Signs of Acne Rosacea
Acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne and most often appears with the beginning of puberty. This type of acne is characterized by whiteheads and blackheads. Acne rosacea, on the other hand, usually makes its debut sometime after the age of 30 and before 50. Also, it is confined to the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and eyelids. Unlike common acne, acne rosacea is not linked to overactive oil glands.
The outbreaks seen in acne rosacea consist of minute dilated blood vessels, papules and pustules. These lesions affect the color of the skin causing it to be bright red. The color may even take on a dull red or sometimes a purplish hue. At first the redness may last for just a few hours, but as the condition progresses and recurrences continue, the color persists and can become permanent.
The over-growth of the sebaceous glands, especially those on the nose, lead to thickening of the skin, and an enlargement of the nose. This bulbous nose, as it is called, is one of the best known looks so often associated with acne rosacea. Although rosacea is most commonly seen in women, men have the most severe cases and are the ones that develop the disfiguring bulbous nose, known as rhinophyma. Odd as it may seem, rhinophyma sometimes is the only sign of the condition.
Rosacea outbreaks are aggravated by different things in different people, and those afflicted with the condition soon realize what causes their inflammations to worsen and avoid those things. Some of the common stimulants are hot beverages, spicy foods and alcohol. Also, exposure to the sun and heat can be aggravating factors.
Acne rosacea is not a life-threatening, but it certainly causes severe alterations in a person’s appearance which can lead to psychosomatic and emotional problems.
There are not many complications associated with acne rosacea. But one is inflammation of the eyelashes or outer surface of the eyes which can result in eye irritations. Also, though rare, the membrane covering the lens (cornea) can become inflamed leading to impaired vision.
How Acne Rosacea Is Treated
Topical and Oral Medication. There is no cure for rosacea since the exact cause of the disease is not known. Successful treatment is based on controlling the acne-like symptoms with the same topical and systemic medications used in treating regular acne.
The most effective treatment includes long term use of topical and oral antibiotics to control the eruptions. Tetracycline seems to be the antibiotic of choice. The dosages are slowly lowered, giving enough just to maintain control. The eventual goal is to be able to discontinue the antibiotic altogether without the rosacea pimples returning. Tetracycline is one of those drugs that should never be taken during pregnancy since it affects the unborn child.
Laser and Surgery. Laser treatment has been successful in eliminating the enlarged facial blood vessels. This is a treatment that causes very little discomfort. Also, surgery can be used to remove the excess tissue associated with rhinophyma.
The psychological and stress problems associated with acne rosacea should never be ignored because they can be very severe. A medical specialist may be required.