Affecting over 45 million people worldwide, rosacea is a common chronic skin disorder. It usually affects caucasians, specifically those with an English or Irish ancestry.
Characterized by red, flushed cheeks or face, rosacea is often confused with acne, but is a different disorder with unique causes, symptoms, and treatment approaches.
While there are no known known cures, there are a variety of safe and effective rosacea treatment options ranging from specialty lotions to prescription drugs.
What Causes Rosacea?
Doctors aren’t sure what causes rosacea although there has been progress made in recent years to discover common elements of this irritating skin condition.
Rosacea is thought to be passed on through hereditary so if one of your biological parents has it, there’s greater risk that you’ll have it too.
Impacting mostly caucasians with fair features like blonde hair or blue eyes, it can also appear in people of all different skin colors.
Women are slightly more at risk than men to have rosacea.
There are other theories of what causes rosacea that focus on internal risk factors instead of heredity.
Some medical researchers speculate the rosacea may be caused by an intestinal bug known as H pylori.
Deficiencies in the immune system, reactions to a protein known as cathelicidin, and even facial mites are all common theories that scientists are studying to determine the cause of rosacea.
Depending on the severity, rosacea can have several different symptoms but almost always manifests itself as red, “flushed’, appearance in the face, specifically the cheeks. In some cases, pus filled skin bumps that resemble acne can appear.
Often times, the skin itself becomes very dry, sensitive, and even swollen during rosacea outbreaks.
Rosacea is often not diagnosed due to the intermittent nature of the skin disorder.
In most people, rosacea may flare up for a few weeks or months, and then seem to disappear for months or even years.
If you come from a family ancestry that has rosacea, or have experienced facial redness, you should see a doctor or dermatologist the next time you experience an outbreak.
In most cases, they’ll just visually inspect the affected area to determine if you have rosacea.
In less common cases, a skin biopsy may be needed.
Rosacea is a chronic disease meaning if you have it, it’s with you for life.
There are no known cures and instead, rosacea treatment options focus on managing outbreaks as they occur.
I have listed 5 of the most effective rosacea treatments below.
Topical lotions are among the most common form of rosacea treatment methods currently used by dermatologists. It’s important to use lotions specifically designed to treat rosacea instead of general acne lotions.
The difference in compounds between rosacea and acne lotions can exacerbate skin and make matters worse if you’re using a treatment option designed for one, when you actually have the other disorder.
2. Oral & Topical Antibiotics
Doxycycline and minocycline are 2 of the most common oral antibiotics used to treat rosacea outbreaks.
Both of these drugs require a prescription in the United States and may cause side effects.
Most of the time, dermatologists will attempt to treat mild to moderate cases of rosacea with topical creams and ointments while saving prescription drugs for more severe cases.
In addition to oral treatments, topical antibiotics applied directly to the affected area of skin are widely prescribed to treat severe cases of rosacea.
Probiotics are a recently discovered way to treat rosacea outbreaks.
The American Deratmosligst Association (ADA) is still conducting research to determine the efficacy of this treatment method, but the initial results look promising.
Probiotics are living, “friendly”, bacteria that work internally by promoting healthy gut flora which is responsible for much a person’s overall health.
Fermented foods like yogurt and kefir are packed with gut friendly probiotics.
4. Homeopathic Remedies
If you’re wary of prescription drugs – and the side effects that often accompany them – then consider trying out an all-natural, homeopathic based treatment.
Apple cider vinegar is often the most popular homeopathic rosacea treatment method and a quick Google search reveals thousands of success stories from people who have successfully used it to manage outbreaks.
5. Laser Therapy
Although laser and pulsed light therapies aren’t widely available, they’re quickly gaining popularity with individuals with severe cases of rosacea.
Most laser and light based therapies work by emitting an intense burst of light at the affected area of skin. This concentration of heat causes targeted blood vessels (i.e. the ones that make rosacea visible) to disintegrate.
Like other forms of rosacea treatment, laser therapy doesn’t eliminate the condition and must be maintained on an ongoing basis.
Rosacea is a common chronic skin disorder estimated to impact over 15 million adults in the United States alone.
Scientists aren’t sure what exactly causes this embarrassing condition but heredity, deficiencies in the immune system, and intestinal gut health are considered to be probable causes.
There are several effective rosacea treatments available ranging from lotions to prescription strength drugs and ointments that can be used to manage rosacea outbreaks.