Rosacea: Causes, symptoms and treatment Rosacea: Causes, symptoms and treatment

One of the most common skin complaints in the UK is rosacea. It’s a chronic but highly treatable skin condition that primarily affects older people with fair skin, but anyone is susceptible to developing it. It causes facial blushing and flushing that tends to come and go.

At first, symptoms may be mild and infrequent but over time can become more persistent and noticeable. It’s not uncommon for the redness associated with rosacea to become darker and prominent. Without proper management and treatment, the condition has the potential to become severe enough to alter a person’s appearance.

There is still a lot that’s unknown about rosacea, but recent research has made major advancements in how rosacea is treated. If you have been diagnosed with rosacea or suspect you have it, you can effectively manage your symptoms to reduce their impact on your everyday life.

Symptoms of Rosacea

The most recognisable symptom of rosacea is redness in the skin on the face. Sometimes appearing like rosy cheeks or a sunburn, this flushing or blushing in the cheeks can flare up for weeks or months at a time before periods of remission. Symptoms are often more severe in males than they are in females.

Other symptoms of rosacea are:

  1. Visible veins on the face: Also known as spider veins, small blood vessels on your nose and cheeks break and become visible through the skin.
  2. Skin that’s hot to the touch: The skin affected by rosacea may feel warm, hot, and/or tender to the touch. In more severe cases, the skin may feel like it’s stinging or burning.
  3. Swollen bumps: Rosacea can cause acne like pimples on the face that may or may not contain pus.
  4. Thickened skin: Affected skin may thicken or enlarge due to excess tissue. In extreme cases this can restrict nasal passages or cause facial deformity.
  5. Enlarged nose: Persistent and chronic rosacea can thicken the skin on the nose, making it appear red and bulbous. It’s more common in men than women and used to be confused for ‘drinker’s nose.’
  6. Eye problems: Those with rosacea may experience irritated, swollen, and dry eyes, a condition known as ocular rosacea. These symptoms can sometimes extend to the eyelids.
  7. Swelling: Facial swelling and raised red patches, known as ‘plaques,’ may appear on the skin.
  8. Dry skin: The facial skin may feel rough to the touch and appear scaly or excessively dry.

In rare cases, rosacea can cause symptoms beyond the face. This most commonly occurs on the chest, neck, scalp, or outer ears.

Causes of Rosacea

What causes rosacea to develop isn’t fully understood, but significant strides have been made toward understanding the condition and treating it. One major cause may be the result of an immune system response that causes inflammation and redness in the face. There may also be a link between how cells in the vascular systems interact with each other.

Another additional factor that may be linked to rosacea is the presence of a microscopic mite on the skin known as demodex folliculorum, this mite exists naturally on everyone’s skin but people with rosacea often have more of these mites than people who don’t have rosacea.

Whatever the cause of rosacea, there are some commonalities among those who are diagnosed with it. For example, it’s most common in Caucasian women over the age of 30. It also occurs more often in people with a family history of rosacea.

Other potential risk factors for rosacea include:

Rosacea Triggers

Rosacea is often a lifelong condition that will come and go and the severity of each flare up can vary. Some people go months without a flare up, while others experience frequent and prolonged flareups.

Potential triggers for rosacea:

  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Very hot or cold weather
  • Wind exposure
  • Sunlight
  • Physical exertion
  • Pollution
  • Reactions to certain cosmetics, perfumes, or toiletries

Blood pressure medications or drugs that dilate blood vessels are thought to also be a trigger. However, it’s important to remember that you’ve been prescribed a medication for a reason so you shouldn’t stop taking it because of rosacea symptoms.

Treatment for Rosacea

How rosacea is treated is dependent on the severity of the symptoms and the suspected potential causes. Many people find that lifestyle changes combined with medications is the most effective way to manage their symptoms. Prescription topical creams and ointments like Rozex Gel are some of the most used medications for rosacea.

Rozex Gel is applied directly to the skin to reduce the symptoms of rosacea. It contains an active ingredient known as metronidazole, which is an antibacterial agent that soothes inflammation, and reduces redness. Rozex should be applied in a thin layer twice a day to cleansed skin, once in the morning and once at night before bed.

Treatment using lasers or intense pulsed light may be used for people with visible blood vessels, thickened skin, or a disfigured nose. This treatment can provide long-lasting results, but further sessions may be required to keep symptoms at bay.

Those with symptoms affecting their eyes due to ocular rosacea may be treated with anti-inflammatories, artificial tears, and/or eye drops with steroids.

Speak with your GP or a dermatologist to discuss the best skincare routine for your rosacea prone skin. Try to use only gentle, non-comedogenic products and always ensure your skin is protected with SPF before you go out.

Avoiding potential triggers is another method of treating and managing your symptoms. If you’re unsure what your triggers are, keep a diary where you can record your symptoms and what you were doing when they began. This can help you identify any patterns.

If you’re after treatment for rosacea, we can help. In addition to Rozex Gel and Cream, we also have several proven skincare medications and acne treatment you can buy online in the UK. Start your consultation today and get help from our experts.