When it intermittently occurs, the person suffering from rosacea is continually reminded that as of April 2010 there is still no cure. Several treatment options exist, depending on the severity and type of rosacea and the decisions made by the patient and doctor.
While the best medicine is prevention, and the rosacea sufferer can track what triggers episodes, additional options and recognized therapies are often necessary:
- Protect the skin from heat, whether from the sun or indoor heat, winter or summer. Hats and sunglasses for outdoor activity on sunny days, fans or air conditioning while indoors.
- Cool washcloths draped over the affected area.
- Calming exercises to reduce stress-yoga or meditation, for example.
- Regular and consistent doses of prescribed oral or topical medication. While antibiotic ointment is used primarily to control inflammation and not bacteria, physicians may often prescribe it early in treating certain types. Discuss with a physician before using any non-prescribed, over-the-counter medication.
Additional Options by Condition
While the above pertains primarily to Subtype 1 Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (Facial Redness) and Subtype 2 Papulopustular rosacea (Bumps and Pimples), some can be used in more severe cases. When the syndrome is harsh or advanced, rigorous measures may be necessary.
Subtype 2, Papulopustular rosacea: Often concurrent with the flushing of Subtype 1, laser surgery reduces the capillaries close to the skin and removes or reduces the bumps.
Subtype 3, phymatous rosacea (Primarily enlargement of the nose): Severe cases of rosacea can cause excessive growth of tissue on the end of the nose, giving the tip a ball-like appearance. The condition may encompass thickening of the skin, as well. Laser surgery can remove the excess tissue.
Subtype 4, Ocular rosacea (Eye irritation): Can accompany Subtype 1 and Subtype 2, but not always. Vision loss is a serious concern. oral antibiotics or other avenues are most commonly recommended. [Note: Recent indications regarding protein content in the tears of ocular rosacea patients may lead to a cure for this particular syndrome. Contact a physician for more information.]
Variant Type, granulomatous rosacea: An additional subcategory of the condition. Its symptomology is slightly different. It manifests generally on the cheek or other soft-tissue area of the face with hard crusty shells or nodules that are red, yellow, or brown. If left untreated, it could lead to moderate to severe scarring. Light Pulsating or laser surgery may be called for; drugs may be prescribed.
“Rosacea.org: The National Rosacea Society.” Rosacea.org: The National Rosacea Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.rosacea.org/class/classysystem.php.
“Rosacea.org: The National Rosacea Society.” Rosacea.org: The National Rosacea Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.rosacea.org/grants/research.php#Mannis.
“Understanding Rosacea — the Basics.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-rosacea-basics.