Acne rosacea treatment
Acne rosacea is a progressive, chronic skin ailment that afflicts around 5% of the population. Characterized by redness, irritation, thickened skin, itching, and burning, acne rosacea has no cure, but it can be managed with a variety of treatments.
Acne is an extremely common condition, affecting millions of people every year. There are several different types of acne, ranging from acne vulgaris, or “common” acne, typified by blocked pores (comedones) and other lesions like nodules and pustules, to acne rosacea. Acne rosacea, usually called simply “Rosacea,” is a skin condition that affects an estimated 5% of the population. It requires prompt attention by a dermatologist to prevent it from becoming disfiguring, and acne rosacea treatment often includes oral antibiotics, sodium sulfacetamide, sulfur, metronidazole, azelaic acid (Azelax), and benzoyl peroxide.
Acne rosacea, or rosacea, is a skin condition related to acne vulgaris, in that its sufferers experience inflamed, irritated skin. However, the typical acne rosacea victim is a woman over the age of 30, usually Caucasian (especially of Scottish or English descent), and the condition is considered chronic, since the symptoms tend to come back, defying treatment. Acne rosacea treatment is different from that of acne vulgaris, although the two conditions can affect you at the same time.
There are four separate types of acne rosacea, but they all have some symptoms in common:
- Localized redness/flushing. Rosacea appears in certain areas of the face, especially the t-zone area and cheeks. The nose is especially susceptible.
- Papules and pustules. These inflamed acne lesions are common in rosacea. Whiteheads and blackheads are not a symptom of rosacea, but acne vulgaris can also present itself concurrently with rosacea.
- Dilated blood vessels. These squiggly, prominent blood vessels are readily available in the flushed areas of the face.
- Thickened/plaque-like skin/irregular growth. This frequently occurs on the cheeks and nose. In phymatous rosacea the nose can develop irregular growths, causing bulbous protrusions and distended size.
- Itching/swelling/burning sensation. This can occur all over the face, including in the eyes.
There is, to date, no cure for acne rosacea; it is considered a chronic and progressive illness. The emphasis in acne rosacea treatment is in alleviating the symptoms. Some of the main acne rosacea treatment options include:
- Metronidazole. Metronidazole is a topical antibiotic, usually found in cream or gel form, which has great success in diminishing redness and inflammation in acne rosacea sufferers.
- Azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is an organic compound derived from grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It decreases inflammation, decreasing the redness and swelling associated with acne rosacea when applied topically.
- Benzoyl peroxide. This common topical acne vulgaris treatment is useful in acne rosacea as well, especially for treating pustules and papules. Many rosacea sufferers also experience acne vulgaris as well, so benzoyl peroxide helps ease the symptoms of both conditions.
- Oral antibiotics. Dermatologists frequently prescribe oral antibiotics to combat the p. acnes bacteria, which causes acne vulgaris, and they have also been found to help in acne rosacea cases, too. Doxycycline is especially effective in acne rosacea.
- Sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur. A combination of 10% sodium sulfacetamide and 5% sulfur has proven to be very helpful in acne rosacea treatment when applied topically.
Acne rosacea is a chronic and progressive condition that has no cure, but it can be treated to lessen the unpleasant symptoms. Consult a dermatologist immediately if you develop any of the symptoms of acne rosacea, because the symptoms are much more manageable if the condition is detected in the early stages.