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If you have skin that flushes easily (especially when touched), has obvious red blood vessels and has a smattering of black and whitehead-free pimples around your nose and cheek area, you may have rosacea. And figuring out how to get rid of rosacea isn't easy.

This skin problem isn't uncommon (about 14 million Americans suffer from rosacea according to the National Rosacea Society), but it does often require professional help and antibiotics. If you think you may have rosacea, it might be time to make an appointment with a dermatologist. They will be able to guide you to the best course of treatment for your skin.

That said, there are a few things you can do before seeing a dermatologist, in order to determine if your rosacea is severe enough to warrant a trip to the doctor's office. Though rosacea is likely an inherited skin problem (exact root causes are still unknown), there are many lifestyle triggers that cause rosacea to flare. Things like extreme temperature changes, stress and even some of the foods you eat and beverages you drink can be responsible for making your rosacea more of a problem.

Follow this guide we put together, with help from Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, to help diagnose your rosacea and solve this skin problem once and for all.

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How to Know if You Have Rosacea
"Rosacea is an acne-like eruption of the central face that primarily affects adults," Waldorf says. Adding that it's common in women ages 30 to 50 (with a spike in perimenopause) and in people of Celtic descent or other very fair skinned background. There are three physical components to rosacea -- "red pimples and pustules, increased flushing and permanent dilated blood vessels," she says. If you have all three, you likely have rosacea. If you have breakouts not associated with the other two issues, you may just have common acne -- if the pimples have blackheads and/or whiteheads they are likely acne and not rosacea. If you only have dilated (visible) blood vessels without the pimples or flushing, you may or may not have rosacea. Those vessels can also be "due to trauma (like picking pimples), surgery (like rhinoplasty), photodamage (from natural sun or tanning salons), so check in with a dermatologist if you're unsure."

Next: Why you should treat rosacea

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Why Rosacea Must be Treated
According to Waldorf, "untreated rosacea generally gets worse -- more pimples and more redness and dilated blood vessels." What's also important to know is that over-the-counter products marketed for the treatment of rosacea are "not that helpful for rosacea," Waldorf says. They "contain anti-inflammatory agents (like licorice or feverfew) but they are more adjunctive (extra) rather than primary care," she says. So it's likely that if you have persistent rosacea flare-ups you will need to see a dermatologist.

Next: Learn how to prevent rosacea flare-ups by controlling common triggers

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Common Rosacea Triggers (Part 1)
There are a few common rosacea triggers, so if you're working to nip it in the bud you may want to start your treatment by tweaking your lifestyle some. Extremes in weather (sun, strong winds, cold), temperature (saunas, hot baths) and physical activity can cause rosacea to flare. In addition to avoiding extreme temperatures, Waldorf recommends toting a frozen water bottle to press on your neck during workouts to control flushing.

Next: More common triggers

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Common Rosacea Triggers (Part 2)
Emotional issues like stress and anxiety can also exacerbate rosacea, according to Waldorf. And though it's obviously hard to control this trigger, Waldorf recommends trying relaxation techniques, especially if you feel that stress is one of your main triggers. Try a stress-reducing yoga class or practice deep breathing. Anything you can do to relax your body will help prevent rosacea from flaring.

Next: Other rosacea triggers

If you have skin that flushes easily (especially when touched), has obvious red blood vessels and has a smattering of black and whitehead-free pimples around your nose and cheek area, you may have rosacea. And figuring out how to get rid of rosacea isn't easy.

This skin problem isn't uncommon (about 14 million Americans suffer from rosacea according to the National Rosacea Society), but it does often require professional help and antibiotics. If you think you may have rosacea, it might be time to make an appointment with a dermatologist. They will be able to guide you to the best course of treatment for your skin.

That said, there are a few things you can do before seeing a dermatologist, in order to determine if your rosacea is severe enough to warrant a trip to the doctor's office. Though rosacea is likely an inherited skin problem (exact root causes are still unknown), there are many lifestyle triggers that cause rosacea to flare. Things like extreme temperature changes, stress and even some of the foods you eat and beverages you drink can be responsible for making your rosacea more of a problem.

Follow this guide we put together, with help from Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, to help diagnose your rosacea and solve this skin problem once and for all.
BY KRISTEN OLDHAM GIORDANI | SHARES
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