Rosacea is a skin condition that is considered chronic – meaning that there is no cure – although there are treatments to control it. Most people know that the Rosacea is associated with facial redness, but many are not familiar with the cause of this frustrating condition. Although there are a few theories, most practitioners subscribe to the opinion that there is an inflammatory process involved that has a genetic predispostion and becomes more visible with age.
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Rosacea causes too many small blood vessels (capillaries, telangiectasias) to develop on the face near the surface of the skin. Because these vessels are superficial, they can be seen at the surface and contribute to the facial redness most commonly associated with Rosacea. The capillaries that cause the redness may be so small that the redness appears matted and diffuse without any defined blood vessels. When the face becomes too vascular (too much blood flow to the area) it may lead to permanent changes in the skin’s texture and color. A thickening and roughness of the epidermis can occur. When rosacea affects the nose like this, it is referred to as rhinophyma and looks like an enlarged or swollen nose.
Sun damage is a contributing factor to Rosacea as well as certain skin types and ethnic groups. Despite an individual being predisposed to this condition, preventative measures combined with effective treatments can prove beneficial and satisfying to those patients that struggle with Rosacea.
Lori Haney, RN, MEP-C
Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer