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April is Rosacea Awareness Month! Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to try and educate you (the public) on this common yet treatable skin condition. It is now estimated that Rosacea affects more than 16 million Americans.
Rosacea, sometimes referred to as adult acne, typically begins any time after age 30 as a redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Over time, visible blood vessels can appear. If left untreated, one may develop bumps and pimples, eye irritation and in severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy. Although Rosacea can affect anyone, people with fair skin who tend to flush easily are at the greatest risk. Rosacea is more frequently diagnosed in women, but more severe symptoms tend to be seen in men, perhaps because they tend to wait longer to seek treatment.
Although the exact cause of Rosacea is unknown, various theories about the disorder’s origin have evolved over the years. The range of possible causes has included defects in the immune system, nervous system and facial blood vessels, and the presence of microbes and Demodex mites. Newer medications including ivermectin (Soolantra) and brimonidine (Mirvaso) work by targeting some of these defects. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a susceptibility to developing the disorder may be inherited, and genetic studies are now under way.
While there is no cure, medical therapy is available to control its symptoms. There are certain cleansers, creams, pills and lasers procedures that can be very helpful. In addition to medical therapy, it is very important to avoid the common triggers. Among the most common triggers are sun exposure, stress, alcohol consumption, hot weather and heavy exercise. Certain skin care products, medications and medical conditions can also worsen Rosacea. A detailed list can be found on the National Rosacea Society’s website which is rosacea.org, which has a lot of useful information and pictures of the “faces of Rosacea”. A rosacea diary can also be obtained on this website, which is a booklet containing diary pages to help patients identify and avoid their personal Rosacea triggers
I hope I have provided some education on this disease so that more people who may have Rosacea seek medical help before it gets worse, and so those whose lives are affected can find greater public acceptance and understanding. If you need help with your Rosacea or any of your skin care needs, feel free to see me at Advanced Dermatology, P.C. in East Setauket, Commack or West Islip.
Article written by Robert Levine, DO
Physician at Advanced Dermatology, PC
To learn more about Dr. Levine and to see which offices he attends, please click here.
What can you do?
If you think you may have Rosacea, seeking medical attention is the surest way of finding a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Click here to book an appointment with one of our board certified dermatologists in New York or New Jersey.
If you have Rosacea, share your story and let others know how you deal with this fairly common skin condition. Have you found important information or studies? Share them with your family and friends! A dermatologist you trust to treat your condition? Recommend them!