What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common long term skin condition which typically affects the face and has the appearance of consistent redness in the facial area.
What Causes Rosacea?
The exact cause of rosacea is unclear but there are several factors which are thought to contribute to this skin condition.
One potential cause for rosacea is thought to be abnormalities of the facial blood vessels. This would explain the symptoms which tend to manifest on the face. The exact cause of these abnormalities is unclear but sunburn could potentially explain the damage.
Research has shown that rosacea could be triggered by external factors such as spicy foods, alcohol, stress, exercise, heat and UV light. These factors are thought to lead to the activation of peptides. Increased levels of these molecules in the skin can affect the immune system which causes inflammation and dilation of the blood vessels.
Another potential trigger for rosacea is the microscopic mites which live on the face. They are usually harmless however research has suggested that some people may react to their faeces negatively. There has also been a link suggested between rosacea and Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the digestive system, as well as the influence of genetic traits - but this has not been proven.
Although the origins of rosacea are not clear, many sufferers share common triggers which make the condition flare-up. These triggers are:
- Exposure to sunlight
- Hot or cold weather
- Strong winds
- Strenuous exercise
- Hot baths
- Spicy foods
- Hot drinks
- Caffeine – found in tea, coffee and cola
- The menopause
- Dairy products
- Other medical conditions
- Certain medicines – such as amiodarone, corticosteroids and high doses of vitamins B6 and B12
What are the Symptoms of Rosacea?
Rosacea has a range of symptoms which vary in severity from person to person. Rosacea sufferers tend to go through periods where symptoms are more severe than normal. The main symptoms of rosacea are:
- Flushing - when the skin goes red for a period of time
- Persistent facial redness - like a blush or patch of sunburn that won’t go away
- Papules & pustules - red bumps and pus-filled swellings
- Visible blood vessels - after time, the vessels may permanently widen and become visible
- Thickened skin - excess tissue is formed in serious cases, often around the nose
Permanent damage to the face is very unlikely.
How do you treat Rosacea?
There is no known cure for rosacea but the condition can be managed and concealed with the right specialist skincare products.
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation can help to cover up the visible symptoms of rosacea which give total coverage for a long-lasting finish. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water helps to relieve the irritation of affected skin.
If you find over-the-counter treatments and remedies are not effective, you could speak with a GP and consult with you on more potent, prescription Rosacea treatments.