Symptoms can include facial flushing and redness, recurrence of spots which look similar to acne, thickening of the skin and some patients experience eye problems.
There are 4 main types of rosacea based on which are the most predominant symptoms. These can occur together or in isolation.
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. It is likely a combination of genetic factors, sun exposure, overgrowth of demodex mite and abnormal immune reactions in the skin leading to inflammation. UVB stimulates the growth of these blood vessels causing them to enlarge and spread. This is why sun protection is one of the most important first steps in managing rosacea.
Erythrotelangiectatic, or vascular, rosacea is caused by hyperreactive blood vessels which dilate and cause redness of the skin and eventually results in permanently dilated blood vessels. This usually begins with intermittent facial flushing which progresses to persistent redness.
Papulopustular rosacea is caused by an exaggerated inflammatory response and presents with small lumpy red spots (papules) and small cysts (pustules) on the face. Thankfully, this form of rosacea tends to respond well to prescription medication. Despite looking like acne, topical retinoids may irritate the skin and worsen the appearance of this form of rosacea.
Phymatous rosacea is due to a disorder of the sebaceous (sweat) glands of the skin. This leads to a progressive thickening of the skin which can be deforming. Thankfully this is rare and treatment should always be guided by a medical, or surgical, professional.
Ocular rosacea can present alone or with other types of rosacea. The typical presentation is with recurrent stye or a constant gritty feeling in the eye. If left untreated this can cause injury to the eye.
How is rosacea treated
- Sun protection
- Prescription antibiotics can be very helpful in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea.
- Azelaic acid can be very effective for acne and for papulopustular acne. This a component of our Azelan Chemical Peel from Mesoestetic.
- Redness is one of the hardest problems to treat. Each client is treated on an individual basis but prescription medication and chemical peels have proven to be successful. Moisuturisers with green tones will also reduce the redness of skin.
- Liquirice and niacinamide containing products have been known to be of benefit to clients with rosacea.
- Avoid skin irritation such as fragrances, topical alcohol preparation and mechanical scrubbing. When suffering from rosacea it is recommended to treat your skin as if it is sensitive.
- Certain ingredients in topical preparations can increase skin irritation and should therefore be avoided. Examples of these ingredients are witch hazel, camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil.
- When rosacea is present the skin tends to be slightly acidic, soap is very alkali and should be avoided. Simple, gentle cleansers should be used.
- For patients with ocular rosacea
- Artificial tears and lid hygeine can improve symptoms
- For more severe symptoms consult a medical professional