Rosacea—the common skin disease which causes redness on facial areas—can lead to embarrassment and loss of self-confidence for sufferers. This redness or flushing can flare up on the cheeks, nose, or forehead. In some cases, rosacea develops on the neck and chest, too.
Rosacea is a chronic condition which can be treated, but cannot be cured. If you think you have rosacea, you should see your dermatologist so treatment can begin. If untreated, in very rare cases rosacea can lead to a thickening of facial skin or the development of a bulbous red nose. Fortunately, most cases respond well to treatments.
Some people are unaware they have rosacea, instead blaming acne, stress, or sun damage for their facial flushing and redness. Here are some of the indications your facial redness is caused by rosacea.
You blush easily: Rosacea triggers
If you blush or flush easily, or believe that you are particularly susceptible to sun damage, you may in fact have rosacea. Rosacea patients are unable to decrease the facial inflammation caused by sun damage.
Rosacea can also be triggered by stress, embarrassment, anxiety, and other emotional factors. Many people experience flare ups in their rosacea around the holidays, especially Christmas. External triggers include exercise, spicy food, and even changes in the weather. Keeping a diary of your triggers will help you identify and avoid them.
The condition is also triggered by drinking alcohol, so if your skin flushes after a drink you should see your dermatologist. It is not caused by excessive drinking, however.
You have “adult acne”
Rosacea is sometimes referred to as adult acne. Rosacea consists of small red bumps under the skin, and leaves the skin redder than acne alone. Rosacea leaves the skin bumpy, and can make skin feel coarser.
You have irritated eyes
Rosacea leaves the eyes feeling dry, irritated, and often red. If you have these symptoms as well as facial redness, you may have rosacea. Irritated eyes can be treated with prescription eye drops.
Your age is between 30 and 50
Rosacea usually develops later in life, in people aged 30 to 50. Women entering menopause are particularly susceptible. If your skin changes around this time, visit your dermatologist.
Your ethnic background is Caucasian
Rosacea is most common in light-skinned people, especially those from Britain or Ireland.
There is a history of rosacea in your family
While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, the condition does run in families.
Your redness persists
Rosacea, unlike acne, is not a disease you grow out of. If redness and flushing persist, visit your dermatologist. The pattern of the redness makes rosacea easy to diagnose, and then your treatment can begin.
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