The world is full of of embarrassing conditions you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Every week, Carian discusses one. This week: Rosacea.
We all temporarily blush in response to embarrassing, emotional or stressful situations. Other causes include spicy foods, high fever or exercise. Rosacea, on the other hand, leaves sufferers with chronic facial redness.
Blushing happens when tiny muscles – which are normally partly contracted – in the blood vessels relax (for example when you’re nervous) allowing more blood to pass through the skin, which makes it red.
Rosacea is caused by the permanent widening of the blood vessels in the skin. It typically begins as redness on the central face (cheeks, nose, or forehead) but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, scalp or even the eyes.
The skin condition can progress from persistent to intermittent redness with small bumps and red lines where the blood vessels of the face become prominent. Additional reported symptoms are red, irritated eyes, thickening skin and enlargement of the nose. Unless it affects the eyes, it’s typically a harmless cosmetic condition.
Mild forms of rosacea are often not treated at all. People can choose to cover it up with cosmetics. There’s no cure for the skin condition. Antibiotic agents, however, often lead to a reduction of the symptoms.
Rosacea is also called the “curse of the celts,” as it primarily affects the light Caucasian skin of north western Europeans.
Photo via Rosacea