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Acne Rosacea - The Basic Facts
Acne rosacea is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. However, it can still cause a certain amount of anxiety if you don't know anything about the causes and symptoms of rosacea.
So here's a quick guide to acne rosacea. Hopefully it will answer all your questions about this stressful skin complaint including, what acne rosacea is, what causes it, who is affected by it and the best way to deal with the condition.
1) What is Acne Rosacea?
Acne rosacea is a potentially distressing skin condition, which is not actually a type of acne at all. It causes a weakness in the blood vessels of the face. This allows them to dilate more easily and for longer than normal (often permanently), creating a flushed appearance in the affected areas. The face is the area most commonly affected, especially the lower part of the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead.
The end result is a reddening of the skin that looks like a rash. If left untreated, the condition can become persistent and cause an overgrowth of tissue, causing your nose to swell slightly.
2) What causes it?
The cause of acne rosacea is still unknown, although there are several factors that are though to be the primary cause of this skin condition. One popular theory is that people who blush more easily are at increased risk of developing this condition. Add in stress, anxiety, aging blood vessels and the tendency to blush for extended periods can trigger rosacea. Other environmental factors such as exposure to the sun, humid weather and wind burn can aggravate the condition.
In fact, anything that affects the dilation of blood vesels can worsen the condition. Hot showers, sunlight, saunas, spicy food, alcohol, hot drinks, strenuous exercise etc. Research has also suggested that a zinc deficiency may be linked to rosacea.
3) Who does it affect?
Acne rosacea occurs almost exclusively in adults aged 30 to 60. It affects women more often than men, but when men develop the condition it tends to be more severe. There is also evidence to suggest that it runs in fair skinned families.
It can appear and disappear on more than one occasion for no apparent reason. And if not treated, the condition can last for years, become aggravated and may even become permanent.
4) What can be done about it?
At present, there is no cure for acne rosacea. It's still a relatively new condition and as such research is still underway to find a cure. So the treatment techniques that have developed are based upon keeping the symptoms under control to stop the condition from getting worse.
There are so many factors that are thought to trigger an outbreak of acne rosacea, including; alcohol, coffee, spicy foods, foods high in fat, foods that contain refined sugars, smoking and a lack of certain vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, zinc, beta-carotene, fibre etc. So the first step is to find your personal triggers. Pay close attention to the times when the condition flares up and try to match it to your recent actions and environment.
After that, take steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Drink plenty of water and make sure you get five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. All of these things will help to improve both your general health and the health of your skin. A zinc supplement or a multi-vitamin may also help to improve the condition.
Other forms of treatment for acne rosacea include the use of anti-inflammatory antibiotic creams and in severe cases, surgery to repair the damaged blood vessels. Treatments can range in effectiveness depending upon your type of skin and the severity of the condition. However, in all cases, the hardest part is to treat the redness of the skin. It can also take a couple of months after treatment has begun for your skin to show an improvement.
It's also important to remember that medical treatment for acne vulgaris can irritate acne rosacea causing the symptoms to deteriorate significantly. So if you're unlucky enough to have both acne vulgaris and acne rosacea at the same time, you should bear this in mind.
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