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Rosacea Treatment St. Louis

Rosacea St. Louis

Welcome to Mid-County Dermatology, a dermatology practice at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, MO specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of rosacea. If you're seeking expert care and personalized treatment options for rosacea in the St. Louis area, you've come to the right place. Our team of experienced dermatologists is dedicated to helping individuals effectively manage their rosacea symptoms and improve their skin health.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder characterized by redness, flushing, and the development of small, visible blood vessels on the face. It primarily affects the central part of the face, including the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. While rosacea can manifest differently from person to person, its most common symptoms include persistent redness, bumps and pimples, visible blood vessels, and a burning or stinging sensation. These symptoms may come and go, with flare-ups triggered by certain factors.

What causes rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea remains unknown, but researchers have identified several factors that may contribute to its development. These factors include:

  1. Genetics: A family history of rosacea can increase an individual's susceptibility to the condition.

  2. Dysfunction of the Blood Vessels: Abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face may play a role in rosacea.

  3. Demodex Mites: These microscopic mites that naturally reside on the skin might trigger an inflammatory response in individuals with rosacea.

  4. Abnormal Immune System Response: An overactive immune response may lead to inflammation and the characteristic symptoms of rosacea.

  5. Environmental Triggers: Certain environmental factors, such as sun exposure, extreme temperatures, wind, and humidity, can provoke rosacea flare-ups.

What are the symptoms of rosacea?

  1. Facial Redness: Persistent redness on the central part of the face, including the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. The redness may come and go, and it is often triggered by various factors such as temperature changes, emotional stress, or certain foods.

  2. Flushing: Frequent episodes of facial flushing, where the skin becomes noticeably red and may feel warm or hot. Flushing can be triggered by factors like sunlight, hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, or stress.

  3. Visible Blood Vessels: Small blood vessels may become visible on the surface of the skin, appearing as thin red lines or a network of red lines (telangiectasia). These blood vessels can be particularly noticeable on the cheeks and nose.

  4. Papules and Pustules: Small, red bumps (papules) and pus-filled bumps (pustules) may develop on the face. These can resemble acne, but unlike acne, there are no blackheads or whiteheads associated with rosacea.

  5. Thickened Skin: In some cases, the skin on the nose or other affected areas may thicken and develop a bumpy texture. This condition is known as rhinophyma and is more commonly seen in men.

  6. Eye Irritation: Ocular symptoms may occur in some individuals with rosacea, including redness, dryness, burning, itching, and a sensation of grittiness in the eyes. This is known as ocular rosacea and requires medical attention.

How is rosacea diagnosed?

To accurately diagnose rosacea, it is essential to consult with one of our St. Louis skin specialists. They will examine your skin, inquire about your symptoms and medical history, and may perform additional tests to rule out other conditions. It is crucial to receive a proper diagnosis to ensure the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific situation.

What are the subtypes of rosacea?

Rosacea can present in various subtypes, each with its unique set of symptoms. These subtypes include:

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea: This subtype is characterized by persistent redness, flushing, visible blood vessels, and a tendency to develop sensitive and easily irritated skin.

  2. Papulopustular Rosacea: People with this subtype experience persistent redness, bumps, and pimples that resemble acne. It may also involve burning or stinging sensations.

  3. Phymatous Rosacea: This subtype is associated with thickening of the skin, especially on the nose, causing it to appear bulbous and distorted. In severe cases, the condition can affect other facial areas as well.

  4. Ocular Rosacea: Ocular rosacea primarily affects the eyes, causing redness, dryness, itching, and a gritty sensation. It may also lead to blurred vision and sensitivity to light.

What skin conditions look like rosacea?

  1. Acne Vulgaris: Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition characterized by the presence of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules, pustules, and occasional cysts. Although acne can coexist with rosacea, it is essential to differentiate between the two for appropriate treatment.

  2. Seborrheic Dermatitis: Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects areas rich in sebaceous glands, such as the scalp, face, and chest. It often presents with redness, scaling, and flaking of the skin, which can be mistaken for rosacea.

  3. Demodicosis: Demodicosis, caused by an overpopulation of Demodex mites on the skin, can lead to symptoms similar to rosacea. These symptoms include redness, flushing, and the development of small papules and pustules. Proper diagnosis is essential to determine the appropriate treatment approach.

  4. Contact Dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is an allergic or irritant reaction that occurs when the skin comes into contact with a specific substance. It can cause redness, itching, and sometimes the appearance of small bumps or blisters, which may resemble rosacea symptoms.

  5. Lupus: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin, among other organs. Lupus can cause a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose, which may resemble rosacea.

How is rosacea treated?

While there is no known cure for rosacea, various treatment options can help manage the symptoms effectively. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable approach for your specific case. Treatment options for rosacea include:

  1. Topical Medications: We often prescribe topical creams or gels containing ingredients like metronidazole, ivermectin, azelaic acid, or sulfur to reduce inflammation and redness.

  2. Oral Medications: In some cases, oral antibiotics like minocycline or doxycycline may be prescribed to control inflammation and manage symptoms. These antibiotics can help reduce redness, bumps, and pimples associated with rosacea.

  3. Laser and Light Therapies: Certain laser and light-based treatments can effectively target the visible blood vessels and redness associated with rosacea. These therapies work by selectively damaging the blood vessels while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.

  4. Isotretinoin: In severe cases of rosacea, isotretinoin, a medication primarily used to treat severe acne, may be considered. This powerful medication can help shrink the oil glands, reduce inflammation, and improve overall skin appearance.

  5. Lifestyle Modifications: Making certain lifestyle changes can significantly help manage rosacea symptoms. These include avoiding triggers such as spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, and extreme temperatures. Protecting your skin from sun exposure by wearing sunscreen and using gentle skincare products is also essential.

What can I buy over-the-counter for rosacea?

Over-the-counter products can help manage mild symptoms of rosacea. While specific brands and product availability may vary, here are some general recommendations that can often be found at CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart:

  1. Gentle Cleanser: Look for a mild, non-irritating cleanser formulated for sensitive skin. Some examples include Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser, or Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser.

  2. Moisturizer: Choose a moisturizer designed for sensitive or rosacea-prone skin. Look for products that are fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. Examples include CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM, Eucerin Redness Relief Night Cream, or Vanicream Facial Moisturizer.

  3. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Opt for formulas specifically labeled for sensitive skin or formulated for rosacea-prone individuals. Examples include Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen, Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF, or La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen.

  4. Green-Tinted Concealer: A green-tinted concealer can help neutralize redness. Look for products like NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Concealer or Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick.

  5. Topical Antioxidants: Some over-the-counter products contain antioxidants that may help soothe and protect the skin. Look for ingredients like green tea extract or licorice extract. Examples include La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Serum or Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Night Creme.

How do you quickly calm down rosacea?

To quickly calm down rosacea symptoms, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Avoid Triggers: Identify and avoid triggers that may exacerbate your rosacea symptoms. Common triggers include spicy foods, hot beverages, alcohol, extreme temperatures, and harsh skincare products. By minimizing exposure to triggers, you can help reduce redness and flare-ups.

  2. Keep Cool: Stay in a cool environment and avoid overheating. Use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature. Applying cool compresses or splashing cold water on your face can help soothe redness and inflammation.

  3. Gentle Skincare Routine: Opt for gentle skincare products specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Avoid harsh ingredients, abrasive scrubs, and rough physical exfoliation. Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser and moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and protected.

  4. Sun Protection: Protect your skin from the sun by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. Choose physical sunscreens containing ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are less likely to irritate the skin. Additionally, wear wide-brimmed hats and seek shade to minimize sun exposure.

  5. Stress Management: Stress can trigger rosacea flare-ups. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or engaging in activities you enjoy to help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.

What foods should I avoid if I have rosacea?

  1. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods, such as chili peppers, hot sauces, and spicy curries, can cause flushing and increased facial redness in some people with rosacea. It's advisable to reduce or avoid spicy foods if you notice a correlation between their consumption and flare-ups.

  2. Alcohol: Alcohol, particularly red wine and certain spirits like vodka and whiskey, is a known trigger for many individuals with rosacea. Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and lead to flushing and increased redness. It may be helpful to limit or avoid alcohol intake to manage rosacea symptoms effectively.

  3. Hot Beverages: Hot beverages like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate can induce flushing and exacerbate rosacea symptoms in some individuals. Consider opting for cooler or lukewarm alternatives or allowing your beverages to cool down before consuming them.

  4. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, contain high levels of acidity that may trigger rosacea symptoms in certain individuals. It is advisable to be mindful of your reaction to citrus fruits and adjust your intake accordingly.

  5. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are acidic and can potentially aggravate rosacea symptoms in some individuals. This includes fresh tomatoes, tomato-based products, and sauces. Monitoring your response to tomatoes and limiting their consumption may be beneficial.

  6. Dairy Products: Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, have been reported to trigger rosacea flare-ups in some individuals. If you suspect a connection between dairy consumption and your symptoms, you may consider exploring dairy-free alternatives.

  7. Histamine-Rich Foods: Certain foods high in histamine, such as fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi), aged cheeses, smoked meats, and processed foods, have been associated with triggering rosacea symptoms in some individuals. It may be worth monitoring your reaction to histamine-rich foods and adjusting your diet accordingly.

What vitamins can help with rosacea?

While the impact of specific vitamins on rosacea is not fully established, certain nutrients may contribute to skin health. Consider incorporating the following into your diet:

  1. Vitamin C: This antioxidant vitamin supports overall skin health and collagen production.

  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fatty fish, these fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body.

  3. Zinc: Important for immune function and skin health, zinc supplementation may have potential benefits for managing rosacea symptoms.

  4. Vitamin D: Adequate levels of vitamin D are crucial for overall health, and low levels have been associated with an increased risk of rosacea.

  5. Probiotics: These beneficial bacteria can support gut health and immune function, potentially impacting rosacea symptoms through the gut-skin connection.

Does rosacea go away?

Rosacea is a chronic condition, which means that it typically does not go away on its own. However, with appropriate management and treatment, it is possible to control and minimize the symptoms of rosacea effectively.

​How do I cope with rosacea?

Living with rosacea can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can implement to cope with the condition effectively:

  1. Establish a Skincare Routine: Develop a gentle skincare routine using products specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Avoid harsh cleansers or abrasive scrubs that can exacerbate symptoms.

  2. Protect Your Skin: Shield your face from excessive sun exposure by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and using sunscreen with a high SPF. Opt for physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they are less likely to irritate the skin.

  3. Manage Stress: Stress has been known to trigger rosacea flare-ups. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or engaging in activities you enjoy to help keep stress levels in check.

  4. Track and Avoid Triggers: Keep a diary to identify triggers that worsen your rosacea symptoms. Common triggers include spicy foods, hot beverages, alcohol, and certain skincare products. By avoiding these triggers, you can minimize the frequency and intensity of flare-ups.

  5. Seek Support: Connecting with others who have rosacea can provide valuable support and understanding. Join online communities or local support groups to share experiences, coping strategies, and treatment recommendations.

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available, you can effectively manage the condition and minimize its impact on your daily life. Remember to consult with one of our BJC dermatologists at Mid-County Dermatology for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. With the right approach, lifestyle modifications, and ongoing support, you can regain control and live confidently with rosacea.

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