Getting the Red Out — Treating Rosacea

Rosacea is a misunderstood condition. Characterized by facial redness, bumps, and eye irriation, it affects people of all ages. Often the person doesn’t know they have rosacea, but simply think their skin is overly sensitive or that they blush easily.

At Matsuda Dermatology, we have a variety of methods for treating the skin condition.

What causes rosacea?

Rosacea is somewhat of a mystery, its exact causes still unknown. There is some evidence that the condition has a genetic factor. Sun exposure, and certain food, drinks, and medications can dilate the blood vessels and lead to an outbreak.

It tends to occur in the facial areas that blush, so people who are more prone to blushing are more prone to rosacea. Triggers that cause rosacea flares are emotional factors such as stress and anxiety, weather changes, sun exposure, alcohol consumption, exercise, and spicy food consumption.

Anyone can have rosacea. It typically starts at age 30 and is more common in people with fair skin, and those with a family history. In women, it often shows on the chin, in men on the nose.

What are the symptoms or signs?

rosaceaRosacea is frustrating for the patient, as it comes and goes without warning. The person’s skin may be clear for weeks or months, and then a sudden eruption occurs. A flare-up is characterized by facial redness, blushing, burning, red bumps, and little cysts. Sometimes, the normal facial skin color will not return after an outbreak, staying more reddened for the duration. Also, the condition doesn’t go away on its own.

Diagnosis and treatment

There aren’t any tests to diagnose rosacea, so it is, understandably, under diagnosed. But that’s where the expertise of Drs. Matsuda and Sheu come into play. The condition is not curable, but once diagnosed, can be controlled.

Here are the methods for treating rosacea:

  • Topical creams — Creams such as metronidazole and azelaic acid control rosacea.
  • Oral antibiotics — Tetracycline, amoxicillin, and doxycycline can reduce pimples and inflammation.
  • Other medication — Topical steroids can reduce inflammation, but can be used on a short-term basis only.
  • Skin cleasners — While patients should not scrub their face excessively, over-the-counter and prescription cleansers can relieve symptoms.
  • Laser treatment — Laser treatments target blood vessels on a person’s chest, neck, and face and have proven effective.
  • Photodynamic therapy — In this therapy, a liquid is first applied to the skin and is then activated by a special light. Photodynamic therapy can reduce inflammation and improve skin texture.
  • Chemical peels — For some patients, chemical peels control rosacea.

If you wonder if the redness on your skin is more than simple blushing, call us at 808-949-7568. You may have rosacea and we can help.