Rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition that frequently presents as facial redness and possibly pimples. Less commonly, it can lead to skin thickening and swelling, particularly at the nose. At the Canadian Dermatology Centre in Toronto, we have rosacea experts in board-certified dermatologists to provide you comprehensive treatment options to combat rosacea.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that causes redness in the face. This condition can occur in anyone but it commonly affects middle-aged women between the ages of 30 and 60 years, and with fair skin. Rosacea is sometimes mistaken for acne, an allergic reaction or other skin problems. The signs and symptoms of rosacea may be transient, where it flares up for a period of weeks to months and then diminish for a while, and it may be recurrent or persistent.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Rosacea results in red spots of papules and sometimes pustules. They are dome-shaped in appearance and unlike in acne, there are no blackheads, whiteheads or nodules. Some of the characteristics are:
- Facial redness – persistent redness in the central part of the face
- Small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks often swell and become visible
- Eye problems – about 50% of patients who have rosacea also experience eye dryness, irritation and swollen, reddened eyelids
What are the risk factors for rosacea?
Anyone can develop rosacea. But you may be more likely to develop it if you:
- Are a woman
- Have fair skin, particularly if it has been damaged by the sun
- Are over the age of 30
- Have a family history of rosacea
What are my treatment options for Rosacea?
Rosacea does not resolve on its own, and untreated rosacea can worsen over time. Our board-certified dermatologists can prescribe various treatments and recommend appropriate skincare products and cosmetics. These may improve symptoms within a few weeks.
- Azelaic acid
- Brimonidine tartrate
- Tretinoin cream
- Sodium sulfacetamide and sulphur
If your rosacea does not respond to other types of therapy, then the dermatologist may opt for laser therapy. Rosacea treatmetn with laser involves using light energy to treat visible red blood vessels and redness in rosacea.
Other cosmetic surgery
In the case of rhinophyma, a subtype of rosacea that causes the nose to become enlarged and bulbous, laser resurfacing, dermabrasion or cosmetic surgery may be used to reduce the tissue overgrowth associated with rhinophyma.