Rosacea Treatment

About Rosacea

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. 



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.


Book your consultation with a Dermatologist

Causes and Symptoms of Rosacea

what is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face and is characterised by a red, flushed appearance caused by blood vessels expanding. It is a chronic, relapsing condition which experiences periods of severe flare-ups and remissions. Most commonly found on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, however in some cases it may also occur on the neck, chest, scalp or ears. If rosacea is left untreated bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue.

Rosacea | Harley Medical Group

Rosacea is a potentially life-disruptive disorder that can affect all segments of the population, but is most commonly found in people who are fair-skinned from northern Europe. It is estimated that up to one in 10 people are affected; women are more frequently diagnosed, however the more severe symptoms tend to be seen in men. To dispel a myth, rosacea is not caused by alcohol abuse, but in people who have rosacea, drinking alcohol may cause symptoms to get worse.


The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although a number of possible factors have been suggested, including 

  • Blood vessel abnormalities

Some experts believe that abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face may be a significant contributing factor for rosacea. This may explain symptoms of flushing, persistent redness and visible blood vessels. The cause of the potential abnormalities is unknown, but sun damage may contribute to the degeneration of the elastic tissue of the skin and the dilation of blood vessels.

  • Skin peptides

Recent research has shown external triggers such as ultraviolet (UV) light, spicy food, alcohol (notably red wine), and extremes in temperature can lead to the activation of certain molecules within the skin called peptides. Increased levels of these peptides may in turn affect the immune system or nerves and blood vessels of the skin. It is the activation of these systems that cause dilation of blood vessels, redness and inflammation.

  • Genetic factors

Rosacea does seem to run in some families but it is still not clear whether heredity plays a big part in this, and no genetic cause has been identified. Some experts maintain that is is a heritable vulnerability to another identified potential 'cause'.  

  • Microscopic mites

Demodex Folliculorum are harmless microscopic mites that live on human skin; people with rosacea have particularly large numbers, which may contribute to the condition. It is currently uncertain whether the large number of mites is a cause or an effect of rosacea, although some researchers have suggested the symptoms may be caused by the skin reacting to bacteria in the mites' faeces.

  • Helicobacter pylori bacteria 

Helicobacter pylori bacteria are bacteria found in the digestive system. While a link has not been proven it has been suggested these bacteria may be a possible cause of rosacea. One theory is that the bacteria stimulates the production of a protein called bradykinin, which is known to cause blood vessels to expand.

Types of Rosacea

Medical experts worldwide have four identified types of rosacea:

  • Subtype one - erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR)
  • Subtype two - papulopustular rosacea (acne rosacea)
  • Subtype three - phymatous rosacea (also known as rhinophyma)
  • Subtype four - ocular rosacea



Primary signs of rosacea include a history of frequent blushing or flushing, one or two small blood vessels becoming visible on the skin, dryness and small red bumps may appearing on the face, neck or scalp. However each subtype has its own set of symptoms:

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR): 

  • Flushing and persistent redness in the centre of the face 
  • Swollen (known as oedema) and sensitive skin
  • Stinging and burning skin
  • May include visible broken blood vessels.
  • Dry, rough and scaly skin 

Papulopustular rosacea (acne rosacea): 

  • Flushing and persistent redness
  • Acne-like breakouts with raised patches of skin
  • Visible broken blood vessels.
  • Oily and sensitive skin
  • Often affects middle-aged women.

Phymatous / Rhinophyma rosacea

  • A rare form characterized by skin thickening on chin, forehead, cheeks, and ears
  • Bumpy skin texture
  • Enlarged pores
  • Visible broken blood vessels
  • Often resulting in an enlargement of the nose from excess tissue.
  • Usually affects men and is often accompanied by another subtype of rosacea.

Ocular rosacea

  • Dry, itchy eyes that feel gritty
  • Bloodshot and watery eyes
  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • cysts on eyes and broken blood vessels on eyelids
  • Eyes that are hyper-sensitive to light
  • Diminished vision
  • tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, recurrent styes and potential vision loss from corneal damage


Book your consultation with a Dermatologist

Rosacea Treatment Benefits

The benefits of Rosacea treatments

  • Control flare-ups
  • Rosacea | Harley Medical GroupSignificantly reduces appearance of redness in the skin.
  • Improved self-confidence. 

The control of the symptoms is a widely acknowledged benefit of rosacea treatments, however there is a psychological benefit too. Many people with rosacea have reported feelings of low self-esteem, depression, embarrassment, anxiety and frustration. While it is important that you come to terms with the fact that the condition is incurable, it is controllable and treatments will help. As physical symptoms start to improve most people also report feeling better both psychologically and emotionally.  

OUR Experts

Our dermatology experts

Dermatology | Harley Medical GroupFrom the beginning aimed and succeeded in establishing The Harley Medical Group as a leader in the field of Laser & Skin Treatments and Dermatology, with clinics throughout the UK. Our fully qualified medical team are specially selected for their experience, expertise and approachability as well as their friendliness. This means our clients know that they are not meeting with sales people but trained experts, who have the time and the expertise to explain procedures in detail and answer all of your questions. In fact, we’re happy to say that our team is amongst the best.

We are committed to continually improving and refining our services, while researching the latest advances, thereby provide the highest standard of treatment that the medical profession can offer. Our dermatological treatments are performed in our own clinics, all of which are registered with The Care Quality Commission and the HIW in Cardiff. And following your meeting with our Dermatologist you will receive full aftercare instructions and will continue to receive any support you need. 


Rosacea Treatment Prices

There is no set price for rosacea treatments as every single client is different and treated on an entirely individual, case-by-case basis. 

Prices start from £140 and will depend on the bespoke treatment plan recommended by your dermatologist.


Book your consultation with a Dermatologist


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

HumidityExposure to sunlight
Strong windsExtremes of hot or cold weather
Hot or spicy foods and drinksDrinking alcohol
CaffeineDairy products
Other medical conditionsThe Menopause
Some medicines inc. high doses of vitamins B16 & B12Long-term use of steroids on the face
Emotional stressHeavy exercise
Hot baths 

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.