The disease is divided into three stages, which do not necessarily merge into one another. First there is redness and spontaneous blushing of the cheeks. In the second stage, pustules and nodules appear around the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. It is not uncommon for the skin to burn or itch. Finally, severe inflammations are possible. Rosacea can also lead to a nodular thickening of the nose. Those affected often perceive the skin disease as a blemish. But the good news is that rosacea can be treated quite well, says Giessen dermatologist Professor Uwe Gieler.
Redness, pustules or nodules on the face can be an indication of rosacea. The inflammatory skin disease is not curable, but with the right therapy the symptoms can disappear. Slowly increasing redness on the face, which “blossoms” like a rose, gives the skin disease rosacea its name. In Germany alone, the Professional Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD) estimates that around ten million people are affected.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting several million people in Germany. The inflammation often manifests itself as persistent redness, papules, pustules, visible veins or swelling of the face. Many sufferers do not even know that they suffer from rosacea, although there are now a variety of therapeutic approaches.
Alcohol and coffee can intensify symptoms
Skin disease rosacea can be controlled
Rosacea often proceeds in relapses. Symptoms may become worse after drinking alcohol, coffee or spicy food. Sunbathing, sauna visits or stress are other frequent triggers of a relapse. The factors that lead to relapses vary from case to case. “Those affected must find that out for themselves,” says Munich dermatologist Marion Moers-Carpi.
The three stages of rosacea
Your advice: If there are any initial signs of facial redness, see your dermatologist immediately. “The sooner treatment begins, the better the skin disease can be controlled,” says Moers-Carpi.
There are various therapeutic approaches. Patients are often prescribed special creams or ointments – for example with the drug metronidazole. According to Gielers, creams or gels containing permethrin or vitamin A acid can also help. In cases of redness, a gel containing the active ingredient brimonidine can provide relief for a few hours.
One of the newer treatment methods is light therapy: a gel is applied to the affected areas, and then these areas of skin are exposed to a special light lamp, explains Moers-Carpi. Laser therapy can be used to remove redness and nodules on the facial skin.
If stress is the trigger for rosacea or rosacea relapses, affected persons sometimes have to learn to integrate sufficient recovery phases into their daily life. “Yoga, muscle relaxation or autogenic training, for example, can help,” says Gieler. Relaxation massages of the face also often help to reduce stress. Behavioral therapy can help people learn how to deal better with stressful situations.
Although the symptoms can be controlled, rosacea is not curable. Consequently, attacks can occur again and again. That is why it is important that everyone knows their “triggers” that trigger rosacea, Gieler emphasizes. Coffee, alcohol, stress: If you know what is harmful, you can take countermeasures. (vb; Qulle: Sabine Meuter, dpa)
With the right therapy, rosacea sufferers could become completely symptom-free, Gieler emphasizes. “However, some patience is needed. Rapid treatment success is not to be expected”. In many cases, improvements only become apparent after about six to eight weeks.
WashingtonNewsday Health and Wellness.