The Red that is Rosacea

rosaceaMany people have red patches on their face, along with bumps, eye irritation, even pimples. What they don’t often know is they are suffering from a condition called rosacea. They just think they have sensitive skin or that they blush easily.

At Matsuda, we know it’s not a sun reaction or that a co-worker told an off-color joke that could have made you blush. Dr. Matsuda and Dr. Sheu have special training in the diagnosis and treatment of rosacea.

What causes rosacea?

The exact causes of rosacea are not known, but there are theories as to why it affects some people and not others. One theory is that it is just one sign of a larger disorder with the person’s blood vessels. Other theories point to microscopic skin mites, fungus, psychological factors, certain foods or drinks, medications that dilate the blood vessels, or a malfunction of the connective tissue under the skin.

Triggers for rosacea

Rosacea flares up and then back off. Anyone can have it, but certain triggers can lead to an outbreak. Emotional factors, such as stress and anxiety, may make a person blush and aggravate the condition. Weather changes, sun exposure, alcohol consumption, excessive exercise, and spicy foods seem to aggravate rosacea.

Rosacea is more prevalent in people with fair skin who have a family history of the condition. It typically first shows itself around the age of 30. Women often see the first symptoms on the chin while men often first see it on the nose.

What are the signs or symptoms of rosacea?

Rosacea symptoms come and go. The skin may stay clear for weeks or months, and then the condition erupts again. Rosacea will show itself with facial redness, blushing, burning, red bumps, and little cysts. Facial skin will become inflamed, particularly the skin on the cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead. For some, their former “normal” skin color won’t return, and the skin instead remains pink.

How is rosacea diagnosed and treated?

There aren’t any specific tests for rosacea, and it is often under-diagnosed. But Dr. Matsuda and Dr. Sheu are experts with the condition and can spot its symptoms.

There is no cure for rosacea. These are some of the treatments for rosacea:

  • Topical creams such as metronidazole control outbreaks.
  • Oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin reduce inflammation.
  • Other medications such as topical steroids reduce inflammation.
  • Laser treatments target the blood vessels on the face, neck, and chest.
  • Photodynamic therapy is used to activate a liquid applied to the skin to reduce inflammation and improve skin texture.
  • Chemical peels can control rosacea for some people.

Do you have red areas on your skin? They’re probably not there because you’re shy; they could be rosacea. Call us at Matsuda, 808-949-7568, and let’s take a look.