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Rosacea
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Rosacea

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

Hair/Nails/Skin

Rosacea is a facial rash that occurs in middle-aged men and women. Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition often resulting in redness of your face. You may mistake its characteristics — red nose, flushed cheeks, and small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules — for acne. In fact, rosacea is also known as adult acne or acne rosacea, but in reality it has little to do with the pimples and blackheads that commonly afflict teenagers. Although some people with rosacea have had significant acne as teenagers, the cause of rosecea is unknown.

If not treated, rosacea tends to be a progressive condition, which means it gets worse over time, but in most people it's cyclic. It may be active for a time, lessen in intensity, then be followed by a flare-up. Besides, acne it can also be mistaken for other skin problems, such as skin allergy. Once diagnosed, it's highly treatable.

Causes

The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it's believe likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Several theories exist as to what causes rosacea. One theory is that primarily a blood vessel disorder causes vessels to swell. Another is that the cause of rosacea is a chronic bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal system (Helicobacter pylori infection). Some researchers have suggested that tiny mites (Demodex folliculorum) living in human hair follicles may play a role by clogging up sebaceous gland openings.

One thing is certain — alcohol doesn't cause rosacea. Though the consumption of alcohol does lead to flushing of the skin and may worsen rosacea, people who don't consume alcohol may still experience severe signs and symptoms.

Risk factors

Although the exact cause of rosacea remains a mystery, a number of factors can aggravate it or make it worse by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin. Some of these include:

  • Hot foods or beverages

  • Spicy foods

  • Alcohol

  • Caffeine withdrawal, although caffeine itself isn't a factor

  • Temperature extremes

  • Sunlight

  • Stress, anger or embarrassment

  • Strenuous exercise

  • Hot baths, saunas

  • Corticosteroids

  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels

Rosacea > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:06 AM