Acne rosacea is a condition affecting tens of millions of people throughout the world. Often called the “curse of the Celts,” acne rosacea is most prominent in fair-skinned people of Northwestern European descent and is almost three times more likely to appear in women than in men. There are also many subtypes of acne rosacea that will be discussed later. The cause of acne rosacea is not known exactly, although there are several theories about its onset; there are several effective methods of treatment.

Acne rosacea is categorized into four main subtypes, but multiple subtypes may manifest simultaneously in the same person. The first of these subtypes is Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, which exhibits permanent redness and a tendency to blush very easily. This condition is also accompanied by visible blood vessels at the skin”s surface and also some itchiness. The second subtype is Papulopustular rosacea. This is often confused with acne because, in addition to sustained redness, there are red papules, some of which are filled with pus. The third major subtype is Phymatous rosacea, which is usually characterized by an enlargement of the nose. Other symptoms associated with Phymatous rosacea include thickening of the skin and other facial irregularities. The last major manifestation of acne rosacea is Ocular rosacea. This affects the eyes and eyelids and often results in burning, redness, and irritation in the eyes. Also typical of Ocular rosacea is the feeling of a foreign object in the eye.

Although the exact mechanism that causes acne rosacea is not known, several contributing factors are known. Most experts are of the opinion that the repeated dilation of blood vessels as a result of external stimuli does have a huge impact on this condition by causing the blood vessels to dilate easier and for more prolonged periods of time; this dilation can sometimes be permanent. There is also a definite genetic component to acne rosacea, because the majority of sufferers are fair-skinned females. Other triggers for acne rosacea include antiaging products such as chemical peels and acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide or Accutane.

Treatment of acne rosacea is often highly effective. Treatment methods are highly varied, with some aimed at prevention and others at rolling back the existing conditions of the disease. Prevention is simply avoiding stimuli that would cause the blood vessels to dilate. These stimuli include stress, sudden temperature changes, consumption of alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and sunburns. It is also important to use gentle products when treating the face, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. When acne rosacea is already diagnosed, it becomes important to rollback the existing symptoms. This is most often done by the use of a tetracycline oral antibiotic or a topical antibiotic such as metronidazole. These treatments will relieve papules and inflammation and some of the redness; however, when these are ineffective in removing papules, another medicine may be subscribed such as isotretinoin. In the case of Ocular rosacea, an oral antibiotic is usually prescribed and daily gentle scrubbing of the eyelids is recommended, as well as a regimen of warm compresses. Regardless of the state of acne rosacea, a doctor should be consulted before any treatment is started.