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Condition: Rosacea

What Is Rosacea?

Struggling with unexplained facial redness? You might be dealing with rosacea.

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition with symptoms like persistent facial redness, visible blood vessels, and pus-filled papules, and can vary in severity and appearance across different skin tones.

Beyond physical symptoms, rosacea can have significant emotional impacts, leading to social withdrawal and lowered self-esteem. Safe and effective rosacea treatment is available and varies depending on the severity of the skin condition. 


Rosacea Example

Identifying Different Rosacea Types

Rosacea presents itself in various forms and is categorised into three distinct types: vascular, inflammatory, and ocular. Vascular rosacea manifests with visible blood vessels and persistent facial redness. Inflammatory rosacea presents with papules, pustules, and sometimes swelling. Ocular rosacea affects the eyes, causing irritation, dryness, and sometimes vision problems. 

Persistent facial redness, visible blood vessels, flushing, warmth, sensitivity, and sometimes swelling in affected areas.

Papules, pustules, redness, inflammation, stinging or burning sensations, and occasional swelling or thickening of the skin.

Eye irritation, dryness, redness, burning, gritty sensation, sensitivity to light, and occasional blurry vision or styes.

Types Of Rosacea

What Causes Rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown, but several factors are thought to contribute to its development. Firstly, genetics may predispose individuals to rosacea, as a family history of the condition increases the likelihood of its occurrence. Environmental triggers, such as sunlight, heat, cold, wind, and humidity, can exacerbate symptoms, suggesting a role for external influences. Furthermore, abnormalities in the immune system and inflammatory pathways likely play significant roles in rosacea, indicating an internal physiological component. Additionally, factors like the presence of Demodex mites on the skin, blood vessel abnormalities, neurovascular dysregulation, and skin barrier dysfunction may all contribute to the complex interplay underlying rosacea’s pathogenesis.

Biological Factors:
– Genetics: Family history of rosacea increases susceptibility.
– Abnormalities in the immune system: Dysfunction in immune response may lead to inflammation.
– Blood vessel abnormalities: Changes in blood vessels contribute to facial redness and flushing.

Environmental Triggers:
– Sunlight: UV radiation exacerbates symptoms.
– Heat: Elevated temperatures can trigger flushing and redness.
– Cold: Exposure to cold weather may worsen symptoms, especially in sensitive individuals.

Microbiological Factors:
– Demodex mites: The presence of these mites on the skin may exacerbate inflammation.
– Skin flora imbalance: Dysbiosis in the skin microbiome could contribute to rosacea.
– Microbial triggers: Certain bacteria or fungi may provoke immune responses leading to rosacea symptoms.

Lifestyle and Dietary Factors:
– Trigger foods and beverages: Spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine can trigger flushing.
– Stress: Emotional stress can exacerbate symptoms.
– Skincare products: Harsh skincare products may irritate the skin and worsen rosacea.

Differentiating Rosacea from Other Skin Conditions

Differentiating rosacea from other skin conditions requires careful consideration of various factors, including the presentation of symptoms, medical history, and physical examination. For a thorough examination, we recommend you to consult with a qualified dermatologist.

Three distinguishing signs of rosacea

  • facial redness
  • frequent flushing
  • visible blood vessels on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. 

Rosacea usually happens in adults and shows up as redness on the face, along with visible blood vessels, without much dry skin. It’s different from acne or eczema, which affect younger people and cause specific skin issues like pimples or dry patches. Also, rosacea often comes with eye problems like dryness and irritation, which other conditions like lupus erythematosus might not have. While only a doctor can diagnose rosacea, noticing these signs can help you know when to seek medical help.

Rosacea Facts

  • Rosacea affects approximately 1 in 10 people in the UK, according to the British Skin Foundation.
  • While rosacea is not considered life-threatening, it can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life due to its visible symptoms and potential ocular involvement.
  • Rosacea commonly presents with symptoms such as facial redness, flushing, visible blood vessels, and ocular manifestations like dryness and irritation.
  • The condition often develops between the ages of 30-50, but it can occur in individuals of any age, including children and older adults.
  • The exact cause of rosacea remains unknown, but genetic predisposition, immune system dysfunction, and environmental factors likely play a role.
  • Effective management of rosacea in the UK typically involves a combination of topical and oral medications, laser therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Without proper treatment, rosacea symptoms may worsen over time, leading to potential complications such as thickened skin and eye problems.
Rosacea Facts

Rosacea Myths Vs The Truth

Myth: Rosacea is caused by spicy foods or alcohol consumption.

There is a common misconception that indulging in spicy foods or consuming alcohol can trigger rosacea flare-ups. However, scientific evidence does not fully support this belief.

Truth: Certain dietary triggers and lifestyle factors may exacerbate rosacea symptoms.

While spicy foods and alcohol themselves may not directly cause rosacea, consuming triggers such as hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, and extreme temperatures can exacerbate flushing and redness associated with rosacea.

Myth: Harsh skincare products can cure rosacea.

Some individuals believe that using harsh skincare products or abrasive exfoliants can effectively treat rosacea. However, aggressive skincare routines can worsen rosacea symptoms.

Truth: Gentle skincare and avoiding irritants are crucial for managing rosacea.

Contrary to the misconception that harsh products can cure rosacea, gentle skincare practices and avoiding irritants like fragrances and alcohol are essential for soothing and managing rosacea-prone skin. Opting for mild, non-comedogenic products and gentle cleansing techniques can help maintain skin barrier function and reduce inflammation associated with rosacea.

Myth: Sun exposure helps alleviate rosacea symptoms.

Many people assume that sun exposure can improve rosacea symptoms due to its drying and anti-inflammatory effects. However, prolonged sun exposure can actually worsen rosacea symptoms.

Truth: Sun protection is crucial for managing rosacea.

While short-term sun exposure may temporarily improve rosacea symptoms, prolonged sun exposure can lead to increased redness, flushing, and exacerbation of rosacea. Applying broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and seeking shade during peak sunlight hours are vital for protecting rosacea-prone skin from harmful UV radiation and minimising flare-ups.

Lifestyle Tips To Help with Your Rosacea

Living a healthy lifestyle can improve mild to moderate acne. 

1. Sun Protection: Shield skin from UV rays with SPF 30+ sunscreen. Opt for physical sunscreens for sensitive skin.

2. Trigger Avoidance: Limit alcohol and spicy foods. Track dietary choices for triggers.

3. Gentle Skincare: Choose products for sensitive skin. Use mild, non-comedogenic cleansers and moisturisers.

4. Stress Management: Practice stress-relieving activities daily. Engage in deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

5. Temperature Awareness: Dress appropriately for the weather. Stay cool in hot weather.

Rosacea Lifestyle Tips

When And How To Treat Rosacea

Yes, for mild cases of rosacea, there are several at-home treatments that can be effective in managing symptoms and preventing flare-ups. These treatments often involve gentle skincare practices and the use of over-the-counter products containing ingredients known to soothe and calm sensitive skin. Here are some common at-home treatments for mild rosacea:

1. Gentle Cleansers: Use a mild, non-irritating cleanser to wash your face twice daily. Look for products labelled as suitable for sensitive skin and free of harsh ingredients like fragrances and alcohol.

2. Moisturizers: Apply a gentle, hypoallergenic moisturiser to keep the skin hydrated and protected. Look for products formulated for sensitive or rosacea-prone skin, and avoid those with potentially irritating ingredients like fragrances and dyes.

3. Sun Protection: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily. Opt for physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are less likely to irritate sensitive skin.

4. Green Tea Extract: Some studies suggest that green tea extract may help reduce redness and inflammation associated with rosacea when applied topically. Look for skincare products containing green tea extract as an active ingredient.

5. liquorice Extract: liquorice extract has anti-inflammatory properties and may help calm and soothe irritated skin. Look for skincare products containing liquorice extract as an active ingredient to help alleviate redness and discomfort associated with rosacea.

When using these at-home treatments for mild rosacea, it’s essential to be patient and consistent with your skincare routine. Results may take time to appear, so continue using the products as directed for best results. However, if you experience severe or persistent symptoms, or if your rosacea worsens despite home treatment, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist for further evaluation and personalised treatment options.

How Is Rosacea Treated At Our Clinic?

It’s important to consult with a qualified dermatologist for effective rosacea treatment. Dr. Sharon Crichlow, our qualified dermatologist specialising in rosacea treatment, has provided relief to numerous patients through her expertise and compassionate approach.

Recognising the varied responses to treatments among individuals, seeking guidance from a dermatologist ensures personalised care. With a comprehensive diagnosis and a customised treatment plan tailored to your specific skin requirements, you can confidently address rosacea, knowing you’re in capable hands.

Dermatologist Dr Crichlow

Treatments We Offer For Rosacea

Explore our extensive array of acne treatments, integrating both pharmaceutical options and state-of-the-art advanced technologies, meticulously customised to meet your specific skincare requirements with precision and compassion.

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About Dr Sharon Crichlow


Dr. Crichlow is a highly qualified dermatologist with extensive training and experience in the field. She completed her dermatology training in 2008 and has since been recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC) as a specialist in dermatology, maintaining her position on the GMC Specialist Register since 2009. 

Dr. Crichlow’s personal experience as a lifelong acne sufferer fuels her commitment to providing exceptional care to her patients, recognising the profound impact dermatological conditions can have on one’s quality of life. Her areas of expertise include the comprehensive management of acne vulgaris and acne rosacea, as well as mild to moderate acne scarring. 

Frequently Asked Rosacea Questions

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterised by persistent facial redness, visible blood vessels, and sometimes pus-filled papules. It can vary in severity and appearance across different skin tones, impacting both physical and emotional well-being.

Rosacea is categorised into three distinct types: vascular, inflammatory, and ocular. Vascular rosacea manifests with visible blood vessels and persistent facial redness, while inflammatory rosacea presents with papules, pustules, and swelling. Ocular rosacea affects the eyes, causing irritation, dryness, and vision problems.

The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but factors such as genetics, environmental triggers, immune system abnormalities, and microbiological factors may contribute to its development. Certain lifestyle and dietary factors, like spicy foods, alcohol, and stress, can also exacerbate symptoms.

Distinguishing rosacea from other skin conditions involves careful consideration of symptoms, medical history, and physical examination. Rosacea is characterised by facial redness, frequent flushing, and visible blood vessels, typically occurring in adults without significant skin dryness or acne lesions.

Treatment for rosacea may include topical and oral medications, laser therapy, medical skin peels, and lifestyle modifications. These treatments aim to reduce redness, inflammation, and other symptoms associated with rosacea while improving overall skin health.

Yes, HydraFacial treatments can be beneficial for managing rosacea symptoms. HydraFacial combines cleansing, exfoliation, hydration, and antioxidant protection, providing gentle yet effective skincare tailored to individual needs.

Our clinic offers a comprehensive range of advanced treatments specifically designed to address rosacea symptoms effectively. With a team of skilled professionals and state-of-the-art technologies, we provide personalised care to help you achieve clear, healthy skin.

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