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What Is Rosacea?

The tendency to blush easily may be a reflection of your sweet personality, or it may be a sign of rosacea, a common skin condition that causes your face to flush. Although some people have naturally ruddy complexions, rosacea is a skin condition that goes beyond a matter of skin tone.

At Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas, Dr. Matthew Mittelbronn understands the frustration of rosacea, especially when your symptoms flare up and cause embarrassing breakouts. Although there’s no cure for rosacea, Dr. Mittelbronn can help you keep your symptoms under control and make living with your condition much easier.

What causes rosacea?

Researchers are still trying to figure out the exact cause of rosacea. Some of the current suspects include:

Regardless of what’s to blame, rosacea tends to run in families, so there’s a strong argument for the genetic connection.

What triggers rosacea?

What causes rosacea is different from what triggers it. The cause is the reason you have the condition, while a trigger is something that sets it off or makes it worse. Common rosacea triggers include:

If you suffer from rosacea, it’s important to learn your individual triggers so you can avoid them when possible and be prepared for a flare-up when you can’t. 

What does rosacea look like?

Rosacea typically starts out as a tendency to blush easily and often. As it progresses, symptoms become more severe. You may experience any of the following symptoms to varying degrees:

Redness

More than just a quick blush, rosacea causes persistent facial redness. It most commonly occurs in the center part of your face, and you may even notice visible blood vessels through the surface of your skin.

Bumps

Easily mistaken for acne, rosacea causes pimple-like bumps that may contain pus, just like acne. They may even feel tender, swollen, and warm to the touch.

Eye issues

Your condition may take the form of ocular rosacea, which causes your eyes to redden and your eyelids to sometimes swell. Often, ocular rosacea is a precursor to facial rosacea, but it can also show up secondarily. If you have this type, your eyes may feel: 

You may also develop small cysts on your eyelids and have visible broken blood vessels in your eye.

Skin inflammation and thickening

Rosacea is known for affecting the skin’s texture. In addition to the redness and bumps, you may also notice that your skin is getting thicker, particularly on your nose. Your forehead, cheeks, chin are possible targets as well. Along with this thickening, the skin shows irregular contours and is often oily.  This is most common in men.

Who gets rosacea?

Anybody can get rosacea, but the vast majority are fair-skinned women past the age of 30. Men can also get it, as can people of color, it’s just more rare. If you have very dark skin, you may miss some of the classic signs of rosacea, namely bright red cheeks and chin. 

What to do if you have rosacea

Dr. Mittelbronn can help you find the right treatment for your rosacea based on the type and severity of your symptoms. These may include oral or topical medications, and even lasers or surgery in some cases. Below are a few steps you can take to try to better manage your rosacea on your own:

  1. Know your triggers. Living with rosacea starts with identifying and avoiding whatever triggers it for you. It helps to keep a diary where you can jot down notes about circumstances just prior to your flare-up: what you ate and drank, what the weather was like, whether you came into contact with irritants, etc.
  2. Watch your eyes. Make sure you pay attention to your eyes and any new or worsening eye symptoms that may be related to rosacea.  
  3. Choose the right products. Certain lotions, cleansers, and cosmetics can irritate rosacea-prone skin. A general rule of thumb is to select products that are gentle and for sensitive skin.  To help best keep your flare-ups at bay, avoid products that contain:

Check labels on your makeup, lotions, and even your toothpaste and shampoo.

  1. Team up with a dermatologist. Having an experienced dermatologist like Dr. Mittelbronnon on your team can keep your rosacea from getting worse. He can also help you deal with flare-ups when they occur. 

If you have, or think you might have, rosacea, early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference. For an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, contact us by phone or online today and let us help improve your rosacea before summer. 

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