Acne Rosacea

What is it Rosacea?

Acne rosacea, or simply rosacea, as it is sometimes called, afflicts people in middle to older age, who probably inherit a tendency to develop this chronic skin condition. However, the disorder also occurs more often in those people burdened by severe emotional disturbance, chronic alcoholism, and in association with certain gastrointestinal problems that cause a lack of stomach acid.
Acne RosaceaThe skin changes seen in rosacea almost always include a pronounced ruddiness or flushed appearance of the face and the formation of facial spider veins. In addition to the redness, the skin may break out with pimple-like blemishes, with scaly, flaky dry patches, or with both. Especially in men, the big increase in oil gland activity in the pores of the nose may cause a growth spurt of the tissues of the end of the nose, leaving it bulbous, lumpy, and misshapen—a condition called rhinophyma in medicalese. Only plastic surgery can correct this disfiguring consequence of rosacea.

The similarities of the pimply outbreak to "teenage" acne gave rise to its name; however, when the disorder occurs in middle age, it may strike people who were never troubled by acne vulgaris at puberty. There is sufficient medical evidence (enough, at least, to pique curiosity and further investigation) that the root of the pimply and scaly skin changes may come from inadequate B vitamin absorption. But more on the nutritional aspects in a bit.

It is also interesting to speculate that there may be two components to the skin picture in Acne Rosacea: the red flushing and spider veins on one hand, and the pimpled, flaky skin on the other. The reason to so speculate is that oftentimes a nutrient or medical regimen will help the one, but leave the other unchanged.

Some sufferers with Acne Rosacea also develop an inflammation of the cornea (the clear covering over the colored part of the eye), called rosacea keratitis, which can be not only irritating but potentially damaging. If your rosacea is associated with eye pain and irritation, you should consult your ophthalmologist for a thorough examination before attempting to treat your eyes yourself.

Severe cases of Acne Rosacea may require treatment with potent prescription medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics, metronidazole in pill (Flagyl, Satric, Metronid) or topical gel (Metro-Gel form), or with the vitamin A relative, isotretinoin (Accutane). Before turning to these potent medications, all of which having a potential for unpleasant side effects, let's see what the vitamin and mineral shelf has to offer.

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