This can be psychologically very stressful

Red spots, visible veins and pustules on the face: these are typical signs of rosacea – a common inflammation of the facial skin that usually occurs in episodes. Like any visible skin disease, rosacea can affect well-being. Affect self-confidence. However, many people are not even aware that their blotchy red facial skin is caused by a treatable condition. There are various ways to relieve the inflammation and prevent flare-ups.

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Rosacea is a chronic, non-contagious inflammation of the facial skin. It can vary in severity and affect the cheeks, chin, forehead and nose. Rarely, the scalp, the skin on the neck or in the chest area is inflamed.

Rosacea is often divided into four types:

– Type 1: Facial skin is red, sometimes veins become visible. – Type 2: In addition to the reddening of the skin, nodules (papules) and pustules are formed. – Type 3: The skin is thickened and inflammatory nodules sometimes appear, especially on the nose. – Type 4: Rosacea causes inflammation of the eyes and eyelids, sometimes without noticeable skin symptoms.

The skin may also become drier, swell a bit and peel, burn or itch easily. It is more sensitive. More easily irritated than healthy skin.

Rosacea can look very different, moreover there are many mixed forms. The classification into four types therefore only gives a rough orientation. For the treatment are always the individual complaints. Skin changes crucial.

This can be very stressful psychologically

Rosacea type 1 and type 2 (different degrees of severity)

This can be psychologically very stressful

Rosacea type 3 and type 4

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Why rosacea develops is not yet fully understood. A role is probably played by:

– inflammatory and immune reactions – changes in the blood vessels in the skin – familial predisposition – impaired protective function of the skin – hypersensitivity to certain mites (hair follicle mites) or bacteria

Triggers of inflammatory episodes include, for example, sunlight, intense heat or cold, and stress.

Rosacea-like symptoms can also be promoted by the long-term use of cortisone preparations (steroid rosacea). However, if the remedies are used correctly, this risk is very low.

Although rosacea may develop purulent pustules, it is not a form of acne: unlike acne, rosacea does not increase the skin's production of sebum.

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Rosacea usually develops after the age of 30. year of life. In Germany, about 2 to 5% of all adults are affected. It is more common in women and in people with fair skin.

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Rosacea symptoms often occur in episodes: Periods of more pronounced skin changes alternate with periods when the inflammation subsides or subsides. Over time, the skin can change. Other symptoms may be added. Often, however, the symptoms remain the same for a long time.

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In men in particular, skin changes and growths can lead to the development of a bulbous nose in the long term, a condition known as rhinophyma. This can be psychologically very stressful, especially if the shape of the nose changes significantly.

In rosacea with eye involvement, the eyes may be red, itchy and watery. In addition, they can become more sensitive to light. When the sebaceous glands on the eyelids are clogged, the eyes can dry out. Inflammation of the conjunctiva, eyelid margin and cornea is also possible and can be painful. Sometimes it feels like there is a foreign body in the eye.

Very rarely, complications of the eyes occur, such as corneal inflammation. This is an emergency due to the risk of vision loss. Possible signs include eye pain or a foreign body sensation, difficulty seeing, or changes in the cornea or vitreous humor. In the case of such complaints, fast medical help is important!

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Dermatologists can recognize rosacea from the typical skin changes. If the eye is also affected, an additional ophthalmological examination is usually useful.

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Good skin care is recommended to prevent recurrence of symptoms. This includes ensuring adequate sun protection, using soap-free cleansing products with a low pH and avoiding irritants.

Possible irritants in skin care products include alcohol, camphor, menthol, mint, eucalyptus, fragrances, fruit acids and substances used for chemical or mechanical exfoliation. When washing the face, it is best to use lukewarm to cool water. Dab the skin gently with a towel afterwards. Water that is too hot or too cold can trigger or intensify skin redness.

If the skin is too dry, moisture-binding agents can help. This also relieves itching and protects against cracks that can promote inflammation.

Often, certain triggers for relapses can be identified over time. In general, anything that can cause redness of the face will also aggravate rosacea. Typical triggers include:

– Alcohol – hot drinks – certain medications such as vasodilators – hot spices and foods – sunlight – extreme temperatures

A rosacea diary can help to track down possible triggers. If you know them, you can avoid at least some of them.

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