Medical Therapy Options for Rosacea


As we begin the month of April, we turn our focus to an important dermatological disorder: Rosacea. This month marks Rosacea Awareness Month, as designated by the National Rosacea Society (NRS). The goal of this designation is to increase awareness about this chronic disorder so that those who are suffering, or do not know they have rosacea, can better educate themselves and seek medical attention.

We, at The Derm Group, have a number of board-certified dermatologists across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut who are available to assist in diagnosing and treating symptoms.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a treatable chronic condition characterized by flare-ups on the central face, which typically affects those ages 30 and above. This includes flushing on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. If left untreated, what you’ll end up with are visible blood vessels, bumps and pimples, and excess tissue (skin thickening) on the nose, especially in men.

While it is more frequently diagnosed in women, rosacea flare-ups are actually more severe for men. Half of the people suffering from it also report irritated, watery, or even bloodshot eyes. It’s not something to ignore. Treatment can help.

The 4 Types of Rosacea and How to Treat Them

Not all occurrences of rosacea are the same. Some suffer mild flare-ups while others have more serious symptoms. Each case is unique and requires a different treatment recommendation. Here are how the types of rosacea are broken down and what your dermatologist might recommend, based on your unique symptoms:

1. Facial Redness What to Look For:

Identify facial flushing and redness, discomfort, and visible blood vessels.

How to Treat it:

Avoid lifestyle and environmental triggers that irritate skin, which include sun exposure, persistent heat, wind and cold, stress, spicy foods, hair and makeup products, and certain medicines. Keep a rosacea diary to track possible irritants and find replacements. Lasers or intense pulsed light therapy, in addition to medication may reduce the appearance of facial redness.

2. Pimples and Bumps What to Look For:

In additional to facial redness, papulopustular rosacea is also characterized by acne-like pimples and bumps on the face.

How to Treat it:

Oral and topical medications can help to control symptoms and maintain remission long term.

3. Skin Thickening What to Look For:

Skin thickening and enlargement is most frequently found on and around the nose, most typically in men.

How to Treat it:

For mild cases, medication may help to reduce symptoms. For more severe cases, surgical procedures including cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation, surgical laser, or electrosurgery tangential excision combined with scissor sculpturing and skin grafting might be recommended by your dermatologist.

4. Eye Irritation What to Look For:

Ocular rosacea is characterized by watery or bloodshot eyes, burning, stinging or dryness, blurred vision, light sensitivity, or the feeling something foreign is in the eye.

How to Treat it:

Treatment includes eye drops, daily cleansing, and oral antibiotics. For more severe cases, you might be referred to an eye specialist.

Whether you have mild facial redness or eye discomfort, it’s important to learn your treatment options early on. Schedule a video chat with a board-certified dermatologist at The Derm Group or call (973) 571-2121.