Friday, March 19, 2010

Fan Question: Dealing with Rosacea

What You Need to Know About Rosacea

I had a friend of mine send me a question about Rosacea and I was stunned when I read about this common facial skin disorder and how it can affect the lifestyle of individuals with Rosacea. According to, well over 14 million Americans suffer from Rosecea and have no idea that they have it. If left untreated, Rosecea can worsen with age.
Here are warning signs that you may have Rosecea:
• Redness on cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead
• Small visible blood vessels on face
• Bumpy or rough patches sometimes with pimples
• Watery or irritated eyes
The cause of Rosacea is currently unknown, and while there are no proven cures, it is possible to control the symptons. Prescription antibiotics in the form of pills or topical ointments, may help the signs of Rosacea and usually are effective. However, if medicine does fail, try using sulfer creams for Rosacea. These are usually extremely successful and typically avoid any complications that could occur while taking antibiotics. It is recommended that you consult your dermatologist about what method is right for you.

The following information is taken directly from

RosaceaNet Article
Controlling Flare-Ups Can Boost Self-Esteem

Another study that involved 583 patients with mild to moderate rosacea found that effective treatment significantly improved the patients’ quality of life. The type of treatment did not matter. As long as it was effective, patients’ quality of life improved.

While rosacea is not curable, flare-ups can often be controlled by following the three-prong approach recommended by dermatologists:

· Skin care. Following a rosacea friendly skin care plan is essential. This includes being very gentle with rosacea-prone skin, using mild skin care products, and protecting the skin from the sun.

· Treatment. The treatment prescribed depends on the type and severity of the rosacea. Combination therapy is often most effective. Treatment may include a barrier-repair emollient, topical medications, and/or laser therapy.

· Trigger avoidance. What triggers rosacea in one person may not cause another person to experience a flare-up. Learning personal triggers and finding ways to avoid them can be very effective.

Fleischer A, Suephy C. “The face and mind evaluation study: an examination of the efficacy of rosacea treatment using physician ratings and patients' self-reported quality of life.” J Drugs Dermatol. 2005; 4:585-90.

Nicholson K, Abramova L, Chren MM, et al. “A pilot quality-of-life instrument for acne rosacea.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007; 57:213-21.

Society of Investigative Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology. “Burden of Skin Disease 2005.” Available at Last accessed January 26, 2009.

Tan SR, Tope WD. “Pulsed dye laser treatment of rosacea improves erythema, symptomatology, and quality of life.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004; 51:592-9.

Rosacea Triggers
Dermatologists’ Tips for Controlling Rosacea in Fall

Fall brings relief for many people with rosacea. Cooler temperatures and reduced humidity in areas across the United States mean less chance of becoming overheated. Even in the fall, it is important to be wary of rosacea triggers and to avoid your own personal triggers. These dermatologists’ tips can help your skin feel better this autumn.

· Continue to practice sun protection. While the days are getting shorter, sun protection is still essential. A survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society found that sun exposure was the most common trigger among those surveyed.

Be sure to limit your exposure to the sun, wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from both the UVA and UVB rays of the sun, apply a broad-spectrum (offers UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, and wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat.

· Heed cool-down strategies. You can still become overheated when the temperature drops. Activities such as raking leaves, baking a pie, and exercising can cause you to overheat. Cool-down strategies that can help keep a flare-up at bay in the fall are listed on this page.

· Moisturize if your skin starts to feel dry. When the humidity drops, skin can feel especially dry. A gentle moisturizer can help your skin feel better.

To avoid irritating your skin, look for a moisturizer that does not contain alcohol, eucalyptus, fragrance, peppermint, or witch hazel. According to a survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society, these ingredients are more likely to aggravate rosacea. If you use a topical rosacea medication, let this dry before applying the moisturizer. If you cannot find a moisturizer that does not irritate your skin, be sure to ask your dermatologist for recommendations.

· Avoid getting too close to a burning fire or stove. The first fire of the season can be alluring. Remember not to get too close as getting overheated triggers rosacea for many.

· Keep the thermostat low. A bit of heat on a chilly autumn night feels great. To avoid becoming overheated, be sure to keep the thermostat low — just enough to take the chill out of the air.

· Avoid steam, saunas, hot showers, and hot baths. Staying cool helps keep rosacea from flaring. Since steam, saunas, and hot water all increase blood flow, these are best avoided.

· Wear loose, layered clothing. This allows you to stay comfortable because you can remove layers as needed to prevent overheating.

· Limit hot beverages and alcohol. Heated beverages, such as hot cider, coffee, and tea trigger rosacea for many people. Drinking alcohol also can trigger rosacea. If any of these trigger your rosacea, be sure to limit your consumption or avoid the beverages that cause your rosacea to flare.

National Rosacea Society, “Ingredients May Aggravate Rosacea.”
Rosacea Review, spring 2005. Available at: Last accessed: August 23, 2005.

National Rosacea Society, “New Survey Pinpoints Leading Factors that Trigger Symptoms.”

Rosacea Review
, summer 2002. Available at Last accessed: August 23, 2005.

Material for people with Rosacea:
o Rosacea Review
o Coping with Rosacea
o Rosacea Diary
Physician Finder has links to lists of dermatologists, ophthalmologists and dermatologic surgeons by location nationwide.


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