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How Do I Know If I Have Rosacea?

What’s your complexion? If you say ruddy, rosy, or red, you may be dealing with more than a skin tone category — you may have rosacea, a skin condition that can make you look flushed all the time.

The best way to know for sure is to consult an experienced dermatologist like Dr. Matthew Mittelbronn at Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas. To determine whether you have rosacea, Dr. Mittelbronn will examine your skin and discuss your medical history and symptoms with you. Here are many of the things he’s looking for.

Signs you may have rosacea

About 16 million Americans live with active rosacea, and millions more may be unaware of their skin condition. Many people mistake rosacea for a ruddy skin tone or acne-prone skin, so it often goes undiagnosed. Here are some of the classic rosacea symptoms:

Perpetual blushing

Rosacea causes flushing or blushing on your face, particularly on your cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. 

Acne-like bumps

Many people with rosacea notice the appearance of red, sometimes pus-filled bumps that can look just like acne.

Prominent capillaries

If your rosy complexion includes a network of small visible red blood vessels under the surface of your skin, you may have rosacea.

Hot skin

During a rosacea flare-up, your skin may feel warm to the touch and a bit tender.

Enlarging nose

Rosacea can also affect the nose, particularly in men, causing it to thicken and appear bulbous. These changes are often attributed to excessive alcohol consumption, but this is not correct.  The well-known 1940s comedian W.C. Fields was famous for his large nose, which was the result of advanced rosacea. Former President Bill Clinton also has rosacea.

Changing skin texture

Rosacea can change the texture of your facial skin even beyond your nose. Over time you may notice your skin becoming thicker on your chin, forehead, cheeks, and ears. Your pores may also appear larger, and your skin may even take on a bumpy texture.

Eye irritation

When rosacea attacks your eyes, it can make them dry, red, irritated, and swollen. In the worst cases, there is an uncomfortable gritty feeling and sometimes even ulcers.  In some people, eye changes are the first symptoms to appear.

Types of rosacea

There are four main types of rosacea, and they each affect your skin differently. 

Subtype 1

Called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, subtype 1 is the most common type and involves redness on your face and visible blood vessels through the surface of your skin.

Subtype 2

Called papulopustular rosacea, subtype 2 comes with breakouts that resemble acne.

Subtype 3

Called rhinophyma, subtype 3 is an advanced less common form of rosacea that causes thickening of your nose skin and the bulbous look (as in W C Fields and Bill Clinton).

Subtype 4

Called ocular rosacea, subtype 4 affects your eyes. They may become bloodshot, dry, gritty, and sensitive to light. Rarely, your lids can swell and have cysts.

Rosacea causes and triggers

Why some people get rosacea and some don’t is still being researched. Possible causes include:

None of these causes are proven, but are under current investigation. While the exact cause of rosacea isn’t known, there are certain characteristics that may put you in a high-risk group, including:

Although women get rosacea more often than men, men tend to get it more severely. 

You may not know what caused you to get rosacea, but most people have triggers that can cause a flare or worsen symptoms.  Identifying your specific triggers can help you avoid these flares. It’s a good idea to keep a rosacea diary where you jot down the circumstances surrounding your episodes. Here are some common rosacea triggers:

Once you identify what sets off your rosacea, you can do your best to avoid those triggers, or at least be prepared for a flare-up when you can’t.

Treatment for rosacea

Dr. Mittelbronn has extensive experience diagnosing and treating rosacea. If you suffer from this skin condition, he can help ease your concerns and develop a treatment plan to improve those symptoms of rosacea that are most bothersome. 

He may prescribe any of a number of topical or oral medications to help keep things under control. Facial redness can be more challenging to improve, but there are newer topical products that can help temporarily improve this or you can have laser treatment performed that can be a more permanent solution. 

If you suffer from subtype 3 rosacea, rhinophyma, and your symptoms are severe, you may opt for surgical intervention to remove some of the thickened skin. For patients who suffer from subtype 4, ocular rosacea, Dr. Mittelbronn may suggest you see an ophthalmologist.

Don't suffer with rosacea any longer. Schedule an appointment at Lakeview Dermatology by calling us today at 817-369-8098.

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