Medically reviewed by Dr Justine Hextall, Consultant Dermatologist
When your skin doesn’t look as smooth and blemish free as you’d like it can be difficult to feel completely confident about yourself. Rosacea is a very common skin condition that causes facial redness and pimples on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead and often looks like adult acne. As well as causing the sensitive skin on your face to be red and sometimes inflamed and swollen, Rosacea can lead to soreness and a burning sensation around the eyes and eyelids. At the Harley Medical Group, we have rosacea treatments that will help control irritation and symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of rosacea vary from one person to another, which is why our dermatological team tailors the treatment programme based on the individual's specific needs.
Our Dermatologists often prescribe initial treatment with oral and topical therapy to bring the condition under immediate control, followed by long-term use of topical therapy to maintain remission.
For most people, treatment involves a combination of self-help measures and medication, such as:
- Avoiding known triggers – for example, avoiding drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
- Creams and gels – medications applied directly to the skin to reduce spots and redness
- Oral medications – tablets or capsules that can help clear up more severe spots, such as oral antibiotics
There is currently no cure for rosacea, but treatment can help control the symptoms. Long-term treatment is usually necessary, although there may be periods when your symptoms improve and you can stop treatment temporarily.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I prevent a Rosacea flare-up?
There are certain steps you can take to reduce the risk of rosacea flare-ups:
- Keep a written record of your daily activities, including what you ate, drank and did, so that when a flare-up occurs if you can try to identify a trigger.
- Use a sunscreen everyday (even in the winter) that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Make sure it has a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, but we recommend SPF30+. We also recommended using a physical, rather than chemical, sunscreen as it is effective immediately and is mineral in base so it is less likely to irritate your skin
- Avoid putting irritants on your skin; however you can still wear make-up with rosacea if you're careful
- If your eyes have problems follow your dermatologist's treatment plans, and clean your eyelids as instructed.
If rosacea is impacting you emotionally you are not alone. many people experience feelings of depression with rosacea, talk with a dermatologist or doctor who can help you.
What are Rosacea triggers?
Rosacea often flares when something causes the blood vessels in the face to expand, which causes the redness; these flare-ups are called triggers.
It is widely acknowledged that while triggers are not the direct cause of rosacea they do make it worse.
Triggers are not consistent between rosacea suffers and a trigger that may exacerbate one person's redness may have no effect at all on the rosacea of someone else.
Most Common Rosacea Triggers include
|Humidity||Exposure to sunlight|
|Strong winds||Extremes of hot or cold weather|
|Hot or spicy foods and drinks||Drinking alcohol|
|Other medical conditions||The Menopause|
|Some medicines inc. high doses of vitamins B16 & B12||Long-term use of steroids on the face|
|Emotional stress||Heavy exercise|
How is Rosacea diagnosed?
There are no diagnostic laboratory tests for rosacea but your doctor or dermatologist will diagnose the condition by:
- examining your skin
- talking to you and asking questions about your symptoms
- asking about possible triggers you may have experienced
Is acne and rosacea the same thing?
Acne and rosacea are often mistaken as the same thing, however that are different skin conditions, though the symptoms are very similar.
- With rosacea large areas of the face may experience redness, rather than just where a breakout occurs.
- Rosacea sufferers do not usually have oily skin, as the condition is not related to blocked pores and no excess sebum is produced
- Rosacea is found on the face, whereas acne can affect the entire body.
- Rosacea is not related to hormones, therefore hormone addressing medications will not assist
- Rosacea si also marked for its absence of blackheads
Can I wear make-up with rosacea?
If you like to wear make-up then rosacea isn't a reason to stop, but we do have a few recommendations:
- Before applying make-up cleanse and moisturise with products suitable for your skin; always treat your skin gently, don't rub or pull with your fingertips.
- Keep the products you use simple, the more products (with more ingredients) you use the more likely you are to aggravate your skin
- Use of an SPF15 or above is advised to protect the skin from sun exposure
- Use a sheer green tinted primer to counteract the redness in the skin
- Opt for an oil-free foundation and concealer - your foundation should match your natural skin tone as closely as possible, while your concealer should be one shade lighter.
- If possible use brushes and tools to apply your makeup to reduce irritation caused by fingertips. You may want to look for cruelty-free, anti-bacterial brushes
- Explore mineral make-up options as they typically do not contain ingredients that are prone to irritating the skin.
- If you choose to use blusher, this may depend on the coverage of your foundation and the severity of your rosacea, use a mineral blush with a light touch.
- Opt for gentle eye make-up because it's especially important to treat the eye area gently
- Go for a neutral lips, red colours may exacerbate the look of redness in the skin.
Can rosacea be cured?
There is no cure for rosacea, however dermatological treatments can control or reverse its signs and symptoms. No treatment can be guaranteed to switch rosacea off forever, however long-term treatments control symptoms and can clear the spots. Treatment works best if started when rosacea is at an early stage.