Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness in the face. It is most common in older people and worsens with time. This is why it is essential to understand your skin condition and take action to treat rosacea.
Learn more about what causes rosacea and what your treatment options are to manage this skin condition. Get advice on how you can change your routine to solve it from anywhere in Tennessee.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common and chronic skin condition of the face affecting more than 10 million people. Rosacea is a progressive skin condition, meaning that, if not accurately and aggressively treated by a dermatologist, it can lead to permanent skin changes. It is essential to see a dermatologist or other dermatology provider for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of Rosacea?
Rosacea symptoms tend to progress along a predictable spectrum, many cases worsening over time. Rosacea symptoms most often affect the cheeks and nose. Less often, the forehead and chin are involved.
Rosacea of the eyes, or ocular rosacea, is a gritty irritation of the white part of the eyes (sclera). The eyes feel as though there is something in them, and the eyes feel like they need to be rubbed. Symptoms begin with facial flushing and progress, as noted below.
• redness/flushing in symmetric pattern (equal on both sides of the face)
• visible blood vessels on the skin
• papules (red bumps)
• pustules (whiteheads)
• thickening skin of the nose (rhinophyma)
• and less common, ocular rosacea, which is irritation of the eyes
Who Gets Rosacea?
Rosacea is most common in people between ages 30-50 and more often affects women than men. People with fairer complexions (blue/green eyes, light skin, light hair) tend to be more often affected. Women tend to have more facial skin involvement, and men tend to have more severe nose involvement/rhinophyma cases.
Rosacea is often confused with other similar appearing skin conditions like acne, folliculitis, and dermatitis. Worse, a patient could have early symptoms of Lupus and be confusing those symptoms for rosacea!
If you have a face rash or think you have rosacea, the most important first step is to be seen by a dermatologist or dermatology nurse practitioner for an accurate diagnosis.
Why Do People Get Rosacea?
Though not one identifying cause for rosacea, it is believed to be a combination of internal and external factors.
Notice that many of these triggers induce flushing first… heat, sun, exercise, hot shower, alcohol.
Internal Rosacea Factors
Ancestry Common among family members and people of Celtic descent
External Rosacea Triggers
Extreme temperatures, cold or hot
Wind and sun exposure
Emotions or stress
Alcohol consumption and spicy foods
Evening shade vegetables like eggplant, peppers, tomatoes
Hot drinks like coffee and high intake of caffeine
How to Manage Rosacea Triggers in TN
Most people would look at that list and feel super bummed out! How do you avoid ALL OF THOSE? The answer is somewhere in between. You certainly can't change the weather in Tennessee, and it's hard to avoid the sun and many of the foods on the list altogether!
As noted above, many of the triggers of rosacea induce flushing. As the number of triggers increases, symptoms progress past flushing in the predictable order of papules, pustules, etc.
The best first step is to identify what makes YOUR rosacea flare MORE. What triggers induce flushing in YOU that may set off that cascade of other symptoms? Identifying triggers will help your dermatologist better personalize your treatment plan and skincare routine. Minimizing these triggers will make your treatment plan more effective and help you and your dermatologist better prepared for occasional unavoidable flares.
A 3-4 week diary can help you better identify more specific triggers. The National Rosacea Society developed a printable diary, linked below.
Or you can simply document the following information each day for a few weeks:
• Foods and alcohol consumed
• Exercise type and location
• Overall daily stress on 1-10 scale
How to Prevent Rosacea Flares
The most straightforward advice is to control what you can and try not to pile on multiple triggers at once.
Daily prevention of common triggers includes:
• Daily use of an oil-free moisturizer with mineral-based SPF 30+ for your face. Sun protection is the most critical step you can take to reduce rosacea flares, particularly here in Nashville and Tennessee, where UV light is high many months of the year. Mineral sunblock containing zinc and / or titanium gives your face a layer of long-lasting protection necessary for rosacea patients. Furthermore, daily use of mineral-based SPF also prevents premature aging of the skin from daily sun exposure and reduces the risk of skin cancers! At Tennessee Telederm, we recommend skincare brands such as Elta MD, Ordinary, Replenix, Lett Skin Care, IT Cosmetics. Just remember, the moisturizer needs to be oil-free, contain zinc or titanium, and be worn every day regardless of current weather conditions. If you have questions about sunblock or skincare products, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Tennessee Telederm. The skincare market can be overwhelming!
• Seek shade from the HEAT and the SUN! Wide brim hats, umbrellas, shade trees protect from heat and UV rays, both of which trigger rosacea flares.
• Avoid or minimize hot drinks, hot showers, and intense exercise outdoors. These lifestyle modifications are significant, too, because they occur every day. If you drink a super hot coffee and take a hot shower daily, that means your face is flushing, at minimum, twice a day. When that happens ongoing, the rosacea symptoms will begin to progress. Solutions include iced coffee or allowing hot drinks to cool a bit, decreasing the number of showers, and decreasing showers’ temperature.
• Exercise indoors if possible during warmer months to reduce flushing.
Thankfully, dermatologists in Tennessee have access to a multitude of treatments for rosacea. Many of the treatments are easy to use, affordable, and have no side effects.
A dermatologist or dermatology nurse practitioner in Tennessee can talk with you about your triggers, how you manage them, and then develop a personalized treatment plan and skincare regimen.
Prescription treatments for rosacea include numerous topical options (a product placed on top of the affected skin) and oral options (a pill that can target deeper layers of skin that the topical cream can’t reach).
Many rosacea patients need a maintenance treatment plan and a flare treatment plan. The maintenance plan involves prevention and lifestyle modifications, as well as one or two prescription lotions for daily use. Flare plans usually involve an oral pill to treat the deeper skin inflammation that creams can’t reach. Remember, the skin is designed to be a barrier so though topical treatments can be very effective long term, an oral pill may be needed for the persistent and hard to access deep inflammation of the skin.
Laser treatment is also available for rosacea. The treatment minimizes rosacea for 2-3 years. It is not covered by insurance. If you are interested in laser treatment, please reach out to Tennessee Telederm for recommendations for the best providers.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have rosacea concerns, don’t wait to set an appointment. Tennessee Telederm has experience treating dermatology skin conditions, including rosacea and other breakouts and rashes of the face. You don’t have to wait around for it to clear up. Our online dermatology appointments are secure, convenient, and effective. Save yourself time waiting to get into a doctor’s office and schedule your appointment today. If you have other dermatology conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails, we can help treat those as well.
Why use Tennessee Telederm for Acne care?
Your exam is online using telehealth, a HIPAA secure video platform powered by Athenahealth, the largest connected network built to support physician practices.
Experience-Backed Treatment Plans
Treatment plans are backed by years of dermatology and practice experience. Kristen specializes in diagnosing and treating medical conditions of the skin and creates personalized treatment plans for each patient.
Convenience and Affordable
Tennessee Telederm offers a convenient and affordable way to receive dermatology care through online scheduling, telehealth and same-day appointments. We do accept insurance and treat ages 12 and up.