In honor of National Rosacea Awarness Month we have been talking about how to identify the symptoms of rosacea and what you can do about them. We also have a Rosacea Check Test to help you assess whether or not you may have this skin disorder. Remember that only a doctor can diagnose your skin condition but you can take your quiz results to your dermatologist to get that conversation started. We also have a list of questions you may wish to ask your doctor about rosacea if you suspect that you have it. In this post we are going to continue our discussion about rosacea with Doctor Lawrence Green, who is a practicing dermatologist in Maryland.
To find out more about Doctor Green please visit his website: Aesthetics, SkinCare & DermaSurgery.
Question: How do you diagnose rosacea?
Dr. Green: Rosacea is usually diagnosed by the dermatologist after talking with and examining the patient. People with rosacea flush and blush, and their face feels hot under certain environmental conditions. This flushing lasts for awhile until it settles down. This early stage of rosacea is called vascular rosacea. Rosacea also can have an inflammatory stage. People with inflammatory rosacea have red bumps and pus filled bumps on their face as well as redness and flushing.
Question: Is there anything you tell rosacea patients to avoid as far as foods, environmental factors, etc.?
Dr. Green: Yes, whatever makes someone's face flush, they should try and avoid because the more you are flushed, your chances of becoming redder in general, increase. Some of the more common environmental stimuli that trigger rosacea include: Sun, wind, exercise, stress, temperature changes (going from a hot to cold place quickly and vice versa), hot beverages, alcohol, and spicy foods. But the key is to figure out what affects you, and then try and do what you can to avoid or counter it.
Question: What treatments do you suggest or give to patients who have rosacea? Are there any over the counter remedies? Rosacea is treated with medications that reduce inflammation and redness. Some types of antibiotic pills and creams (such as doxycycline and metrogel) are useful to control rosacea. There is even a low dose form of doxycycline called Oracea that often helps. The advantage of this pill is that the doxycycline antibiotic part is removed and only the redness and anti-inflammatory part remains.
There are products you can buy without a prescription at the store or from your dermatologist that help camouflage facial redness as well. In general, people who have rosacea should be very careful with anything that touches their skin. Their facial skin is just very sensitive and reactive. I always recommend fragrance free facial skin care products and makeup that have the fewest ingredients possible to minimize this risk of irritation.
Thank you Doctor Green for sharing your expertise with us. This is great advice for anyone who has this skin disorder.
We have a lot of additional rosacea information and resources to share. Here are some links to some MySkinCareConnection articles to get you started:
You can also check out our Rosacea on-line screening quiz:
Published On: April 30, 2011