What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting more than 2 million Canadian adults. It most commonly affects people between the ages of 30-50.  Both men and women can be affected however, more cases are reported in women, and more severe cases are reported in men. It tends to affect people with fair skin of northern and eastern European descent however it can develop in a person of any skin type.

What does it look like?

It’s characterized by redness affecting the chin, nose, cheeks and central forehead. In addition to the redness, dilated blood vessels become visible. Sometimes bumps and pimples form. Up to half of rosacea sufferers describe eye involvement (a gritty sensation in the eyes). A rare subtype of rosacea can lead to thick, swollen and bumpy skin on the nose called rhinophyma. Often patients with rosacea complain of very sensitive skin that burns and stings.

What are the treatment options?

Rosacea is something that Dermatologists treat every day and while there is no known cure, there are excellent tools to help manage this condition.  The goals of treatment include:  to create healthy skin that is not sensitive, stop any blemishes from forming and improve the overall appearance by decreasing redness and broken blood vessels.

Several lifestyle factors can cause rosacea to flare up. Some common triggers include: hot and cold weather extremes, UV exposure, alcohol, hot or spicy foods and drinks. It’s important to try and identify if you have any of these triggers and avoid them.

To improve the pimples and bumps, your Dermatologist may prescribe topical creams, oral antibiotics or oral isotretinoin.

To improve the redness and broken blood vessels, light based devices such as Intense Pulsed Lights (IPL) are commonly recommended. These treatments are very successful at decreasing the redness, removing broken blood vessels and strengthening the skin by making more collagen. The results are excellent leaving you with a more even skin tone. Multiple treatments are needed to reach the best results.

An essential part of treatment for rosacea is skin care to improve the skin barrier, decrease sensitivity and protect the skin. Your Dermatologist can recommend a skin care regimen to help you feel great about your skin.