Rosacea, literally meaning a state of redness, is a very common skin condition which typically affects the face. The cause of it is unclear but it does tend to be genetic and is most often diagnosed in people with fair skin. It typically occurs between 20 and 50 years of age and it is a chronic condition which can flare up intermittently.
How do I know if I have rosacea?
Correct diagnosis is critical but it is normally
characterized by a persistent redness in the centre
of the face. If this lasts for three months, then it
is highly likely that you have this condition. The
most common features include persistent redness,
bumps, pimples, visible blood vessels and flushing.
In some cases, the sufferer may experience stinging
or burning with their skin becoming more sensitive
Some of the most common complaints that patients have regarding rosacea include:
- Red cheeks and nose, people looking like they are heavy drinkers when they’re not.
- Flushed cheeks as though embarrassed.
- Particularly sensitive skin, especially with regards to cosmetics.
- Pimples and pustules which are known as acne rosacea.
- Swelling of the face.
What aggravates rosacea?
There are certain triggers which cause flushing and can worsen the condition. The most common triggers include hot or windy weather, excessive exposure to the sun, excessively hot showers and baths, spicy food and drink or an excess of alcohol. Emotional stress can also exacerbate the situation as can a sensitivity to particular types of food.
Types of Rosacea
There are four main types of rosacea, with many patients experiencing more than one type at the same time.
- Facial redness is characterized by a persistent redness in the centre of the face either with or without visible blood vessels.
- Uneven skin texture including bumps and pimples which is known as acne rosacea.
- The thickening of the skin is also a common characteristic, characterized by irregular surface nodules and enlargement. This can occur on the chin, the forehead, the cheeks and nose.
- Irritation of the eyes including redness or general irritability of the eyes. In addition, eyelids can also show scaling and redness.
Particular treatment needs to be tailored to the individual patient and their specific circumstances. However, the general advice is as follows:
- Identify any factors that trigger the condition and avoid them in the future.
- Avoid any skincare products which irritate your skin.
- Use hypoallergenic moisturisers and sunscreen.
- Treat the skin using topical antibiotic gel or oral antibiotics. Some of these are used to treat the acne component while medical grade lasers can treat the redness and creams containing vitamin A can reduce the thickening of the skin.
- One of the most effective camouflages of rosacea is make-up containing a green tint.
How can lasers help?
The redness component of the condition can be
treated using vascular lasers. These can result in
very significant improvement by removing the blood
vessels which cause the redness. The choice of the
particular laser used depends on the individual
requirements of patients. At the Cosmetic Laser and
Medical Centres we have a wide range of vascular
lasers available including the KTP laser, the pulse
dye laser and the ND: YAG laser.
For more information see Facial Redness
Blue light lasers are used to treat the acne component of the condition. Photodynamic therapy can also be effective.
More detailed information on Rosacea can be found on the following link: