About 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea, which causes a flushed or blushing appearance, including blood vessels visible through the skin on your face. Rosacea disproportionately affects women with fair skin, often emerging during menopause. Men, too, can get rosacea, suffering from its effects on the nose more often than women, causing a red and bulbous look.
There’s no cure for rosacea, but that doesn’t mean you’re left with a permanent blush. The condition occurs in outbreaks, lasting for weeks or months before once again subsiding. Flare-ups are often in response to triggers such as weather exposure or food and drink.
You can avoid triggers once you’ve identified them, and following a rosacea care routine that combines several treatment approaches can help to minimize the duration and intensity of outbreaks. Visit dermatologist Jennifer A Baron, M.D. when you need medical assistance with your rosacea in San Jose, California.
Subtypes of rosacea
Your rosacea may look somewhat different than another patient’s, since the condition presents itself in several ways. These subtypes break down by their appearance, and it’s possible to have more than one active subtype.
Subtype 1, called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, is the most difficult form to treat, causing persistent redness in the affected areas, sometimes accompanied by burning or stinging sensations.
Papulopustular rosacea, subtype 2, can resemble acne. It’s the easiest form to treat, though you may experience periods of fluid retention — edema — in the face.
Subtype 3 is phymatous rosacea, which features thickened, rough skin. Rhinophymatous rosacea affects the nose, giving a bulging, bumpy appearance.
Ocular rosacea, subtype 4, affects the eyes and it’s commonly seen in conjunction with subtype 1. Your eyes take on a red and watery appearance.
Caring for rosacea
Reducing the intensity of outbreaks takes concerted effort. There’s no single treatment that’s completely effective, so you’ll likely develop a daily skincare regimen with morning and evening components.
Eating spicy foods or drinking red wine could cause your face to flush and trigger a rosacea outbreak. Similarly, extreme temperatures, sun and wind exposure can cause flushing that then continues. Stress and other strong emotions are sometimes to blame, and even skincare products and cosmetics may have ingredients that cause an outbreak for you.
Because product formulas can be an issue, it’s time to seek out skincare products made for sensitive skin, free from additives like menthol, alcohol or camphor. Retinoids can irritate your skin and may trigger flare-ups.
Perhaps the most common cause of rosacea outbreaks, controlling sun exposure requires diligence. Choose a broad spectrum product with an SPF of 30 or greater, that also includes zinc oxide for complete protection. Reapply as directed, and supplement sunscreen with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
Topicals and systemics
When you visit Dr. Baron, she may advise you to add medications to reduce your symptoms. These include topical creams such as niacinamide, which reduces redness, or oral medications like antibiotics to treat rosacea systemically.
As a photofacial specialist, Dr. Baron often turns to intense pulsed light systems for many skin pigmentation issues. Broadband light therapy is ideal for treating the varied symptoms of rosacea.
Your case of rosacea likely has elements that are unique to you. It can take some trial and error to find the best skincare routine, so contact Jennifer A Baron, M.D. to enlist a medical partner in your treatment plan. You can reach Dr. Baron’s office by phone or online to schedule your rosacea consultation now.