Over the past decade, the number of reported cases of rosacea has consistently risen. Many people within the medical community attribute this to a better understanding of the condition which makes it easier to diagnose. Rosacea can become a complex problem which is why it is commonly classified into four separate groups based upon the symptoms. Depending upon your symptoms, the ideal course of treatment can vary.
4 Types of Rosacea (Most Common to Least Common)
The first type of rosacea is primarily characterized by persistent facial redness or regular flushing of the skin (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea). In most cases, this does not cause any discomfort although there can be some skin irritation. Additionally, small blood vessels may start to become noticeable – especially in the cheeks.
2. Persistent Bumps or Pimples
This type of rosacea includes both constant facial redness as well as bumps which visually appear to be acne or pimples, although regular acne treatment will not be sufficient (papulopustular rosacea).
3. Thickening of the Skin
In most cases, this form of rosacea leads to your skin thickening to a point where the enlargement is noticeable (phymatous rosacea). Often times, this happens around the area of your nose. Of all of the different types of rosacea, this one has the widest variety of treatment options and can be the most difficult to achieve long-term results without constant maintenance.
4. Constant Eye Irritation
The final type of rosacea is characterized by a combination of symptoms relating to your eyes (ocular rosacea). The symptoms can include eyes which constantly appear watery or bloodshot, regular burning/stinging, blurred vision, dryness, itching, and in some cases light sensitivity. This form of rosacea is particularly likely to occur if you have a history of blepharitis (dry eye).
Potential Treatment Options
There are several topical creams which some people have found effective at relieving rosacea symptoms. Normally these creams primarily consist of the active ingredient metronidazole or clindamyacin. These creams are considered to be antibiotics and can be used either whenever symptoms appear or for long-term relief. This type of treatment is primarily designed to treat facial redness and acne like flare-ups.
There are a growing number of prescription medications to treat a variety of symptoms associated with rosacea. The most common option is tetracycline. It is considered to be effective for anyone coping with the acne like appearance of rosacea. The purpose of this medication is to reduce swelling and redness. Most holistic experts argue that this type of systemic antibiotic treatment should be used as a last-ditch effort, rather than a primary method of treating rosacea. This is primarily because of the growing number of side effects which include liver damage, gastrointestinal health disruption, and increased sensitivities to UV radiation damage.
Light and Laser Therapy
Pulsed light and laser therapies are a fairly new method of treating rosacea symptoms. The AFT or Advanced Fluorescent Technology Skin Rejuvenation treatment has been shown effective to treat most rosacea symptoms and can reduce or eliminate the need for antibiotics and cortisone creams. One of the biggest benefits of this type of therapy is the ability to target very specific areas of the face.
The most important thing to keep in mind when treating rosacea is that there currently is not a cure for this illness. Your only option is to find a balanced approach which effectively masks or corrects your physical symptoms.