What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic condition that affects facial skin, causing redness, inflammation and visible blood vessels.
Although the exact cause of rosacea is still unknown, several factors may be at its origin, namely blood vessel dysfunction, inflammatory reactions, genetic factors, skin changes, among others.
There are 4 distinct phases of rosacea: 1) pre-rosacea; 2) vascular; 3) inflammatory; 4) late.
The pre-rosacea phase can be triggered by sun exposure, emotional stress, cold or hot weather, alcohol, spicy foods, wind, exercise, cosmetics, baths or hot drinks.
In the vascular phase, patients develop facial erythema and edema, possibly as a result of persistent vasomotor instability.
In the inflammatory phase, sterile papules or pustules appear, commonly known as “adult acne”.
Finally, the late phase is characterized by thick skin hyperplasia of the cheeks and nose (rhinophyma), caused by tissue inflammation, collagen deposition and hyperplasia of the sebaceous glands.
The phases of rosacea are usually sequential and tend to worsen over time. However, some patients do not progress to the more severe phases of rosacea, remaining in the pre-rosacea or vascular phase.
There is no cure for rosacea, but there are treatments to alleviate the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of rosacea?
Typical symptoms of rosacea include redness, dilated vessels, burning sensation, itching, swelling and, sometimes, pustules. In more severe cases, the skin may become thick and uneven, and the eyes may also be affected, causing symptoms such as dryness and eye irritation (ocular rosacea).
Rosacea can also cause rhinophyma, when the skin lining the nose becomes thick and deforms the nose, which becomes bulbous. This condition is more common in men.
Where can rosacea appear?
Rosacea on the face
Generally, rosacea starts in the center of the face, affecting the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.
Rosacea on the nose
Rosacea that affects the nose is known as “rhinophyma rosacea” and can cause thickening and deformation of the nose.
What treatments for rosacea are there?
Rosacea treatment depends on the stage it is in and the symptoms. Intense Pulsed Light (or IPL) treatment is one of the most effective treatments for controlling moderate rosacea symptoms on the face. However, the use of dermatological drugs may be recommended by the dermatologist (in an alternative or complementary way).
There will always be a specialized dermatological assessment, so that we can indicate the most appropriate solution for your specific case.
Schedule a consultation to clarify all your doubts.
We are on Av. da Boavista, in Porto!