Rosacea is an inflammatory condition that most commonly affects patients of lighter skin types. There are four main types of rosacea that we see in the clinic:
Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (vascular rosacea), Papulopustular Rosacea (also known as acne rosacea), Phymatous Rosacea (changes to the skin causing it to thicken) Ocular Rosacea (a dry gritty sensation within the eye) Combinations of these subtypes of rosacea are the norm. We see rosacea clustering amongst family members and more commonly within certain ethnic groups, so there is an undeniable genetic component of causation. We also know there are certain triggers that fuel rosacea including:
- Sun exposure
- Alcohol, commonly red wine
- Spicy foods, and
- Caffeinated beverages, especially coffee (tragic!)
Unfortunately, rosacea tends to run a chronic course with remissions and relapses. Treatments are aimed at targeting flaring as well as maintenance regimens. The most effective therapeutic plans for rosacea incorporate medical and cosmetic modalities, while paying attention to triggering factors and avoiding them (green juices instead of coffees, HAH!). Patients with rosacea also tend to have sensitive skin with intolerances to chemicals and fragrances in cosmetic products. Choosing gentle and fragrance-free skin care products can improve symptoms substantially for rosacea sufferers.