Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a chronic (long term) skin disease that causes redness and swelling, primarily on the face although the neck, ears, scalp, chest and back can be affected. Occasionally rosacea affects the eyes.
Rosacea can occur over a long period of time and often progresses to a persistent redness, pimples and visible blood vessels in the center of the face that can eventually involve the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. Since rosacea causes facial swelling and redness, it is easily confused with adult acne and sunburn.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that rosacea affects an estimated 14 million Americans. Adults, especially those between 30 and 50 years of age who have lighter skin, blonde hair and blue eyes are most likely to have rosacea although rosacea can affect children and people of any skin type.
While the precise cause of rosacea remains a mystery, researchers believe that heredity and environmental factors are to blame. One explanation is that something causes the blood vessels to swell. The result, these scientists believe, is the flushing and redness characteristic of rosacea.
What to expect from treatment for rosacea?
Currently, there is no cure for rosacea. The good news, however, dermatologists have a variety of treatments that diminish and control the disease’s signs and symptoms. Treatments range from topical products and oral medications to laser therapy for treatment of visible blood vessels.