Skin that frequently looks red or pimples that last longer than they should are common signs of rosacea, a condition affecting more than 14 million men and women in the United States. Dr. David Graham at Silver Leaf Dermatology in Edmond and Enid, Oklahoma treats rosacea flares and promotes lifestyle adjustments to avoid triggering this disease.

Rosacea Q & A

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is an incurable, non-contagious skin condition characterized by facial redness and acne-like lesions. Rosacea tends to come in cycles of flares and remissions, often preceded by a trigger, such as eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol, or taking a hot bath.

When you don’t seek treatment for your rosacea, the affected areas can become darker and ruddier. You may also develop large bumps and swellings on your face, such as a bulbous nose. Rosacea commonly affects the following areas:

  • Cheeks
  • Forehead
  • Chin
  • Eyelids
  • Eyes

How can I tell if I have rosacea?

The classic symptom of rosacea is red skin. Other symptoms of this poorly understood disease include:

  • Red bumps
  • Acne-like lesions
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Watery or irritated eyes
  • An itchy, burning, or stinging face
  • Swelling
  • Rough patches
  • Raised, red skin

Who gets rosacea?

Rosacea may be inherited. Most people who get rosacea have fair skin that tends to flush easily.

Rosacea tends to develop after the age of 30 and worsens over time without treatment. While women are affected more frequently than men, men tend to get more severe symptoms.

What kinds of triggers should I avoid if I have rosacea?

Exposure to environmental irritants may trigger your rosacea. Some examples of these irritants include:

  • Sun
  • Wind
  • Hot or cold weather
  • Humidity
  • Indoor heating

You may also trigger rosacea if you:

  • Take hot Baths
  • Use skin care products not formulated for rosacea
  • Eat spicy foods
  • Drink alcohol or hot beverages
  • Become upset or stressed

What are the best treatments for rosacea?

Dr. Graham, at Silver Leaf Dermatology, can reduce the number and severity of your flares.

To achieve those goals, he may recommend non-irritating skin-care products, including those explicitly formulated for rosacea; washing your face with soft cloths in cool water and patting — not rubbing — your face dry, and applying sunscreen daily.

Keeping a diary to track your flares helps to identify and avoid your triggers. When you have a flare, Dr. Graham treats you with topical medications and oral antibiotics to quiet the symptoms.

For severe cases, he may use lasers or intense pulsed light to remove your lesions, bumpiness, and visible blood vessels, and reduce redness.

If you need to quiet down a rosacea flare or just find effective ways to control it, contact the team at Silver Leaf Dermatology today.