What is Rosacea?
Rosacea (ro-zay-sha) is a common, acne-like benign inflammatory skin disease of adults, with a worldwide distribution. Rosacea affects an estimated 16 million people in the United States alone and approximately 45 million worldwide. Most people with rosacea are Caucasian and have fair skin. The main symptoms and signs of rosacea include red or pink facial skin, small dilated blood vessels, small red bumps sometimes containing pus, cysts, and pink or irritated eyes. Many people who have rosacea may just assume they have very sensitive skin that blushes or flushes easily.
Signs and Symptoms
Rosacea can be classified into one of four types, each having a different presentation.
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea presents with flushing that progresses to permanent erythema and telangiectasia over the affected areas. Affected skin may also itch and patients describe a burning sensation.
Patients with papulopustular rosacea have papules and pustules on a background of erythema, which appears similar to acne vulgaris.
In phymatous rosacea, the skin thickens and may become nodular and irregular. The nose is the most commonly affected area, resulting in a permanent enlargement called rhinophyma. Other areas, such as the chin, forehead, cheeks and eyelids, may also be affected. With ocular rosacea, the eyes, as well as the skin, can be affected, with red, inflamed, dry eyelids – this may be confused with blepharitis.
A course of 4-6 treatments at 4-week intervals produces the best benefit. Improvement may continue for many weeks after the course has finished. Rosacea is a relapsing condition and this treatment can drastically improve the appearance but does not cure the underlying condition of rosacea longer term, so you will need to come back occasionally for maintenance sessions.