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4 Types of Rosacea and How They’re Treated

4 Types of Rosacea and How They’re Treated

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition marked by a sunburn-like redness of the skin. For most people, this redness comes and goes initially but with time becomes persistent. Heat, caffeine, and stress are common triggers that can make your symptoms temporarily worse.

At Hines Dermatology Associates in Attleboro, Massachusetts, dermatology and dermatopathology specialist Dr. Yvonne Hines can assess whether your symptoms are due to rosacea or another condition, as well as the type of rosacea affecting your skin.

There are four forms of rosacea, though many patients experience symptoms of more than one type. Each type of rosacea has its own set of symptoms and treatment options. 

Regardless of the type, it’s best to work with a dermatologist to determine your specific triggers and the best way to manage your symptoms. 

Here, our experts discuss the four types of rosacea in more detail. 

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is distinguished by persistent facial redness. Small blood vessels beneath the skin's surface may expand and become visible. If left untreated, the redness can become more persistent, cover more skin, and possibly become permanent.

When it comes to treating erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, the goal is to avoid severe inflammation. Ongoing care plans typically include prescribing topical medications, protecting the skin from the sun, and using gentle skin care products that won’t cause flare-ups.

Dr. Hines may recommend more advanced treatment options for particularly severe cases of rosacea or during flare-ups. 

Phymatous rosacea

Phymatous rosacea causes rough, puffy, discolored skin that is prone to thickening and scarring. This uncommon but treatable form most commonly affects the nose, resulting in what is known as rhinophyma, and it’s more common in men than in women.

Unlike other varieties of rosacea that can clear up over time with oral and/or topical drugs, phymatous rosacea usually requires surgical treatment. 

Surgical intervention often entails progressively removing layers of skin, using electrocautery equipment. The difficult process requires the expertise of a dermatologist who is experienced in treating phymatous rosacea.

Papulopustular rosacea

Papulopustular rosacea is characterized by pus-filled lesions known as "whitehead" pustules and red, puffy pimples. These are commonly misdiagnosed as acne and show up on the cheeks, chin, and forehead. 

Severe papulopustular rosacea can cause upwards of 40 lesions that may take a long time to heal. Rosacea with papulopustular "acne" is frequently treated with the same drugs as other types of acne. 

Dr. Hines may prescribe antibiotics, either oral or topical, to reduce the acne-causing bacteria on your skin and reduce inflammation.

Another highly successful treatment for papulopustular acne is azelaic acid. Applying this topical medicine twice daily can significantly improve this type of rosacea. 

Retinoids can also be used topically to treat controlled papulopustular rosacea. 

Ocular rosacea

In ocular rosacea, symptoms impact the eyes, giving them a watery or bloodshot look. You may get a burning or irritated sensation in your eyes. Ocular rosacea can cause persistently dry, sensitive eyes, as well as cysts on the eyelids. 

Oral antibiotics are frequently used to treat ocular rosacea. Dr. Hines may collaborate with an eye specialist to ensure patients with ocular rosacea receive the best treatment and avoid more advanced concerns. 

Identifying the type or types of rosacea that are causing your symptoms is only one component of a comprehensive diagnosis. It’s equally crucial to work with Dr. Hines to determine what triggers may be contributing to your symptoms. 

Dr. Hines has experience managing all varieties of rosacea and can diagnose the type or types causing your symptoms as well as recommend treatment to improve the look and feel of your skin. To schedule a visit with Dr. Hines, call our Attleboro office or book online here on our website.

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