A chronic yet routine skin condition in people over the age of 30, rosacea generally manifests itself as the extreme visibility of red blood vessels in your cheeks, nose, and forehead. It often appears in flare-ups lasting for several weeks or even months, only to then temporarily disappear into remission. Unless you have it treated, it will continue to recur.
Also known to infect your ears, chest, and scalp, the disease can sometimes lead to a swelling of your nose. W.C. Fields suffered from rosacea, and his bulbous nose became one of his trademarks. For many patients, watery and bloodshot eyes are another unfortunate result and can lead to both burning and soreness.
In certain cases, New York City dermatologists have noticed that if you leave it untreated, the disease can evolve into pus-filled bumps. These small facial pimples can be confused with acne or an allergic reaction. You should always consult a professional dermatologist if you notice these and other symptoms of rosacea.
All symptoms and skin findings should always evaluated with a thorough consultation and physical examination for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan in order to exclude any underlying serious condition.
The Symptoms of Rosacea
Dermatology offices in New York encounter cases of rosacea on both men and women — and on both light and dark complexions. The common symptoms include:
- Rhinophyma: This condition simply refers to the enlargement of your nose. This particular symptom is generally more common in males than females.
- Redness in the face: Regardless of your skin tone, the disease usually results in a persistent redness or a stubborn redness in the middle of your face. It’s the result of inflammation in the numerous blood vessels at your skin’s surface.
- Pimple-like bumps: With rosacea, small pus-filled bumps appear on your face. They resemble acne, but your skin may feel hot and flushed.
- Eye irritations: About 50 percent of rosacea patients also experience some eye irritation, such as eyes that feel dry and swollen. The discomfort in your eyes may even precede the telltale symptoms on your skin.
Though rare, the oil or sebaceous glands in your nose or cheeks may swell up in severe cases. This swelling — the condition called rhinophyma — leads to larger cheeks and growth of your nose tissue. Generally confined to men, it can worsen over several years if not treated.
While the precise cause of rosacea has yet to be identified, some plausible sources have been considered and are being studied:
- Microscopic mites: Also known as demodex folliculorum, these mites usually exist on the human face without causing any harm. However, individuals with rosacea have much higher numbers of microscopic mites, although it’s not known if this is a cause or effect.
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria: These bacteria exist normally in your digestive tract. Some NYC dermatologists have postulated that it increases the level of a protein called bradykinin, which causes your blood vessels to expand or widen.
- Genes: Manhattan dermatology clinics report that rosacea tends to occur within families, although no particular gene has ever been isolated and attributed to causing rosacea.
What Triggers Rosacea
While they may not be the root causes of the condition, NY dermatologists have noticed some precipitating factors that can induce or aggravate the symptoms of the disease. Naturally, not everyone’s affected in the same way, but these stimuli have often been reported in rosacea sufferers:
- Vigorous exercise
- Sun exposure
- Spicy food
- Hot beverages
- Cold weather
- Hot weather
- Dairy products
- Some medications, such as amiodarone and corticosteroids
- Large doses of vitamins B6 and B12
While anyone can get rosacea, New York dermatology clinics tend to see more patients who fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Family predisposition
- Older than 30 years old
- Fair skin — particularly fair skin that has been damaged by the sun
Since there is no scientific test for rosacea, dermatologists in Manhattan examine your symptoms by conducting a physical examination of your skin. It’s possible that your doctor may perform tests to exclude the possibility of other conditions — like acne, eczema or psoriasis — that can all appear similar to rosacea. Your doctor may even send you to an eye doctor if the rosacea is disturbing your vision.
This form of the disease troubles your eyesight. Untreated, it can cause potentially serious tissue damage. Symptoms include:
- Dry eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
- Swelling and inflammation of your eyelids, condition called blepharitis
- The sensation of a foreign substance on your eyeball
Keratitis describes a condition when your cornea, the transparent outermost layer of your eye, becomes aggravated and damaged by the rosacea. A damaged cornea is susceptible to ulcers and even infections, which can seriously affect your vision. Problems with your cornea can develop symptoms such as:
- Sensitivity to light, called photophobia
- Eye pain
- Poor vision
If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, you need medical attention. Contact a physician as soon as possible. If not treated promptly by an dermatologist, keratitis can lead to permanent vision loss.
Living with Rosacea
Any and all chronic conditions can have detrimental effects on your mood and psychological well-being. This is particularly true when you’re suffering from a condition that directly affects your personal appearance. New York dermatologists often hear patients complain about embarrassment, low self-esteem, and anxiety. If you can assert your will over of the disease, you’ll feel better physically and emotionally.
If you find yourself in this situation, remember that the condition affects about one in ten people. While there is no cure, the symptoms are treatable. By understanding and avoiding your personal triggers to the flare-ups, you can become an active participant in your treatment.
Since the cause of rosacea has never been determined, a cure has never been developed. Nevertheless, treatments for your symptoms are available. The duration and type of treatment depends on the nature and gravity of your symptoms. The disease is resilient, so stay determined and visit a NYC dermatology clinic to fight the reappearance of symptoms.
Most best rated NYC dermatologists will prescribe a medication specific to your symptoms. For ocular rosacea, a visit to an dermatologist may be necessary. In cases of severe rhinophyma, your doctor may send you a plastic surgeon to expand your options.
Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Do you have any questions about Rosacea? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, best rated NYC dermatologist, Dr. James Taft of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, please contact our Midtown NYC office for consultation with cosmetic and laser dermatologist.
Dr. James Taft (Laser Cosmetic Dermatology of NY)
New York, NY 10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
☎ (212) 889-2402