Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by skin redness and pimples and is unrelated to acne. According to some estimates more than 14 million people in the United States have rosacea. While the condition can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.
What Causes Rosacea?
The causes of rosacea are not fully known. Through studies, scientists have been able to identify potential risk factors for the condition, including:
- Heredity – Rosacea does run in families, which means genetics could play a role
- Fair Skin – People with fair skin and blue eyes tend to get rosacea more often
- Gender – Women are diagnosed with rosacea more often than men
There are other theories about what causes rosacea. Some scientists believe a vascular disorder could contribute to the condition, due to the flushing of the skin. Microscopic mites, known as demodex, may also increase chances of developing rosacea. While everyone has these mites on their skin, individuals with rosacea tend to have a higher number of them.
What are Rosacea Treatment Options?
There are a variety of rosacea treatment options that can be customized to a patient’s specific needs and symptoms.
Skin treatments for rosacea include:
- Skin emollients
- Topical medications
- Oral medications
- A combination of medications
Topical medications typically contain ingredients like azelaic acid or metronizadole. Oral antibiotics may be combined with the topical medications to help control a flareup. Certain oral antibiotics , even at low doses, are effective in reducing inflammation of rosacea. Once the condition is controlled, topical medication alone may be continued to maintain positive results.
Cosmetic treatment options for rosacea are:
- Light chemical peels
- Laser and Intensed Pulse Light Therapy
Chemicals peels, such as light glycolic or mandelic acid peels are helpful in treating rosacea. These peels usally do not have visible peeling, are well tolerated with little to no down time. Sun avoidance is recommended.
Laser and IPL treatment may be administered without anesthetic and there is minimal downtime afterward. Many patients see positive results after just one or two treatment sessions, although three sessions are generally recommended. This type of treatment is often used to reduce fine facial blood vessels that are often present in rosacea.