What is Rosacea: Symptoms, causes and treatment information to know.

If you are of Scandinavian descent or north European or Celtic heritage, then you will likely sport a fair, pale, peachy complexion hopeless at disguising red veins and high face colour, a perennial problem. No wonder then that the condition, Rosacea, tends to plague people, mainly women, with fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. It will test your makeup expertise and patience to the nth degree.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is pronounced, ‘Rose’ followed by ‘Asia’. Sounds rather like some kind of rose-based face treatment or luxurious consumable derived from the plant. In fact, what Rosacea is, is an unpleasant skin condition largely affecting the face and neck and more rarely, extending to other areas of the body.

What are the main symptoms and signs of Rosacea?

Rosacea is not a continuous affliction, it waxes and wanes ranging in intensity from mild to moderate. Rosacea symptoms generally concern the face. The skin readily flushes and blushes with the reddening remaining rather than fading. This is termed erythema. The facial skin can burn or sting in response to the application of topical products.

Blood vessels and thread veins become pronounced and defined and pus-filled spots appear. The skin may become thickened particularly around the nasal area. Not everyone experiences all of the symptoms of Rosacea. Rosacea blights all skin textures and types from dry to oily leading the skin to become dehydrated and inflamed. Raised patches named called plaques may develop.

What are the psychological effects of Rosacea?

The impact of Rosacea is pretty immense; anything affecting our faces in an adverse or negative manner will cause social stress, anxiety upsetting our emotional health. Clinicians focus on the physical manifestation of the disease inadvertently failing to address the mental health burden that this alteration in appearance can engender. Because Rosacea is a chronic malady, the psychiatric element of this disorder should be tackled as vigorously as practical treatment steps and prescribed medications which accompany the diagnosis. Changing faces is a fantastic UK site and can change your life if you are wilting under the burden of an altered image. There is a wealth of constructive advice, a complete treasure trove of information ranging from guidance produced by specially trained skin camouflage specialists to expert articles and recommendations, plus a network of relevant support who understand what you are going through.

What are the main causes of Rosacea?

Because Rosacea is not life-threatening and not as potentially life-changing as Psoriasis or Eczema, it has lacked attention as a priority amongst scientific researchers. Additionally, it can be fairly effectively controlled and so it remains a bit of a mystery as to the actual specific causation.

What is well documented are the predisposing triggers of gender, ethnicity, genetic traits and environment, even alcohol and spicy foods. But this is a far cry from being able to definitively claim the identification of what causes Rosacea. It is not contagious. It is also understood that antibiotics can improve the condition so there is a school of thought which supports the view that bacteria either on the skin or in the gut plays a role.

Which famous people have Rosacea?

Take a read through the National Rosacea Society’s ‘Red Carpet Red Face’ blog which reveals some famous names such as the singer, Sam Smith and television celebrity, Lisa Faulkner.

What is the most effective treatment for Rosacea?

Diagnosis is essential before a treatment programme for Rosacea can be discussed with your healthcare professional.

Because Rosacea can wax and wane, it is vital to have your doctor on board and part of the story as there may be occasions when you need to be prescribed medication to cope with an outbreak or referral to a clinical dermatologist.

How is it best to treat Rosacea on a daily basis?

As with acne, it is imperative to keep the skin clean and moisturised but avoid the usage of harsh chemicals and over-fragranced products. Deep cleansing and moisturising need to be done with products appropriately selected for Rosacea so no soap. It is also vitally important to protect the skin from over exposure to the sun’s rays so moisturising creams and gels should contain high levels of protection.

A quick Google will list pages of topical items specifically designed for Rosacea sufferers and, don’t worry, just because they are natural treatment, they don’t all smell of coal tar! Keep some anti-bacterial foaming washes and spot creams in your cupboard, these can easily be purchased as over the counter treatments.

In addition, your doctor may suggest one or more of the following remedies:

Oral antibiotics – these assist in the management of acute inflammation, popular choices are oxytetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline.

Specific scalp treatment – again this may be by mouth as it is harder to apply topical creams to the head because of the hair.

Laser treatment – quite a revolution in the management of Rosacea, using light therapy to reduce and dry up prominent blood vessels so they fade away over time. Laser offers a very low risk of damage to surrounding healthy skin tissue but it is not suitable for all types of Rosacea.

In conclusion, the best treatment when it comes to how to treat Rosacea is a package of good every day and informed skincare, prescribed topical treatment as and when required with ongoing consultant input when appropriate.



Article References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/understanding-rosacea-basics#1
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rosacea/
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rosacea/symptoms/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031723/
  5. https://www.changingfaces.org.uk/
  6. https://www.rosacea.org/blog/2015/march/red-carpet-red-face-celebrities-talk-about-their-rosacea
  7. https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/rosacea