In Honor of Rosacea Awareness Month
In an effort to educate the public on the impact of this chronic skin disorder, the National Rosacea Society (NRS) has deemed the month of April Rosacea Awareness Month. As estimated by the NRS, over 16 million Americans to have rosacea, and that most do not know it. In fact, a Gallup survey found that 78% of Americans have no knowledge of the condition. Despite this alarming number, the exact cause of the skin disorder is still unknown. However, medical research continues to unveil possibilities, such as underlying, sometimes serious, health concerns, genetics, or lifestyle choices. While there is currently no cure for the disease, there are ways to lessen and even reverse its signs and symptoms.
Is Rosacea that Big of a Deal?
It is extremely important that individuals showing any signs (even the slightest) seek diagnoses from a professional immediately in order to identify the subtype(s) of rosacea are present. This will help determine the right skincare routine for treatment and control. If left untreated, rosacea worsens over time, and in some cases will transform into a more severe subtype than originally seen, leading to facial disfigurement or disrupted vision. In honor of Rosacea Awareness Month, let’s take a moment to educate ourselves on the condition, so we can better educate others.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by persistent redness that typically affects skin on the face, but can also be seen on the neck, chest, scalp or ears. For many, visible signs of rosacea begin appearing any time after 30 years of age, coming and going, usually in the form of redness. It may look a lot like acne in some cases, but it is completely different and should not be treated with acne products. While at first, symptoms seem to come and go, redness becomes more frequent, ruddier, and blood vessels may appear as time goes on. Observing the pattern of the inflammation and where it appears on the skin will determine which type or types of rosacea someone has.
4 Types of Rosacea
Subtype #1 Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea
- Flushing, persistent redness and may include visible blood vessels
- May have a history of flushing episodes lasting approximately 10 min.
- Skin may also sting when flushing occurs
- Often, the skin may feel rough or lightly textured in certain areas, indicating that the skin is sensitive and further irritated by either harsh climates or skin products
Subtype #2 Papulopustular Rosacea
- Persistent redness with bumps and pimples
- Inflammation around the pores
- Skin may appear red, swollen and sebaceous
Subtype #3 Phymatous Rosacea
- Skin is thick and sebaceous
- Enlarged nose and pores, as a result of skin thickening
- Typically seen in men with a history of teenage acne
Subtype #4 Ocular Rosacea
- Inflammation of oil glands along the eyelashes
- Eyes experience dryness, tearing and burning and may appear swollen
- Risk of potential vision loss due to corneal damage
10 Most Common Rosacea Triggers
The National Rosacea Society compiled a list of the most common triggers for those with rosacea, the first being the most common trigger affecting the greatest percentage of those with rosacea:
#1 – Sun Exposure
#2 – Emotional Stress
#3 – Hot Weather
#4 – Wind
#5 – Heavy Exercise
#6 – Alcohol Consumption
#7 – Hot Baths
#8 – Cold Weather
#9 – Spicy Foods
#10 – Humidity