Choices in Rosacea Treatments

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects approximately 14 million Americans. It is one of the most common types of diagnosis coming out of dermatologists' offices today. For those suffering with the condition, rosacea is a painful and embarrassing problem. Medical professionals are not sure what causes rosacea and there is no cure to date. However, there are choices in rosacea treatments that can reduce flare-ups and prevent future breakouts from occurring.

Symptoms of Rosacea

Rosacea typically appears with redness across the nose and cheeks that resembles sunburn. The condition can then progress to small, red bumps that are different from acne pimples. Some people will also have small blood vessels appear as thin lines on the nose and cheeks. Others may experience changes to the nose, known as rhinophyma, which creates a red, bulb-like appearance. This is most commonly seen in men diagnosed with rosacea. Another possible symptom is a feeling of dryness or grittiness in the eyes, which is called ocular rosacea. Rosacea treatments will depend in part on the symptoms that present, since treatment generally addresses the specific symptoms rather than the underlying cause of the disease.

Rosacea Treatments

Rosacea treatments will vary based on the types of symptoms that are seen.

* Redness and Thin Red Lines (Erythematotelangiectatic)

This type of rosacea is generally treated with a topical medication. However, if the redness is causing skin sensitivity as well, topical solutions may prove to irritating for the condition at first. Some doctors will prescribe an anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce the irritation. Sunscreen is also recommended and an oral antibiotic may also be prescribed.

* Bumps and Lesions (Papulopustular)

These rosacea symptoms are usually treated with soothing ointments and topical antibiotics. In more severe cases, topical solutions may be combined with oral antibiotics for a better result. Glycolic acid peels can also be used to provide a quicker reduction of rosacea symptoms. However, glycolic acid peels also include a level of discomfort and recovery time, so they should be discussed with a doctor to determine if it is the best choice in rosacea treatment.

* Thick, Bumpy Skin (Phymatous)

This type of rosacea is usually seen on the nose, although it can also occur on the chin, forehead and ears. Phymatous rosacea requires more aggressive rosacea treatments like surgical procedures to remove the thicker skin and resculpt facial features. Sometimes these procedures are done with lasers and other times electrode therapy is used. Dermabrasion, a resurfacing technique, can also be used to treat milder forms of phymatous rosacea.

* Dry, Irritated Eyes (Ocular)

Ocular rosacea requires very different types of rosacea treatments than other rosacea conditions. Instead of addressing the skin, a doctor will prescribe treatments to soothe irritated eyes. Treatment may include a daily washing of the eye lids, using a mild cleanser and applying a warm compress to closed eyes several times a day. An oral antibiotic and prescription eye drops may also be recommended.

Rosacea is a painful skin condition with no known cure at this time. However, there are effective rosacea treatments that can minimize flare-ups and keep future breakouts at bay.