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General Information: Rosacea


What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness and pimples on your nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. The redness may come and go. People sometimes call rosacea "adult acne" because it can cause outbreaks that look like acne. It can also cause burning and soreness in the eyes and eyelids. Rosacea can be embarrassing. And if it is untreated, it can get worse. If the symptoms bother you, see your doctor and learn ways to control rosacea.

What causes Rosacea?
Experts are not sure what causes rosacea. It tends to affect people who have fair skin or blush easily, and it seems to run in families.

Rosacea is not caused by alcohol abuse, as people thought in the past. But in people who have rosacea, drinking alcohol may cause symptoms to get worse (flare).

Rosacea often flares when something causes the blood vessels in the face to expand, which causes redness. Things that cause a flare-up are called triggers. Common triggers are exercise, sun and wind exposure, hot weather, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot baths. Swings in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also cause a flare-up of rosacea.

Signs and Symptoms:
• A flushed face and pimples or bumps on or around the cheeks, nose, mouth, and forehead. Sometimes the flushing or   redness can last for days.

• Tiny red veins on the face that look like spiderwebs

• Burning or stinging facial skin, especially when they apply lotions or medicines. The face may feel increasingly dry, sensitive,   or sunburned.

• Dry, red, irritated eyes. The eyelids may look red and swollen, and vision may be blurry. If it is not treated, rosacea can cause   serious eye problems.

Without treatment, some cases of rosacea can cause knobby bumps on the nose and cheeks that can multiply. This is advanced rosacea, known as rhinophyma. Over time, it can give the nose a swollen, waxy look. But most cases of rosacea don't progress this far.

Treatment
Doctors can prescribe medicines and other treatments for rosacea. There is no cure, but with treatment, most people can control their symptoms and keep the disease from getting worse.

• Antibiotic creams or pills may be used to treat redness and pimples. Antibiotic pills may also help treat eye problems. Women   who are pregnant should not use some antibiotic creams or pills. If you use antibiotics, be patient-it can take a month or two   before you start to see improvement.

• Stronger medicines may be tried if antibiotics don't control your rosacea. Examples include isotretinoin (Accutane) or tretinoin   cream (Retin-A). You cannot use these if you are pregnant or might become pregnant.

• Surgery or other treatments may help your skin look better if you have advanced rosacea. Choices may include   dermabrasion, cryosurgery, or laser surgery.

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