By Dr. Leslie Baumann
Special to The Miami Herald
According to the National Rosacea Society, this common yet poorly
understood skin condition affects more than 16 million Americans — and
this doesn’t include those with undiagnosed flushing and persistent
redness. Rosacea is the subject of much dermatological research, and if
you have it, you just may have a reason to celebrate.
studies are looking at the causes of rosacea in an effort to discover
new ways to treat it. (You can view the trials that are currently under
way at clinicaltrials.gov.) Based on recent findings, rosacea may be
more complex that previously believed. There seem to be four distinct
types of rosacea — and the new drugs being developed represent new ways
to treat these four types.
One especially interesting and
important finding is that the skin plays host to many more types of
organisms than previously thought. Genetic research has found previously
undiscovered bacteria that are unable to grow in culture dishes, and
it’s believed these newly discovered organisms play a role in rosacea.
The four types of rosacea include:
• Flushing: Redness is caused by dilated blood vessels. New drugs are being researched to prevent the dilation.
Papular or acne-like rosacea: This type includes skin redness along
with overlying red bumps in the center of the face that are often
mistaken for acne. These bumps may be caused by organisms on the skin
such as demodex (a particular type of mite) or by organisms that have
not yet been identified.
• Broken blood vessels: Visible broken
blood vessels are likely caused by years of dilating and constricting.
At this time, laser and other light-based treatments are the most
• Growth on the nose known as rhynophyma: Doctors
still have no idea why this occurs and what its relationship is to
rosacea, but it is found in people with a history of rosacea. Laser
surgery is the treatment of choice.
There has been much progress
in rosacea research in recent years, and the identification of these
distinct types of rosacea represents a major step forward. If new drugs
designed to address these different types of rosacea are effective,
that’s great news for the millions of people suffering from this skin
condition. In the meantime, if you have any of the rosacea symptoms
listed above, see your dermatologist. And stay tuned for more rosacea
updates as they are available.
Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist and the CEO of the
Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami Beach.
Read more here:
Home Remedies for Rosacea