Acne rosacea is a chronic disorder that primarily affects facial skin. It typically appears after age 30, first as red blotches on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead. Over time, the affected areas become more severe and more persistent, and blood vessels may appear. Untreated, acne rosacea can develop into bumps and pimples. Many sufferers also experience irritated eyes that appear watery or bloodshot.
In severe cases of rosacea, the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue, which is known as rhinophyma. Some famous sufferers of rosacea are President Bill Clinton, Rosie O’Donnell, W.C. Fields, and Mariah Carey.
The condition primarily affects whites of northwestern European descent. Those who blush easily and have fair skin are at particularly high risk of developing the disorder. Women are more frequently diagnosed with rosacea, but men tend to experience more severe symptoms, which may be attributed to men tending to delay in seeking treatment.
Any of the following warning signs would be a cue to see a dermatologist for diagnosis and appropriate treatment before the condition becomes severe:
- Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead
- Small visible blood vessels on the face
- Bumps or pimples on the face
- Watery or irritated eyes
Ignoring the signs or delaying treatment can lead to devastating physical and emotional effects. Recent surveys by the National Rosacea Society reveal that more than 76% of rosacea patients have lowered self-confidence and self-esteem. Of those with severe symptoms, 70% of patients with severe symptoms said the disorder had seriously affected their professional interactions, and almost 30% missed work as a direct result of their condition.
At the current time, it is not known what causes rosacea. Although there is no cure, there are effective prescription topical treatments and laser treatment programs that can control this potentially life-disruptive disorder. If you suspect you may have rosacea, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment to see a dermatologist or other knowledgeable physician for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.