What is rosacea and where to find effective treatment in Plano?
If your complexion is marred by redness, visible blood vessels, or pimples, you could have rosacea. You certainly are not alone – the condition affects the lives of an estimated 415 million people worldwide. Yet because there are many misunderstandings about what rosacea is, it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Dr. Daniel Achtman and Dr. Carmine McConnell of DSA Dermatology in Plano share their experienced insight.
Dermatologists in Plano explain what rosacea is
Rosacea is a chronic but treatable skin condition that tends to flare up, then go into remission. It primarily presents on the central portion of the face – the center of the forehead and chin, and across the cheeks and nose.
Like many dermatological conditions, rosacea is initially identified through symptoms:
- Flushing or blushing – facial redness accompanied by a sense of warmth
- Pimples – Small bumps that are red and solid or pus-filled
- Facial veins – Telangiectasia are visible
- Diffuse redness – Persistent ruddiness of the complexion
- Plaques – Raised patched of reddened skin
- Uncomfortable sensations – Skin on the face may burn, sting, itch, or feel tight
- Changes in skin texture – Despite oiliness, the skin may be dry, rough, or scaly
- Edema – Facial swelling
- Eye irritation – Itching, watering, or bloodshot eyes; red or swollen eyelids; styes
Anyone, male or female, may develop rosacea at any stage of life. However, it is most common after age 30 in individuals with fair skin tone. Women are more prone to get rosacea, but the condition is often more severe for men.
Medical researchers are working hard to determine the cause of rosacea. Currently, there appears to be a genetic factor – it runs in families, especially in those of eastern or northern European descent. Redness is the body’s inflammatory reaction to an immune system/neurovascular disorder, possibly linked to mast cells which serve as the body’s interface between the nervous and vascular systems. There is also a potential link to Demodex folliculorum, a microscopic mite that lives on human skin.
What we do know is that rosacea:
- Can have a detrimental effect on the patient’s emotional wellbeing. In surveys conducted by the National Rosacea Society (NRS), 90 percent of respondents said the condition lowered self-esteem, and 88 percent said it had a negative impact on professional interactions.
- Is potentially serious. Ocular rosacea can result in vision impairment and corneal damage. Phymatous rosacea causes the skin on and around the nose to get thick and bumpy, with unusually large pores. Without treatment, significant deformity can develop.
- Outbreaks can be treated effectively, and the condition can be managed long-term. In the NRS surveys, 70 percent of patients reported that medical treatment improved their skin and emotional state.
- Requires accurate diagnosis for effective treatment outcome. The list of symptoms shown above can also be characteristics of many other diseases. For example, rosacea is often misdiagnosed as “adult acne.” An inappropriate course of treatment wastes money, delays improvement in skin, and may aggravate rosacea.
Once a dermatologist has confirmed a diagnosis of rosacea, the first treatment step is identifying triggers – actions, events, or substances that make symptoms flare-up. Often rosacea symptoms are triggered by sun exposure, wind, or hot or cold weather. Spicy food, alcohol, and hot beverages bring it on for some people. Vigorous exercise, hot baths or showers, fragranced skincare products, certain medications, and emotional stress/anxiety can also be triggers.
The doctor may suggest keeping a journal to note what you ate or did just before a flareup. Then, simple lifestyle adjustments may help to reduce the frequency of rosacea problems.
At DSA Dermatology, medical treatment is tailored to the individual patient. Though rosacea is not a bacterial infection, it sometimes responds to the anti-inflammatory properties of oral or topical antibiotics. Drugs containing sulfur or azelaic acid may be prescribed with or as an alternative to antibiotics. Cardiovascular medication can help to control severe flushing associated with rosacea. Eye irritation is treated with medicated drops and a special daily cleansing routine. Skin thickening may be corrected with traditional or laser surgery.
Laser therapy is very effective in eliminating visible blood vessels and fading diffuse redness. Dr. Achtman and Dr. McConnell use an Nd:YAG vascular lasers to target red pigments in the blood. IPL or intense pulsed light, similar to laser therapy, can also be beneficial in lightening the redness and restoring refined skin texture.
Living with rosacea is easier with the right support team. Get an accurate diagnosis, compassion, and a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle at DSA Dermatology in Plano, TX. Call (972) 362-9567 for a consultation with Dr. Achtman or Dr. McConnell.