin care products and skin care routines until you discover what aggravates, or improves your symptoms.
      • Reduce stress – both physical and emotional – as much as possible.
      • See your doctor for prescription medications.

      Treatment for Rosacea

      The most common treatments for Rosacea are prescription antibiotic creams and oral antibiotics. The most common prescription cream is Metrogel. For many patients, the oral antibiotic Doxycycline provides very effective relief. Dr. Peppecorn notes that both medications have been prescribed by dermatologists for decades, with a good safety record.

      Is your diet triggering Rosacea?
      Track your meals and symptoms with our easy food log. Download the food log now.

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