What is Acne Rosacea?
Acne Rosacea is a common inflammatory disease of the face – particularly affecting the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. In its early stages it most often causes red pimples and pus-filled cysts similar to those seen in ordinary teenage acne. Rosacea is a long-term disorder and usually lasts for at least several years. Typically, flare-ups alternate with periods of less activity. Over a period of time, it gradually “scars” the skin by producing permanent redness of the face, particularly the cheeks and nose. The exact cause of Acne Rosacea is not known, but it is thought to be similar in some respects to teenage acne. It is definitely known not to be contagious. The skin disease may, in rare cases, be associated with an inflammation of the eyelids known as blepharitis.
How is Acne Rosacea treated?
1. If Acne Rosacea is fairly severe, we may prescribe antibiotics to help control the inflammation. All of these drugs have certain things in common:
a. They must be taken with great regularity to be of maximum benefit.
b. Though quite safe and relatively free of side effects, any disturbing symptoms which arise during their use should be reported to us so that we can determine whether they might be due to the medicine.
c. Any of the antibiotics prescribed should be discontinued immediately if pregnancy occurs.
2. Occasionally, women taking antibiotics may develop vaginal yeast infections. Symptoms of this are itching and vaginal discharge. This is not serious or dangerous and can usually be easily managed without interrupting treatment of the Acne Rosacea. If you experience these symptoms, contact the office for instructions.
Other important considerations:
1. Use the prescribed cleanser to wash your face. Wash very gently with your fingertips once or twice daily. Avoid harsh scrubbing.
2. All oil-containing skin care preparations, especially moisturizing lotions and cleansing creams, may aggravate Acne Rosacea. Products containing grease or oil should not be used as part of your routine of daily skin care. Such products may be used occasionally during the dry, cold, winter months to relieve chapping. A list of preferred cosmetics can be provided to you upon request.
3. There are certain types of cortisone creams which must never be used on the face in anyone being treated for Acne Rosacea. Do not use this type of medication unless it is the one we specifically recommend for you.
4. The National Rosacea Society surveyed its 158,000 newsletter subscribers. Rosacea sufferers who responded to that survey ranked the factors which aggravate their disease in order of importance:
a. Strong direct sunlight.
b. Emotional stress or anxiety.
c. Hot weather, especially hot, humid weather.
d. Highly seasoned, spicy foods.
e. Exercise and exertion.
f. Cold weather, especially exposure of the face to cold wind.
g. Hot baths.
h. Hot beverages in large quantities and abundant use of very hot foods
such as soups, hot pizza, etc.
i. Alcoholic beverages in more than minimal quantities.
j. The following foods were listed: eggplant, spinach, avocados, bean
pods, chocolate, vanilla, soy sauce, vinegar, citrus fruits, bananas, red
plums, tomatoes, raisins and figs. Yeast extracts sometimes caused trouble, though bread was not reported.
For additional information and to be placed on a mailing list, you may write:
The National Rosacea Society
220 South Cook Street, Suite 201
Barrington, Illinois 60010