Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that is frequently misdiagnosed and mistaken for more common skin problems like acne and eczema.
Dr Ram was recently featured in the Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao in an article that hopefully helps people suffering from this condition to seek the right treatment.
The english transcript for the feature is available below.
This Condition Causes You to Blush
Understand Rosacea and Get the Condition Diagnosed Early
Red cheeks and a red nose and some red bumps may not necessarily be symptoms of Acne. It could be a chronic skin condition called Rosacea, which is similar to Acne, and may even be mistaken for Eczema because of the itching, which can lead to incorrect treatment.
In the end how do people distinguish between Rosacea and these two common skin problems? We invited Dr Ram Nath of The Wellness Clinic to explain it.
Often Occurs in Caucasians
In the early stages, the symptoms of Rosacea are very similar to that of Acne and Eczema. However, Rosacea is generally more common in Caucasians who tend to blush more easily. Dr Ram said that the disease is more frequently diagnosed in women, but more severe symptoms tend to be seen in men.
He also pointed out: “The exact cause of Rosacea is still unknown, but there are different theories regarding the cause. One theory is that Rosacea might be a component of a more generalized disorder of the blood vessels.”
Quite often, the diagnosis of Rosacea is only made when the skin condition fails to improve (or even worsens) after treatment with medications for Eczema or Acne, or when more severe symptoms such as severe and persistent burning and itching, and visible blood vessels under the skin occur. Rosacea is a condition that progresses slowly over a long period of time, and hence it is often mistaken for Eczema or Acne in the early stages. Patients are most often in their 30s before they are diagnosed with the condition. Differences Between Rosacea, Acne and Eczema:
|Commonly found at||Cheeks and nose areas||Can occur anywhere including body such as chest and back areas, but more common at the T-zone area on the face||Anywhere on the face and body, but especially where natural creases of the skin occur, like elbows and knees|
|Symptoms||Persistent redness, bumps or pimples but blackheads are absent, more severe ones include persistent burning and itching and visible blood vessels under the skin occur.||Redness, bumps or pimples can contain blackheads, pus.||Little red spots on skin that are often itchy but usually no bumps and severe ones can have signs of inflammation|
Common trigger factors include: · Sun exposure· Stress· Hot weather· Heavy exercise· Alcohol consumption· Hot showers and consuming hot drinks
He recommends avoiding direct sun exposure and applying high SPF sunscreen and avoiding spicy foods.
Can it be cured?
Although the cause of Rosacea is unknown, medical therapy is available to control or reverse its signs and symptoms. There is no strong hereditary or genetic predisposition.
Topical antibiotics, and in more severe cases, a course of oral antibiotics may be prescribed to control symptoms. These oral antibiotics may exert an anti-inflammatory effect and are usually taken for several months. Lasers can be useful in reducing persistent redness and treating the prominent blood vessels of Rosacea. For patients with an enlarged swollen nose (rhinophyma), the Carbon Dioxide Laser can be used to reduce the thickness of the skin.