Rosacea (pronounced rose-AY-shah) is an acne-like facial skin disorder affecting a growing number of adults. It generally first appears when people are in their 30s, 40s or 50s as a redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that comes and goes. This early stage is often mistaken for a simple complexion problem or sunburn and ignored.
Left untreated, the redness becomes more permanent and tiny blood vessels may become visible. Bumps and pimples often develop and in advanced cases, especially in men, the nose may become bumpy, red and swollen from excess tissue. In some individuals the eyes may feel gritty and appear watery or bloodshot.
Rosacea cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be reduced and its progression arrested through medical treatment and lifestyle modifications. Because it is a chronic disorder, research has found that sufferers usually must adhere to long-term medical therapy prescribed by physicians to maintain remission. Another important component to minimizing the effects of rosacea is lifestyle management. This booklet is designed to help you moderate or eliminate those lifestyle and environmental factors that may aggravate your individual condition.
Rosacea tripwires are factors that may cause a rosacea sufferer to experience a flare-up -- a more intense outbreak of redness, bumps or pimples. While the list of potential tripwires ranges from weather to emotions to foods, nearly all are related to flushing.
As a rule, anything that causes a rosacea sufferer to flush may trigger a flare-up. A National Rosacea Society survey of more than 400 patients revealed some of the most common tripwires: sun exposure for 61 percent of the respondents; stress for 60 percent; hot weather for 53 percent; alcohol for 45 percent; spicy foods for 43 percent; exercise for 39 percent; wind for 38 percent; hot baths, cold weather and hot drinks for 37, 36 and 36 percent, respectively; and skin-care products for 24 percent.
While the range of possible trigger factors may at first appear overwhelming, in reality not every sufferer will be affected by each one. To help determine your individual rosacea tripwires, the National Rosacea Society has developed a "Rosacea Diary" that provides a format for identifying which rosacea tripwires may affect you personally.
The diary allows you to track both your daily encounters with potential tripwires and the condition of your rosacea, much like keeping a journal. After several weeks you may begin to see a pattern that links flare-ups to particular factors. Once identified, these factors can be reduced or eliminated from your lifestyle for better control of your condition.
To receive a copy of the "Rosacea Diary" by U.S. Mail, use the Materials Request Form.
The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace
consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.