Common signs and symptoms of rosacea include:
Redness across the nose and cheeks that may spread to the forehead, chin and ears.
Skin that feels sore and is easily irritated.
Thin, reddish purple veins
Dry, itchy, irritated eyes
Gritty feeling in the eyes
Rarely, rosacea can thicken the skin on the nose, causing the nose to appear bulbous (rhinophyma). This occurs more often in men than in women.
Left untreated, rosacea may worsen over time and redness may become permanent. Rosacea signs and symptoms may flare up for a period of weeks to months and then diminish before flaring up again.
Although rosacea is incurable, treatment can often control the condition to help patients feel less self-conscious and improve their quality of life. It is important to consult a board certified dermatologist who can accurately diagnose the disease and provide a research-based treatment plan tailored to your individual symptoms.
Acne-like breakouts: Breakouts can often be treated with medication applied to the skin. Sometimes oral antibiotics may be needed as well, or your dermatologist may recommend a newer medication to treat the inflammation without antibiotic side effects.
Redness: Your dermatologists may prescribe medicine that is applied to the skin or laser surgery to reduce redness.
Small veins: Laser surgery or electrodessication (a procedure that uses small electric needles) can help diminish the appearance of small veins.
Thickening skin: Your dermatologist can remove excess skin with a scalpel, laser or electrosurgery.
Rosacea in the Eyes
When rosacea affects the eye, it is called ocular rosacea. Ocular rosacea may cause one or more of the following symptoms:
Watery or bloodshot appearance.
Feel gritty, often feels like sand in the eyes.
Eyes burn or sting.
Eyes are very dry.
Eyes sensitive to light.
Visible broken blood vessels on an eyelid.
Cyst on the eyelid.
Treatment for ocular rosacea is essential as the condition may become worse without treatment and, rarely, damage your eyesight.
Rosacea symptoms often flare up after exposure to common triggers, including spicy foods, hot drinks, caffeine or alcoholic beverages among others. Along with medical treatment, dermatologists recommend the following to help you avoid common triggers to manage flare-ups and control rosacea.
Identify your personal triggers by keeping track of your exposure to common triggers and avoid those that produce a flare-up.
Protect your skin from sun exposure by seeking shade and wearing sun protective clothing. Applying a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen to your face daily before going outside and re-apply every two hours while outdoors.
Don't become overheated or expose your skin to very cold temperatures.
Follow a dermatologist-recommended skin care routine and avoid products containing alcohol. Avoid rubbing, scrubbing or massaging the face.
Shield your face if you use hair spray.
Although rosacea occurs in people of all skin colors and ages, you may be more likely to develop rosacea if you are:
Fair-skinned with blonde hair and blue eyes
Going through menopause
Are between the ages of 30 and 50
Have a family history of rosacea or a personal history of severe acne
There is no "quick fix" for rosacea and it often takes time to see results with treatment. However, you can keep rosacea under control with the help of a dermatologist who can provide effective treatments for your individual symptoms.