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About Rosacea

   

Acne Rosacea

Acne rosacea is a misleading term: rosacea and acne are twoentirely different conditions, although they can and do appear together. Clogged skin pores and bacterial infections cause acne. Rosacea occurs when blood vessels move to just below the skin's surface, leading to blotchy red patches. These blotches fade and then return, becoming more permanent over time.

The blackheads, whiteheads and pimples associated with acne are not associated with rosacea. Red bumps called papules are. These papules are usually solid and hard. The papules range in size from small bumps that resemble the measles or chicken pox, all the way to larger, penny-shaped nodules. Left untreated, larger nodules can cause rhinophyma.

Ocular Rosacea

About half of all sufferers have symptoms of ocular rosacea, where symptoms affect the eyes. The eyelids may become inflamed and develop small red bumps, or develop scales and crusts after a night's sleep. The eyes may become bloodshot with a "gritty" feeling, as if a piece of sand were in the eye. Sensitivity to bright light is common. Occasionally, eyelash loss occurs.

Although rare, serious complications can develop from this condition. An inflammation of the cornea called keratitis can occur. Without treatment, keratitis can lead to corneal damage, which can cause impaired vision, and eventually, blindness if the corneal problems progress unchecked.

Rhinophyma

Rhinophyma develops when severe rosacea is left untreated over a long period of time. The papules gradually increase in size. When these nodules converge on the nose, they give the nose a swollen, red appearance.

Rhinophyma sufferers often have to deal with the widely held belief that a red, swollen nose is the sign of heavy alcohol consumption. In fact, alcoholism has nothing to do with the condition. Men are more likely than women to develop rhinophyma, although women may develop large nodules on the cheeks.

Vascular Rosacea

Vascular rosacea is more common in women than men. The condition is due to swollen blood vessels in the face, resulting in "puffy" skin that feels warm and uncomfortable.