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Rosacea (cont.)

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Is rosacea like acne?

Rosacea is basically different than acne, although the two can coexist. It is also sometimes called "adult acne." Unlike common acne, rosacea is not primarily a plague of teenagers but occurs most often in adults (ages 30-50), especially in those with fair skin. Different than acne, there are usually no blackheads or whiteheads in rosacea. Furthermore, most teens eventually outgrow acne whereas patients with rosacea don't generally outgrow it. Rosacea consists mostly of small red bumps. People with rosacea tend to have a rosy or pink color to their skin as opposed to acne patients whose skin is usually less red.

Rosacea strikes both sexes and potentially all ages. It tends to be more frequent in women but more severe in men. It is very uncommon in children, and it is less frequent dark skin.

What are causes and risk factors of rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown and remains a mystery. The basic process seems to involve dilation of the small blood vessels of the face. Currently, it is believed that rosacea patients have a genetically mediated reduction in the ability to dampen facial inflammation that is incited by environmental factors such as: sunburn, demodecosis (Demodex folliculorum in the hair follicles), flushing, and certain medications. Rosacea tends to affect the "blush" areas of the face and is more common in people who flush easily. Additionally, a variety of triggers are known to cause rosacea to flare. Emotional factors (stress, fear, anxiety, embarrassment, etc.) may trigger blushing and aggravate rosacea. A flare-up can be caused by changes in the weather, like strong winds, or a change in the humidity. Sun exposure and sun-damaged skin is generally associated with rosacea. Exercise, alcohol consumption, emotional upsets, and spicy food are other well-known triggers that may aggravate rosacea. Many patients may also notice flares around the holidays, particularly Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Rosacea risk factors include fair skin, English, Irish or Scottish heredity, easy blushing, and having other family members with rosacea (called "positive family history"). Additional risk factors include female gender, menopause, and being 30-50 years of age.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/5/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/rosacea/article.htm

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