May 20, 2008

General discussion in rosacea

by Groshan Fabiola

Rosacea is a vascular problem that affects the facial skin and eyes. This progressive disorder usually starts as a mild flush over the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. In the early stages this problem usually comes and goes but afterwards the facial redness becomes more and more intense. It looks like mild sunburn. In the affected areas where the skin is getting red, small broken blood vessels and red bumps may also become visible. In more complicated cases the inflammation intensifies leading to permanent redness, swelling and burning sensations, or can even cause facial disfigurement and disabling burning sensations.

It is known that rosacea affects millions of people all over the world. In North America it is believed that 13 million people are affected by rosacea. This high percentage is seen in Europe, Asia and Africa too. As an example we might remember that in the United Kingdom a number of 8 million people were registered with rosacea. Canada has its sufferers too. a number of 4 to 6 million patients is estimated.

As any other medical problem, rosacea develops various symptoms. Among them we have to remember the frequent facial flushing, facial redness, facial telangectasia, facial skin hyper reactivity, lumpy and bumpy facial skin, facial papules, facial pustules, burning sensations, facial swelling, rhinophyma and ocular symptoms.

Facial flushing is the most common symptom developed in rosacea. Flushing is the result of increased blood flow through dilated facial blood vessels. During a flush the face turns red. The shades of red depend on the amount of blood flowing through the skin.

Facial redness is also common for rosacea sufferers and it is caused by the dilated blood vessels near the surface of the facial skin.

Facial telangiectasia are broken vessels that are permanently dilated. They appear as fine red lines crossing through the facial skin.

Another symptom is the hyper-reactivity of the facial skin. This is the cause of sensitive, inflamed blood vessels near the surface of the skin.

An imperfect skin texture or lumpy bumpy skin is caused by an amount of other symptoms such as dilated blood vessels, swelling, mild fibrosis or leakage of inflammatory cells in the upper layers of the skin. This is called acne rosacea.

Facial papules are also a symptom of rosacea. They are red bumps that occur because of the vascular flushing.

Facial pustules are red small bumps with pus. They are also caused by vascular flushing in areas around sebaceous glands.

Burning sensations are also a frequently seen symptom in rosacea. It is the cause of the activation of sensory pain nerves in the facial skin.

Swelling occurs when fluid and proteins leak out of facial blood vessels at abnormal rates.

Rhinophyma is a severe form of rosacea that is characterized by a chronic redness and inflammation and increased tissue growth of the nose.

Ocular symptoms are more than common among rosacea sufferers. More that half of the people with rosacea have ocular rosacea. Symptoms include inflammation of the eye surface or lids.

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