10 Questions about Rosacea

Are you concerned about the red face? Although facial redness is a very common response to mundane factors like cold, alcohol consumption, wind or sun exposure, and even stress, if you notice that the redness is becoming more persistent, you may have a condition called rosacea. See a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

1. What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition that is characterized by the appearance of visible blood vessels, pimples, and general redness over the face. It is often progressive, starting with mild periodic symptoms, and progressing to more severe and persistent symptoms over time.

2. Who does rosacea affect?

Rosacea can affect anyone. The most commonly affected demographic is middle-aged women during or shortly following menopause. People with fair skin are also more commonly affected by Rosacea—it is sometimes called “The Curse of the Celts.”

3. What causes rosacea?

Doctors don’t know the exact causes of rosacea yet. There are several theories ranging from mites that normally live on the skin, to a genetic propensity for dilated blood vessels.

4. Is there a cure for rosacea?

At present, there is no cure for rosacea. Rosacea can, however, be treated and its symptoms controlled effectively. As rosacea can be progressive, the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it will be to control.

5. Is rosacea caused by alcoholism, and is it contagious?

Absolutely not. Alcohol is a trigger for worsening symptoms in people who are affected by rosacea, but there is no evidence to suggest that it causes rosacea. Rosacea is not contagious.

6. How is rosacea diagnosed?

Rosacea is underdiagnosed, especially in its early stages. There is no single test for rosacea, and diagnosis is made visually by a qualified physician.

7. How is rosacea treated?

There is no cure for rosacea, so treatments focus on controlling symptoms and preventing a worsening of symptoms.

8. Will my rosacea get worse?

Rosacea can be progressive if it is not treated. The National Rosacea Society reports in a recent study that nearly 50% of patients report progression from early to middle stages of rosacea within a year after diagnosis. There is no way to know whether your rosacea will worsen or how quickly it will progress, but treatment will slow down its progression and control its symptoms.

9. What are “triggers”?

Triggers are environmental factors that cause a worsening in their rosacea symptoms. The triggers are somewhat individual, but there are many known common triggers that rosacea patients would be wise to avoid: Sun exposure, emotional stress, spicy foods, heavy exercise, and sudden temperature changes.

10. Why are antibiotics prescribed?

Rosacea is not a bacterial infection; the antibiotics are used for its anti-inflammatory properties. There is no fear of antibacterial resistance when using minimal levels used to treat rosacea.

Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects millions of people in North America. While there is no cure, its progression can be stopped in most cases with appropriate treatment, and its symptoms can be effectively controlled. If you notice facial redness that takes longer than usual to dissipate, visit a doctor for a check-up.

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