Redness, pustules, bumps, thickening of the skin and visible blood vessels on the face, as well as watery eyes – all of these symptoms are what identify Rosacea.

Rosacea is a common noncontagious skin disorder that is treated by laser skin treatments. It afflicts men and women typically in their 30s and over. Millions of people of all skin shades and tones suffer from the condition however, those with fairer skin are considered to be most vulnerable. The face, particularly the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, are the most prone. Other areas, such as the chest, ears and back, may also become affected.

As a means of facilitating diagnosis and research, the US based National Rosacea Society has classified Rosacea into four types.

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Subtype 1 Rosacea

Sufferers with this type of rosacea, also known as erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, experience redness and flushing of the skin that doesn't go away. There may also be some blood vessels visible, scaling and a burning sensation. Though this is considered the “mildest” form of the skin disorder, it can still be perceived as unsightly.

Subtype 2 Rosacea

The symptoms of Subtype 1 coupled with pustules or pimples that look like acne distinguish subtype 2, known as papulopustular rosacea. In fact, this type of rosacea is often confused with acne and incorrectly treated as so.

Subtype 3 Rosacea

Rosacea sufferers with thick coarse skin, enlarged pores and nodules are classified as subtype 3. Known as phymatous rosacea, it is often in conjunction with redness and pimples as indicated by the previous subtypes.

Subtype 4 Rosacea

Subtype 4 is an ocular form of rosacea. The eyes become red, dry and a burning or stinging sensation may be present. Many sufferers of the other subtypes also experience ocular rosacea to some extent.

Symptoms can come and go, but never disappear entirely.

Rosacea is uncomfortable, irritating and sometimes painful. While there is no doubt that severe cases are the most distressing, even the mildest of symptoms can be upsetting for sufferers. Self esteem and self perception may be negatively affected, hindering professional and social relationships.

Unfortunately, aside from genetics, there is no known cause for rosacea. It is known that some factors can worsen symptoms, such as stress, alcohol consumption and hot weather.

And the cure? Like the cause, there is no known cure. However, cosmetic treatments can keep rosacea “under control” and prevent it from getting worse, which is what will most likely happen if left untreated.

Many sufferers seek photorejuvenation and laser skin resurfacing as a way to reduce the visible symptoms of their skin disorder. Both gently treat the superficial layers of damaged skin and encourage the growth of new cells to form fresh layers. The formation of collagen may also be facilitated. Laser treatments are most effective in reducing or eliminating redness and broken blood vessels. It may also improve thick and coarse skin.

Laser treatments cannot treat subtype 4, ocular rosacea.

This information is not intended to replace information provided by a medical health professional. An individual seeking diagnosis and treatment should visit their doctor or dermatologist for accurate assessment.