Thursday, February 16, 2012

Perhaps Your Acne Is Really Rosacea by Nick Messe

Skin problems at any age can be disruptive to your life by causing feelings of embarrassment about your looks, and creating low self-esteem and self-confidence. Skin problems like acne can occur in adulthood, as well as in teenage years. A condition that looks similar to acne, causing pimple-like bumps, red skin, and dryness is called rosacea. Many people have never heard of it, but there are millions of Americans that have some form of rosacea and don't even know it.

Because it's appearance resembles mild acne or a skin breakout, most people assume that it is. What exactly is rosacea? Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that occurs primarily on the face. There are flare-ups, then remissions, but the cycle tends to repeat, and it can get worse over time with increasing redness and visible blood vessels on the skin. If it isn't treated, bumps or pimples can develop, and the condition can become severe causing swollen skin tissue, particularly on the nose.

Affecting mostly the face, rosacea can appear on the cheeks, chin, forehead or nose. It can affect the eye area causing red skin, swelling and irritation around and in the eyes. Although not as common, it can also appear on the neck, scalp, ears, and even the chest. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although suspected contributors are emotional stress, excess sun exposure, wind, spicy foods, alcohol, heavy exercise, hot baths, hot beverages, and some skin products.

Although these are some suspected triggers for rosacea, circumstances vary for everyone. Rosacea affects more people with fair skin, and more women than men, although symptoms for men tend to be worse. It is not contagious, nor does it cause fine lines, wrinkles or age spots.

Watch for persistent redness, the most common signal of rosacea is persistent red skin, and sometimes small red bumps, solid or pus-filled. There are usually no blackheads present. Frequent blushing or flushing of skin can be an early sign of rosacea with mall blood vessels starting to show on the red skin. Additional symptoms that may occur is skin dryness with rough texture, raised red patches, and swelling of the facial tissue.

There might be burning, stinging or itching sensations, thickening of the skin, or eye irritation causing styes, redness, and swelling of the eyes or eyelids. There is no known cure for rosacea, but it can be treated and improved. First, it is important to practice good skin care habits and keep skin clean. Use mild skin cleansers that are hypo-allergenic and non-abrasive to skin.

Don't rub, scrub or aggressively wash your face but use your hands instead of a washcloth. Use lukewarm water, not hot water and wait ten minutes after washing your face before applying any other product. Try mild moisturizers that are hypo-allergenic, with absolutely no alcohol or witch hazel. Medications for rosacea are topical antibiotics such as metronidazole or azelaic acid creams, or ingested antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, erythromycin, doxycycline.