Rosacea Awareness: What is Rosacea? What Does it Look Like?
According to the National Rosacea Society, rosacea is a progressive acne-like condition that starts from the face and over time, may spread to other parts of the body including the chest and neck. The condition causes painful pimple-like bumps to appear on various parts of your face including the ears, eyes, nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin.
In addition to being painful, the condition may also cause facial swelling. When left untreated, it may cause the capillaries (small blood vessels) on your face to dilate and become visible on the skin. Furthermore, it may cause your skin to become hard and thick, causing your nose to appear enlarged.
Currently, this condition affects more than 15 million people in the US alone and about 45 million people worldwide. The risk factors for it include age, hereditary factors, gender, and race. With that in mind, here is a detailed look at this potentially life-disruptive skin condition.
The Different Types of Rosacea
As mentioned above, rosacea is a progressive skin condition, meaning its symptoms tend to get progressively worse over time. In essence, rosacea progresses in four distinct stages, with the signs and symptoms of the disease varying at each stage. Because of this, researchers have classified rosacea into four subcategories. These subcategories include:
Erythematotelangiectatic or Vascular
Erythematotelangiectatic or vascular rosacea is essentially early-stage rosacea (pre- rosacea), meaning it is a mild condition. The signs and symptoms of erythematotelangiectatic rosacea include chronic skin redness, flushing of the skin and in some cases, telangiectasia (visible capillaries). The treatment options for this type of rosacea include laser treatment and oral or topical rosacea medications, such as minocycline and doxycycline. However, it is important to note that these treatment options do not completely cure the disease. In other words, they only relieve the symptoms of the disease.
Inflammatory Rosacea or Papulopustular
This is the second stage of the disease. At this stage, pustules and papules will appear on your face, causing you to experience persistent facial redness and flushing. To relieve the symptoms, use topical gels such as metronidazole.
At the third sage (phymatous rosacea), the symptoms include all the symptoms for stages one and two, as well as the growth of new skin tissue on the affected areas, causing your skin to become hard and thick. Moreover, the excess skin tissue may cause your nose to grow bigger and become bulbous, a condition called rhinophyma. To get rid of the excess skin tissue, you would need to undergo surgery or laser treatment.
This is the fourth and final stage of the disease and as the name implies, it primarily affects the eyes. The signs and symptoms associated with this type of rosacea include a burning sensation of the eyes, blurred vision, recurrent styes, swollen eyelids, tearing and dry eye. It is worth noting that, when left untreated, ocular rosacea can easily damage the cornea, eventually causing blindness. Physicians usually use low-dose antibiotics to manage this condition.
At this point, it is important to note that you can develop all the aforementioned types of rosacea either in sequence or at once. In fact, it is quite common for patients to develop multiple types of rosacea at once. Additionally, it is worth noting that, although rosacea is a progressive condition, it does not always progress from one stage to another. However, the symptoms tend to get progressively worse over time. For this reason, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even for early-stage rosacea.
While rosacea can affect virtually anyone, certain people are more susceptible to the disease. According to surveys by the National Rosacea Society, the risk factors for rosacea include:
- Age – A survey by the National Rosacea Society found that rosacea mainly affects people aged 30 years or older. Specifically, the survey revealed that people between the ages of 30 and 50 account for nearly 45% of all new rosacea infections, people above the age of 50 account for nearly 40% of all new infections and people under the age of 30 account for only 17% of new infections.
- Fair skin – the aforementioned survey also found that people with fair skin account for more than 70% of all rosacea infections.
- Blushing and flushing – People who tend to blush and flush easily are nearly six times as likely to develop rosacea compared to people who do not blush or flush easily.
- Hereditary factors – People with a family history of rosacea are more likely to develop the disease.
- Ancestry – Although rosacea affects people of all racial backgrounds and nationalities, Americans of Eastern European, Scandinavian, Scottish, Irish and English ancestry are particularly prone to the condition.
- Gender – The disease is more common in women than in men.
Oral and Topical Therapies
Currently, there is no cure for this long-term skin condition. However, oral and topical therapies can help manage the condition and ease the symptoms of the disease. Long-term use of topical therapy is particularly important to maintain remission. In certain cases, dermatologists use both invasive and non-invasive surgical techniques to manage the condition. This includes laser skin treatments that we offer at our office.
You can use a gentle-skin care routine to manage the condition. In essence, you should clean your face with a non-abrasive cleanser and lukewarm water. After cleaning your face, blot it dry with a soft cotton towel instead of rubbing it with a rough washcloth. At the same time, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 when outdoors in the sun.
Things that increase blood flow to the surface of your face can actually aggravate the condition. For this reason, you should identify and avoid triggers.
Rosacea is a long-term skin condition that mainly affects people ages 30 and older. The signs and symptoms of the disease include pimples that appear on the face, neck, and chest. Researchers do not yet know what causes this condition. As a result, there is no current cure for the condition. The available treatment options, including oral, topical and surgical therapies, only manage the symptoms of the disease. If you suspect you have rosacea, contact us for a consultation today.
Identifying 21 Common Red Spots on Skin
There are many skin conditions that cause red spots on the skin. It can be easy to confuse conditions at first glance, so we would like to take a closer look. Here are 21 conditions that cause common red spots on the skin and how to treat them.
1. Acne Bumps
Causes: Characterized by pimples, oily skin, scarring and hyperpigmentation, whiteheads, and blackheads. Acne (also known as acne vulgaris) occurs when oil, dead skin cells, and hair follicles are clogged within the skin.
Treatments: Acne treatments can vary from one person to the next depending on the severity of the condition. However, treatments are usually a combination of OTC and prescribed topical medication and possible dietary changes (such as avoiding sugary and oily foods and consuming more water, fruits, and vegetables).
Causes: Rosacea is a common condition that causes redness of the skin. It is similar in symptoms and signs to other conditions like acne and eczema. Doctors will perform tests to rule out those other conditions, and pay special attention to the patient’s historical skin patterns.
Treatments: The patient will need to use a combination of skincare and prescription medication to treat rosacea. One of our certified dermatologists will have to diagnose the condition and prescribe treatment.
3. Pityriasis Rosea
Causes: Pityriasis Rosea usually occurs in people between 10 and 35. Researchers suspect that is stems from a virus, and not by a bacteria, fungus, or allergic reaction.
Treatments: Treatments include using skin lotions and lubricants to soothe the itch. In severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe corticosteroids.
4. Tinea Versicolor
Causes: Tinea Versicolor is a fungal infection caused by a type of yeast that lives in the skin. Oily skin, excessive sweating, having a weak immune system and living in hot climates can all result in this condition.
Treatments: Simply observing the rash or using an ultraviolet light test can diagnose the condition. A combination of topical lotions, creams, shampoos, as well as pilled-medication, can be used to treat this condition.
5. Hair follicle infections (Folliculitis)
Causes: Folliculitis can appear on any part of the skin having hair and occurs whenever hair follicles are inflamed because of yeast, other fungi or bacteria. Shaving, wearing clothing that irritates the skin, sweating, oils, and makeup can all result in these small red spots on the body. Commonly affected areas include legs, arms, buttocks, back and the beard area of the face.
Treatments: Mild forms of the condition can heal on its’ own over a two-week period during which it can be soothed with a warm compress. However, more severe forms of Folliculitis can be treated with medicated shampoos and/or prescribed antibiotics.
Causes: Petechiae can appear on account of brown, purple or red spots on the legs, arms, stomach, buttocks or on the inside of eyelids and the mouth. This happens when capillaries (tiny blood vessels) break and the blood leaks into the skin. Infections of various kinds and reactions to medication are two common causes of red Petechiae blood spots on the skin.
Treatments: Depending on the nature of the condition, antibiotics, corticosteroids, immune suppressants and even chemotherapy in the instance where cancers like Lymphoma are among the causes.
Causes: Immune system over-activity causes Psoriasis. This condition includes inflammation, flaking, and thick silvery/white or red patches of the skin.
Treatments: Treatment options include a combination of topical steroids (creams), light therapy, oral medication, occlusion, and biologics.
Causes: Arguably one of the most common groups of skin conditions, the most common form of eczema is atopic eczema and atopic dermatitis. Eczema seems to be hereditary and linked to developing various allergies, although one cause has not been pinpointed for the condition.
Treatments: Treatment options include a combination of topical treatments (like creams and gels) and dietary or other lifestyle changes.
Causes: Also known as Urticaria, Hives appear as pale red bumps or plaques that are swollen and often appear suddenly as an allergic reaction to an irritant. Chronic cases can result from conditions like cancer or hepatitis infection, as well as from the use of certain medications.
Treatments: Hives will be diagnosed with an allergy test, and a doctor will usually prescribe Antihistamines to help treat the symptoms. Wearing loose-fitting clothing and applying cool compress can all help.
Causes: Skin rashes are one of the many symptoms of Lupus. Lupus itself is not a direct skin disorder but an auto-immune condition that can damage vital organs in severe cases.
Treatments: Due to the many symptoms of Lupus, doctors need to use a combination of treatments. As far as the skin rash goes, however, the patient can use anti-inflammatory medications and topical creams to treat it.
11. Poison Ivy
Causes: An allergic reaction to direct contact with the Poison Ivy plant causes a poison ivy rash.
Treatments: Most cases of Poison Ivy can be treated at home using an over-the-counter antihistamine, hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, a cool wet compress pack, or frequent warm oatmeal baths. If you have symptoms like shortness of breath – or the rash stays beyond a few days – we advise that you visit an emergency room.
Causes: Shingles is a viral infection that occurs when the chickenpox virus appears for the second time in the body. It can appear on any part of the body as a painful rash that oozes and eventually crusts.
Treatments: Treatments for shingles include topical creams that relieve inflammation, as well as using baking soda and cornstarch to dry the sores. Burow’s solution and tap water are great options for cleaning crusted sore and reducing oozing and inflammation.
Causes: Lymphoma is a lymphatic system cancer where white blood cells, known as lymphocytes, fight the disease in the body. Lymphoma can appear in different areas of the body, including the skin. In Lymphomas of the skin, a common symptom is a rash on the skin.
Treatments: Like most cancers, doctors can use chemotherapy and various oral medications to treat Lymphoma.
14. Cherry Angiomas
Causes: Cherry Angiomas are a skin growth resulting from red moles or spots that can appear in most areas of your body, usually in people aged 30 years and older. Small blood vessels contribute to the red coloration, but doctors do not know the exact cause. Doctors link this condition to chemical exposure, climate, certain kinds of medical conditions, and even pregnancy.
Treatments: Most cases of Cherry Angioma do not need to be treated (unless it is an indication of something more serious like cancer). However, it can be removed for cosmetic reasons through laser surgery, electrocauterization, and cryosurgery.
15. Basal-Cell Carcinoma
Causes: Basal-cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. Causes include exposure to ultraviolet light, radiation therapy, long-term exposure to arsenic, and a weak immune system.
Treatments: If the cancer is small and localized, a doctor is able to remove it surgically with a simple excision or Mohs Surgery (a specialized microscopy procedure developed for skin cancer). In rarer cases, treatments may be cryotherapy (cold application), topical chemotherapy, laser surgery, or the prescription medication, Imiquimod.
16. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Causes: Squamous cell carcinoma is the second-most common type of skin cancer. The cause is usually too much sun exposure. is usually the cause.
Treatments: Squamous cell carcinoma is also commonly removed with excision or Mohs surgery. Other treatments include topical medications and various radiotherapies.
Causes: Genetics and DNA damage from too much exposure to the sun often causes Melanoma.
Treatments: Your doctor will use a biopsy to properly diagnose melanoma. A doctor will usually use surgical removal for this type of skin cancer as well. However, treatment may be more extensive depending on the number of cancerous moles present. Other treatments may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy.
18. Mosquito and Insect Bites
Causes: Some rashes result from insect bites including those from mosquitoes, spiders, ants, fleas, flies, and wasps. Following the insect bite is an allergic reaction in the form of a swollen, itchy bump.
Treatments: In most cases, rashes resulting from a mild allergic reaction to insect bites can go away on its’ own. However, you may need to take a trip to the emergency room or your general practitioner in the case of a more severe reaction. A doctor will prescribe a topical cream in these cases.
Causes: Cysts can occur in several parts of the body. Skin cysts (also known as sebaceous (epidermal) cysts) are sacs (bump or lump) under the skin which are full of sebum (a fluid that is a greasy and cheese-like material). One cause of cysts is a plugged hair follicle duct. These cysts can also result from an infected injury or hormone stimulation.
Treatments: Treatments for cysts include cleaning the affected area with antibacterial soap, applying a warm washcloth for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day (up to four) to increase blood circulation and speed healing. Be sure to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if there is no change within a week, or if the cysts begin to pus.
20. Port Wine Stains/Birthmarks
Causes: Port Wine Stains or birthmarks are present at birth and are usually red or brown in their appearance.
Treatments: A specialist may use a variety of laser treatments to remove Port Wine Stains. The type of laser treatment used is dependent on the type of Port Wine Stain and the anatomical location. A doctor may suggest a series of treatments in order to obtain the best results. It is best to treat Port Wine Stains early in life. This is because they get thicker and darker over time and can lead to bleeding as a person ages.
Causes: Warts, wherever they appear, are an infection resulting from the Human Papillomavirus family.
Treatments: Removing warts is not always necessary. In the case of treating warts, chemical peels, some laser therapies, freezing or topical creams are great. Your doctor will discuss treatment options that will help remove warts without creating scar tissue. Salicylic acid can help with home treatments.
If you are experiencing any of these red spots on your skin or have other skin concerns, contact us to schedule an appointment.Lear More
Tips For Rosacea During Spring
Spring has sprung and so has flare-ups from rosacea. Many patients have difficulty with this common skin disease when the seasons change, but the changes from winter to spring seem to be the worst.
Springtime is the season where rosacea is most aggravated by the increased sun, wind exposure, temperature change, and outdoor activity. It’s essential for rosacea patients to know what triggers their condition, learn how to avoid the triggers and follow a rigorous skin care regimen when flare-ups occur. Here are some skin tips to keep your rosacea under control as the weather warms.
1. Medical Therapy
Sticking with medications and treatments recommended by your dermatologist. Oral antibiotics, as well as those applied to the skin, along with other prescribed topical treatments, can go a long way towards keeping a flare-up in check. Considering undergoing laser and other light treatments during this time.
2. Proper Sun Protection
If your rosacea is exacerbated by sun exposure, make sure you wear a wide-brimmed hat whenever you are outside. Soaking up those rays after a long winter is tempting. Make sure that you always wear sunscreen that is rated SPF 30 or higher that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Try a pediatric formulation or one for sensitive skin if sunscreen tends to irritate your skin.
3. Shield Yourself from Wind
Spring brings a lot of windy days. Whenever possible, trying to shield your skin as heavy winds trigger outbreaks in more than half of patients.
4. Moderate Exercise
It’s also tempting to go full out with exertion after a cold winter, but heavy exertion often triggers flare-ups. Try low-intensity exercise at more frequent intervals. When not exercising, avoid situations with high heat and/or humidity.
5. Lifestyle Considerations
Take care of allergies and colds as these conditions can cause flare-ups along with other conditions. Seek medical attention when appropriate. Limit stress and anxiety when possible and if certain foods tend to trigger flare-ups, also limit their intake when other conditions are present.Lear More