If you didn’t know, April is National Rosacea Awareness Month, so we sat down with Dr. Rostan of Charlotte Skin and Laser to get the scoop on the redness (and other symptoms) associated with the condition.
What is rosacea and how would I know if I had it?
It’s kind of on a continuum with acne. So, if you look at bumps and things
sometimes there’s acne over here and rosacea over here. There is sometimes a little overlap, so many patients are confused whether they have acne or Rosacea and a visit to a dermatologist can help determine that.
Rosacea is a very common skin condition that typically affects nose and cheek. It can consist of redness and flushing as well as bumps and even a little swelling. It can affect your eyes. The eyes will feel gritty, dry and you can even get little bumps or redness around the eyelash margin.
Is rosacea more common in certian types of skin, certain ages, etc.?
It’s most common to appear in your 30’s to 50’s but can persist much longer than that and can show up earlier. It’s sometimes is a little different between men and women. Women get more of the redness, flushing, small fine bumps, sensitive skin and burning. Whereas the men get more of the skin enlargement, swelling, larger bumps and even nose enlargement.
Are there triggers or things that make rosacea worse?
What I tell my patients is – there are two really common triggers – sun and dryness. All year round, but especially in the summer, exposure to the sun can trigger a flare so we recommend a good daily sunblock. In the winter in particular, I counsel about dryness as a trigger. Being outside on a cold, windy day, many rosacea patients will experience a flare. Indoor heat is very drying as well.
Foods and certain activities can be a trigger – hot spicy foods, red wine and vigorous exercise, hot yoga. One thing that is sometimes advised is that you keep a food diary or even an activity diary so you can track when you have a flare and address that trigger to reduce flares in the future.
What do we do at an appointment for rosacea?
I think everyone’s rosacea is unique and we want to first get a good history about your symptoms and what you’ve tried – and what has worked and what has not. We will look closely at your skin. This, with your history, will help us put together the best plan for you – both prescriptions as well as a topical non-prescription regimen at home.
Are there other treatments for rosacea?
For the redness, flushing and broken blood vessels, laser or light treatments can be very helpful. Primarily, the VBeam pulsed-dye laser targets specifically the blood vessels that are dilated in rosacea. Usually a series of three to four treatments is needed to get you the best results. These laser and light treatments are done in conjunction with the treatment plan we’ve come up with for you. So, it might be some prescription medications, a skincare plan and then, hey you’ve got some redness and broken capillaries – let’s make a plan to try to target those with the laser or light treatments.