Rosacea and Everything You Need to Know
What is rosacea and what causes it?
Redness and visible blood vessels on your face may be a sign that you have a common skin condition called rosacea. Even more so if these last for ages, flare up and down, or don’t go away. Rosacea tends to affect more women than men, those with lighter skin, and people between the ages of 30 and 50. But it can occur at any time, depending on your individual circumstances. If your mum or sister have rosacea, you could be more prone to it. That said, it’s not just genetics that can cause rosacea. Ultraviolet radiation, hair follicle mites and an imbalance in your gut microbiome may all play a part, although the actual cause of rosacea is unknown. More likely, rosacea is a combination of things, some of which you can control.
Different types of rosacea
Distressingly, rosacea can look a bit like acne or pimples and you may even have small pustules. Dermatologists call this type of rosacea ‘papulopustular rosacea’.
A little good news, unlike acne, rosacea does not scar. ‘Granulomatous rosacea’ is a long name for a special type of skin condition that is more likely to
affect those with skin of colour. You can usually tell this type of rosacea by small, hard-ish lumps on the skin. Some people with rosacea also experience irritated or red eyes or eyelids. Doctors call this ‘ocular rosacea’ and it can be associated with other health conditions. If you don’t manage to control rosacea, it can cause the facial skin to become thickened. This is called ‘phymatous rosacea’. Although there is no cure for rosacea, treatment can help control and reduce the symptoms
Treatment can help control and reduce the symptoms of rosacea.
Signs and symptoms
You may feel like you are blushing or flushing. Feeling like your skin is hot is common in rosacea. Other symptoms of rosacea include enlarged capillaries, a permanent redness across your nose and cheeks; yellow pustules on your forehead, cheeks and chin; lumps that don’t hurt under your
skin; mildly swollen cheeks and nose and a feeling of burning and stinging. You might find that you have symptoms for days, weeks or months, and then they go away for a while. Or you may have rosacea symptoms on an ongoing basis.
Heat can cause a flare up, so it's best to avoid spas and saunas. It pays to be careful about UV exposure too, and limit spicy food or hot drinks, too.
What triggers rosacea?
Heat can cause a flare up, so it’s best to avoid spas and saunas. It pays to be careful about UV exposure too, and limit spicy food or hot drinks like tea or coffee.
Many people find that alcohol makes rosacea worse, while exercise can cause a flare up because of elevated body heat. Make sure you don’t overheat in bed too.
The ideal bedroom temperature is around 21 degrees Celsius, and you can use a fan to keep cool if necessary. Other common triggers include steroid-based skin creams and oil-based skincare products.
Treating and diagnosing rosacea
At North Coast Medispa, our nurses are all members of the Australian Dermatology Nurses Association and can help recommend skincare products that suit your skin type and assist you with your skin care needs. They can also refer you to our specialist dermatologists for chronic skin concerns. Rosacea is usually diagnosed by a physical examination and medical history. Sometimes, a doctor may want to take blood tests. For more about rosacea treatment, watch out for our next blog!