Both a skin and eye disorder, acne rosacea is a type of acne characterized by the appearance of pustules and vascular manifestations on the affected tissues. So far, the nature and exact causes of acne rosacea is not fully explained although it is generally admitted that the disease is favored by sun exposure. The pustules and the flushing of the skin usually affect the face and the chest with a deterioration of the condition after the consumption of alcohol, spicy foods or hot drinks.
It appears that acne rosacea affects more women than men, with a higher occurrence of the disease in the middle-aged group. Thus, the majority of patients are people between 30 and 60, with the mention that in the case of black complexions the identification is more difficult and often delayed. Although many assumptions have been made on the preponderance of acne rosacea with fair-skinned people, the theory is not supported by clinical evidence.
The acne lesions characteristic to the disease usually appear in the nose area, on the cheeks and chin, but the central forehead doesn’t get spared either. Although the oily appearance of the skin makes acne rosacea resemble acne vulgaris, differences do exist. In traditional acne forms, comedones have no limitation of extent, whereas with rosacea they don’t even appear in the flush areas. Moreover, acne rosacea is characterized by hypertrophy which is not found with acne vulgaris.
Unlike regular acne forms, acne rosacea is a chronic disease that evolves in time, sometimes extending over years. Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed for the alleviation of the symptoms, but they are not suitable for long-term therapy because of the risk to cause an atrophy or permanent vaso-dilation of the tissues. Most doctors will therefore go for the systemic treatment instead of the topical one.
Sometimes the damage caused by acne rosacea needs surgical treatment, but only an expert can decide on such a course of action. The tunable dye laser procedure and electrocautery represent the two main alternatives under the circumstances, but one could also choose excision, skin grafting, dermabrasion ands so on. The treatment of acne rosacea should not be ignored or postponed even if the condition shows an improvement over some periods of time.