Red cheeks might not always be a result of blushing from somebody’s flattering comments. Persistent redness on your face might hamper the way you look, often making you believe that the skin condition that you have is far from normal.
Even though these red patches might look scary, yet, it is not dangerous at all. However, the appearance of your skin might become a concern sooner or later, which is why, it is essential to understand what it is and how to manage it.
Rosacea: The Condition Behind Your Overly Rosy Cheeks
If your central part of your face becomes pink and eventually red, it might be more than your make-up brush at play! If the redness persists and continues to spread to the other parts of your face like nose, forehead and chin, the suspect is most likely to be a skin condition called Rosacea.
It is caused due to vascular hyper-reactivity, which occurs due to multiple factors. The exact cause of vascular hyper-reactivity is not known. The major trigger is sun damage to skin. Rosacea commonly occurs first as flushing, which is due to dilatation of the blood vessels in your face.
This is followed by redness due to inflammation which leads to fluid accumulation in cells causing swelling in that area and permanent dilation of blood vessels. When these episodes become repeated, the inflammation gets aggravated, leading to small red bumps on your skin that resemble acne. However Rosacea and acne are two different skin conditions.
Unfortunately, Rosacea can be very difficult to treat, but there are treatments that help improve the appearance of our skin. It has chronic course and causes your skin to thicken up because of the constant inflammation and redness, leaving your skin bumpy and uncomfortable.
That’s one of the biggest reasons why you should never hesitate to seek help from an experienced dermatologist, so that your skin problem does not escalate into something bigger.
How Do You Know That You Have Rosacea?
Now, there are many skin conditions that resemble rosacea, particularly acne. When it comes to your skin, the smallest of aberrations could cause you to shift to the panic mode, which is why, it might become a little difficult for you to ascertain the problem that you might be having. What would make it all the more confusing are the symptoms which are similar for many other skin problems.
However, here are some questions that might help you gain some clarity.
- Is the central part (nose, cheeks, chin, eye) of your face becoming red?
- How long has this redness lasted for? Check if it is persistent.
- Observe your nose. Is it slightly larger than it usually is? Do you observe any swelling?
- What about your eyes? Are you experiencing any redness, dryness or irritation in them? More the 50% of rosacea cases have this.
- Do you have swollen red bumps like acne?
If you have said ‘yes’ too more than three of these questions, then in all likelihood, you have rosacea. Now, instead of worrying about the different ways in which this can impact your life, it’s best you visit a dermatologist who can verify your symptoms and suggest you a way to manage the problem.
What’s Causing Rosacea Outbreaks On Your Body
While diagnosis of the problem is a big step, identifying the triggers is a bigger challenge. The reason is: treatments will only be effective if the triggers are controlled. To control them, you will need to be aware of what’s causing the rosacea outbreaks on your face. To help you with it, here are a few pointers.
- Vascular hyperreactivity due to augmented immune response
- Your skin colour: It is more common in fair skin type people.
- Dilated blood vessels: If you have dilated blood vessels in your face, even a little bit of blushing can cause them to get enlarged, thereby causing rosacea.
- Demodex folliculorum: Before you open a new tab to google it out, here’s help at hand already! These are little mites that live in your skin and aren’t harmful. But then, too many of them could cause problems, particularly of the rosacea variety. Though the role of the mite in rosacea is doubtful some studies has shown it as a exacerbating factor.
- Your genes: Sorry, but if somebody in your family tree has had rosacea, then, you might inherit it too.
So, now you know few causes rosacea. But, there are things that you might be doing to aggravate the situation. These could be little harmless things that you do in your daily life that could be triggering more outbreaks of the condition, or could be causing it to become worse. Wondering what they are?
- Drinking and smoking: If you already aren’t aware that drinking and smoking are both not good for your health, add rosacea to the list of diseases that these activities contribute towards.
- Caffeine: If you need your shot of caffeine to be active at work, you might want to reconsider your options because it’s bad for your skin, causing multiple problems including rosacea.
- Sunlight/Change in temperatures: Your environment can determine the quality of skin you have. Exposure to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures can cause your skin to react, triggering an outbreak of rosacea many times.
- Stress/Embarrassment: While blushing can lead to temporary pink/red cheeks, other emotions like anger, stress and even embarrassment can cause your blood vessels to bulge, leading to rosacea.
- Cosmetics – Cosmetics trigger rosacea. People with rosacea should use noncomedogenic, nonacnegenic,nonirritating and hypoallergeic cosmetics. A mild cleanser is always preferred.
- Spicy diet aggravates rosacea.
- Oral medications: There are several medicines that could spike your outbreaks of rosacea.
It’s important that you share as many details as possible with your doctor about these factors for him or her to be able to assess the situation and help you with an appropriate treatment plan.
Which Body Parts Can It Affect?
Rosacea is most often known to affect the central part of your face(cheeks, nose, forehead, chin and eye). However, in very severe cases, it could affect the skin on your ears and can spread to your scalp, too. If your scalp is itchy and burns, you should inspect it for redness. In case you have red bumps on your scalp too, then it’s best to take it seriously and inform your dermatologist about it, so that the problem can be caught early.
In case you are having red bumps on other parts of your body, it could be explained by diagnosis of other skin problems that could be similar to rosacea.
How Common Is Rosacea?
To put you at ease, rosacea is a very common skin condition, more common than you would have thought it is. One of the reasons why a large population lives with rosacea, making it very common, is the fact that it causes no apparent discomfort physically.
Many people choose to ignore it, or at least don’t take it seriously because of multiple factors, including their desire to avoid a doctor consultation. If you are one of them, then it’s best you treat this as a health condition that needs medical help, and improve psychosocial impact.
Did You Know That There Are Different Types Of Rosacea?
Now, rosacea has different varieties. Let’s try and understand what they are.
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: This is the most common type of rosacea, characterized by mild symptoms of flushing and erythema. There are bulged blood vessels that are visible from under the skin and mostly occur on central part of face.
- Papulopustular rosacea: This is the second stage of the condition, in which apart from the bulged blood vessels, you would also have red acne-like bumpy breakouts on your face. This is the stage where many of you would be confused as to whether it’s acne or rosacea.
- Phymatous rosacea: In this type or stage of the condition, thanks to persistent inflammation the skin is thickened, enlarged and has irregular bumpy appearance.
- Ocular rosacea: This type of rosacea also affects your eyes, causing redness, burning sensation, light sensitivity, foreign body sensation, swelling, dryness and even itching.
It’s therefore essential that you observe the condition of your skin and male that long-due visit to your dermatologist.
Rosacea and Motherhood
Even though there is very little evidence that suggests pregnancy as one of the triggers of rosacea, yet, the coincidence of the age of the onset of both pregnancy and rosacea continue to be debated. If at all there is a correlation, it could be because of hormonal changes or stress.
Now, if you have rosacea and are a little hesitant to visit your doctor weighing the safety issues, then here’s the deal: we will advice the treatments that are completely safe during pregnancy, and will not affect you or your unborn baby in any way. However, if there is even a little bit of doubt in your dermatologist’s mind, he or she will tell you very clearly.
Rosacea: Why Should You Consult A Dermatologist?
Living with a skin condition can be challenging considering how much it can impact your appearance. While some manage to outgrow that feeling, there are many whose work and social life take a hit because of it. In a study conducted by National Rosacea Society (NRS), one can clearly see what kind of impact the condition can have on people’s mindsets. The study reveals that close to 90% people’s confidence was hit because of rosacea, and around 40% of people with rosacea avoid social contacts. More than 80% of the people with rosacea have reported decline in their professional interactions as well, owing to lack of confidence.
The point is, the psychological impacts of rosacea are more than the physical ones and we, at Ambrosia, believe that if cosmetic treatments can help a person regain confidence, then there is no better deed than helping them achieve it. So, if you are suffering from rosacea, we are here to help you.
Your Treatment Options
While there are many over-the-counter creams and other medications that claim they will help you manage rosacea, in reality, they are all temporary and do not guarantee results. Home remedies might sound great too, but sadly, they aren’t effective either.
That’s why a experienced dermatologist will suggest more permanent options to manage the problem. the key to successful management of rosacea is patient education of the condition, avoidance of triggers, medical management,and procedures.
- Avoidance of the triggers mentioned
- Use of proper sun protection
- Medical management – Topical antimicrobials,topical retinoinds,topical immunosuppresants in combination with systemic antibiotics or systemic retinoids are prescribes. the choice of medicaation is decided based on the type of rosacea.
- Lasers: Lasers effectively help you manage the issue of rosacea. Pulsed dye lasers,intense pulsed light laser are often used.
- Chemical Peels: These are capable of reducing the redness and bringing the skin tone back to normal.
- Rhinophyma: it can be treated with surgical excision, lasers, dermaabrasion or radio frequency.
- Mesobotox: few recent reports showed Intradermal botulinum toxin injection to be effective and almost a safe therapy for patients with persistent redness .
All in all, you don’t have to live with rosacea. There are several treatments available and all you need to do is book an appointment with a reputed cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist who will be able to assess your condition and help you with adequate treatments.
About the doctor:
Dr. Sindhuri Reddy
Dr. Sindhuri Reddy specializes in clinical and cosmetic dermatology and dermatosurgery. Her continuous thrive to be updated in recent advances of skincare gives her a unique insight and approach to skincare. She has an MBBS and MD from NTR University of Health sciences and has done observership at Mayo clinic , USA . She has several academic publications to her credit . Her areas of special interest are acne scars, hair transplantations and lasers.