Rosacea is a skin condition that causes facial redness. Because it’s so highly visible, it can be embarrassing and can even interfere with a person’s quality of life.
Flare-ups are often made worse by sunbathing, extremes of temperature, as well as things like spicy food. We look at the best ways to treat rosacea and limit its symptoms.
How does rosacea start?
‘Rosacea starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily,’ says Rebecca Freeman, spokesperson for the British Association of Dermatologists.
‘After a while, the central areas of the face become a deeper shade of red and end up staying this colour. The area becomes covered with small red bumps and pus spots that come and go. Small blood vessels in the skin can also become visible.
‘Rosacea occurs when the blood vessels in the skin over-react, which can cause redness in the forehead, cheeks, chin and nose,’ says Dr Nick Lowe, consultant dermatologist at the Cranley Clinic, London.
‘The blood vessels’ inflammatory cells leak into the skin producing raised red bumps,’ he says.
Who is at risk?
Symptoms of rosacea usually begin between the ages of 30 and 50, with women more often affected than men. It’s often more severe in men – who have a greater risk of developing rhinophyma. This is a thickening of the lower part of the nose, making it bulbous and ruddy.
Fair-skinned people, particularly of Celtic descent, are thought to be more prone to rosacea – although this may be because it shows more readily in pale skin. Genetics are also thought to play a part.
What to do if you have early signs of rosacea?
In early or pre-rosacea stages: you may blush or flush, particularly after certain triggers. This tendency may go as quickly as it came.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce symptoms and even reverse rosacea, according to Dr Nick Lowe.
‘If you spot early signs of rosacea, you can prevent it from becoming worse later in life by avoiding certain triggers,’ says Dr Nick Lowe, ‘And go and see your dermatologist, who can help advise on treatments.’
What to avoid
There are a variety of known triggers for rosacea, and avoiding these can help reduce symptoms. It may also help prevent mild rosacea become more severe in later life.
These triggers include:
exercising too much
extreme temperatures, hot and cold
However, what acts as a trigger for one person may not for another. By keeping a diary, you can keep a track on what causes flare-ups for you.
You should try and avoid saunas and rubbing your skin too much. Drink your tea and coffee lukewarm, rather than piping hot.
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