III. The Rosacea Enigma

Know the trigger factors and how to reduce symptoms

Rosacea tends to run a much milder course in women, however, with men developing the more disfiguring aspects such as rhinophyma (the red bulbous nose) and disfiguring, difficult to treat acne rosacea. The condition can arise suddenly after an environmental or chemical impact in one prone to having rosacea or slowly, developing over years and never becoming fulminant. The one thing that is common to all cases of Rosacea are that solar irradiation makes it flare and worsens its clinical course and prognosis.

Other environmental factors such as heat, humidity, cold, and dryness have been cited as possible irritating factors as well. The skin may be exquisitely sensitive to fragrance, detergents, emollients and many skincare product ingredients. Drinking hot liquids, eating spicy foods and development of emotional reactions will also stimulate the flushing response, as will alcoholic beverages. The best treatment is to abstain from the initiating factors, which exacerbate the condition.

There is no known cause for Rosacea, although there seems to be a problem with abnormal blood vessel dilation and constriction in the arteries of the face. Rosacea is a disease of the central aspect of the face, localized to the nose, forehead, cheeks, chin and glabella (the area between the eyebrows). A bright red central face, capillary prominence and acneiform eruptions mark full-blown rosacea. Acne rosacea differs somewhat from the pustular comedomes of adolescent acne. Many times there are inflammatory eruptions without sebaceous material, although there can be full-blown sebaceous cysts, which will require incision and drainage. Rhinophyma (Greek for "bulbous nose) results from excessive sebaceous activity of the nose with enlarged, scarred sebaceous glands.

In-clinic professional treatments and a good home-care regimen can make a world of difference. Our office carries many products that can address rosacea.

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