Rosacea is a disorder characterised by chronic inflammation of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids. This inflammation may cause redness, vascularity, that is, increased prominence of blood vessels, swelling or hyperplasia, that is, increase in size of the tissue, or skin eruptions similar to acne. Rosacea involves enlargement of blood vessels just under the skin. Fair skinned people are more likely to have this disorder, especially those people who blush easily. It mostly affects women, but men are usually more severely affected. Symptoms usually begin between the age group of 30 to 50, and the disorder is most often seen in middle-aged or older people.
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The cause of rosacea is unknown. Rosacea may be associated with a migraine headache, other skin disorders like acne vulgaris and seborrhea, or eye disorders like blepharitis and keratitis.
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The most prominent symptoms are rashes and erythema, that is, red areas on the face - this could be in discrete areas or the entire face. The person may have a tendency to flush or blush easily. An increased vascularity (telangiectasis) of the face with a red, bulbous nose and acne-like skin eruptions (macules, nodules, pustules, may ooze or crust) are signs of Rosacea. There may be a burning or stinging sensation of the face.
There is no known prevention.
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Since there is no known cure for Rosacea, the treatment aims at controlling of redness, inflammation, and skin eruptions. Oral antibiotics such as tetracycline may control skin eruptions. Alternative medications may include oral medications similar to vitamin A or oral antifungal medications. Long term topical treatment of skin eruptions (applied to a localized area of the skin), antifungals (such as metronidazole), steroids, or antibiotics can be given. Surgery such as laser elimination of blood vessels may be needed if the above treatments are ineffective. To improve the patient's cosmetic appearance surgical reduction of the nose hyperplasia may be done. Conditions that aggravate redness, such as hot or spicy foods, hot beverages, or alcohol, should be avoided.
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