Rosacea is a skin condition impacting more than 14 million people in the U.S. and while women are more likely to develop symptoms, anyone can be affected.
Here to break down some common questions and answers for rosacea, what it really is, who can get it, and what the treatment options are is Caitrin Standring, PA-C.
Learn from Caitrin Standring, PA-C
Caitrin is a Board-Certified Physician Assistant in Dermatology. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California Santa Barbara, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Caitrin then attended graduate school and received her Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Concordia University of Wisconsin.
Prior to joining our practice, she worked as a Board Certified Physician Assistant in Dermatology at a private practice in downtown Chicago and the northwest suburbs. Caitrin is trained in cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatology, and manages a full spectrum of dermatologic conditions. Her professional memberships include the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants and the Illinois Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants.
You can learn more about Caitrin here.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a very common chronic inflammatory condition with flares that come and go. It mainly affects facial skin, but sometimes there is eye involvement, called ocular rosacea.
What does rosacea look like?
Rosacea classically presents with redness of cheeks, nose, forehead, and/or chin. Telangiectasias, or small visible red blood vessels may be present, as well as papules and pustules, which appear as small red swollen bumps sometimes filled with pus.
When rosacea is more severe, it can progress to rhinophyma, or an enlarged red nose.
Sometimes rosacea can affect the eyes, so if you are diagnosed with rosacea, it is important to see an eye doctor if you experience any eye symptoms.
Who gets rosacea?
The onset of rosacea is typically between the ages of 30-50. Females tend to present with rosacea at an earlier age than males.
Rosacea is more common in those with lighter skin tones.
Does anything make rosacea worse?
Common triggers that worsen the appearance of rosacea include wind exposure, sun exposure, extreme temperatures (very hot or very cold), emotional stress, hot beverages, spicy foods, and alcoholic beverages.
Avoiding these triggers can help reduce the severity and frequency of flares. Other tips include applying sunscreen to the face daily, wearing hats while outdoors, and protecting your face with a scarf during cold, windy weather.
How is rosacea treated?
Most people who have rosacea have very sensitive skin, so gentle, unscented cleansers and moisturizers are best.
- Sun protection is key, I always recommend a daily moisturizer with at least SPF 30 every morning, and reapplying a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ to the face every 2 hours while outdoors.
- Moisturizers and makeup with a green tint can help reduce the appearance of redness.
- There are also prescription medications that can greatly help reduce the appearance of facial redness by temporarily constricting the tiny blood vessels of the face.
- Topical creams, gels, and foams to reduce inflammation can be applied to the face once or twice a day.
If rosacea is more severe, oral antibiotics can also be taken to help reduce flares. Remember, rosacea is a chronic condition, but it can be managed by avoiding common triggers and sticking with the regimen recommended by your provider.
If you think you may be suffering from rosacea, make sure to book an appointment with a trained professional, as many misdiagnoses often make this condition worse.