Rosacea is a condition that gives the skin a red, thickened or flushed appearance. The redness is generally present on the cheeks, forehead or nose. While most common in adults, the condition can afflict younger people, including infants. Although parents might find the presence of rosacea disconcerting in their babies, they should take heart in knowing that treatments for managing the condition are available.
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According to the website Rosacea.org, an estimated 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea. Rosacea generally afflicts adults, and is quite rare among children and babies. However, cases of rosacea among infants have been documented in medical literature. Babies affected by the condition share similar symptoms to adults with rosacea.
Infant rosacea is often characterised by extreme skin sensitivity. Babies with rosacea may express discontent when being held, or when fabric touches their skin. Itchiness is also associated with rosacea, leading a baby to frequently scratch and further irritate affected areas.
Rosacea typically causes a bumpy, pocked rash on the skin. The condition often affects the face, reddening the cheeks and forehead and sometimes enlarging the pores. In addition, spidery blood vessels may be present on the face. As the baby grows older, these will take on a thicker texture.
A range of other symptoms can accompany infant rosacea. These may include frequent sinus infections or allergies. Additionally, according to Rosacea.org, the condition may produce eyelid styes in children and infants, and occasional facial swelling (oedema). The latter may lead to the development of excess tissue on the nose, causing it to appear bulbous.
At present, there is no known cure for rosacea. However, the condition and its symptoms can be mitigated with treatment. Treatment options include oral antibiotics and topical creams, prescribed by a physician.
Because rosacea is quite rare among infants, parents should have their infant's condition diagnosed by a physician. Other skin conditions such as eczema (atopic dermatitis) and infant acne can be mistaken for rosacea. These conditions will manifest in dry, reddened patches of skin and persistent itchiness.
If your baby is diagnosed with rosacea, ask his physician to recommend the best course of treatment. In addition to antibiotics and topical creams, she will provide skin care tips (such as limiting sun exposure) to ensure your infant's rosacea does not worsen.
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