Skin

Skincare routine for rosacea

Rosacea causes a specific type of sensitive skin. Skin blood vessels inflammation leads to the difficulties with skin nourishment and supply with oxygen and water. This causes slow down in skin cells division and skin regeneration. Rosacea skin rapidly loses water and becomes dry. The hyperactive immune system causes the skin to be prone to irritation.

Therefore, the main principles of skincare for rosacea skin are to avoid irritation and ensure good moisturizing. Exfoliation is out, cleansing - moisturising - nourishing is in.

It is also important to understand that rosacea is a chronic condition. It means that there are no quick fixes. The skincare regime should be allowed to develop and then you have to maintain it. An extended break in the skincare regime means that you will have to start from scratch.

Use alkalising products

It’s become a dogma that skin has an acidic pH5.5 and you have to use skincare products of this pH. However, only the top layer of skin has this acidic pH, the underlying layers that maintain and regenerate skin have alkaline pH. If unlike cosmetics the products are designed to penetrate deep skin layers, to maintain the balance, they should be alkaline to keep skin healthy.

Due to problems with skin regeneration, rosacea skin has a thin top layer. That’s why it’s especially important to use products that nourish the deep layers and help them. Sönd products have alkaline pH and will help your skin to reduce rosacea symptoms.

What is a good facial cleanser for rosacea?

A good facial cleanser for rosacea should not contain any irritating compounds. It should have a calming effect and doest strip the skin of it’s natural oils.

The Sönd cleanser is formulated to help sensitive skin including rosacea skin. It includes calming calendula, soothing chamomile and balancing jojoba which provides an effective and gentle cleansing solution.

Is moisturizer good for rosacea?

Moisturising skin at least twice a day is essential for rosacea. Rosacea skin is dry and irritated, so it is important to hydrate skin and lock in the moisture.

Make sure you use a moisturiser that supports the natural alkaline state of the deeper layers of your skin. Most creams in the industry have an acidic base which can cause acidic stress which can lead to skin irritation.

At Sönd, our moisturiser is formulated with unique salt compounds that work with your deepest skin cells to boost hydration, support regeneration and provide essential trace nutrients.

A serum can provide additional hydration

The serum is a product you can apply after cleansing and before moisturising. It contains concentrated nourishment in a form of small molecules that penetrate deep skin layers. The nourishment is concentrated and effective.

Using serum is especially important for rosacea skin. Rosacea skin has a broken natural regeneration and balance, therefore it needs all the help it can get.

The Strength training serum by Sönd contains powerful humectants and antioxidants hyaluronic acid, Moringa and Pomegranate extracts that deliver a boost to the skin.

Night cream for rosacea

It’s important to protect your skin during the day from pollution and UV light. But it’s equally important to use night time to replenish and restore skin cells, to promote skin regeneration. An alkaline night cream will provide all this while you sleep Sönd’s Midnight Feast Cream contains ingredients proven to help Rosacea (hemp and coconut oil).

Face masks

Face masks are the next line of defense against rosacea. They provide deep cleansing, moisturising and nourishment. While choosing a mask, it’s important to select one that is not irritating and contains ingredients beneficial to rosacea skin.

Feed the skin from the inside out

Skincare doesn’t stop with the surface. You need to literally feed your skin inside out, to deliver the right ingredients from within. Sönd has developed and produced supplements that are formulated to boost rosacea skin repair and regeneration and reduce the visible signs. The supplements contain ingredients proven in clinical trials to lessen rosacea symptoms.

Does exfoliating help rosacea?

No. Exfoliating removes the top layer of skin and unavoidably irritates it. Avoid exfoliating during rosacea as it can make the condition worse. Similarly, avoid mechanical irritation of the skin, don’t use a washcloth or sponge. Gently cleanse, moisturise and nourish instead.

What is the best skincare line for rosacea

At Sönd our mission is to empower anyone with rosacea-prone skin to take control of their skin and manage their symptoms. Our products focus on supporting the deeper layers of our skin helping improve its health. Sönd offers a simple range of skincare products that have achieved amazing results for people with rosacea.

Alternative treatments for rosacea

Rosacea is a complex disease that has several approaches to treating it. On one hand of the spectrum, there are home remedies such as diet and herbal treatments, which are mild but may not work in some cases. On the other, prescription medicines that are quite strong.

There is also the third type of treatments that fall between the medicine and cosmetology and may be frowned upon by medical doctors. Alternative treatments are not usually covered by health insurance and are paid out of pocket.

Laser, IPL, and dermabrasion treatments are scientifically proven to help rosacea. Ayurveda is a whole different medicine system but it’s principles align with current western medicine thinking. Homeopathy is yet another set of beliefs but western medicine strongly opposes its use.

Can laser treatment help rosacea?

A laser is a powerful, focused light that is widely used in cosmetics and dermatology. In the last decades, laser treatment has become one of the standard methods in rosacea treatment. The laser delivers a strong pulse of yellow light to the inflamed blood vessels and collapses them, causing the skin redness to subside.

The treatment in special clinics starts from a consultation that should determine the laser is the right treatment for you. If it is, this is followed by a test session where the laser is applied to a small patch of skin. If there are no significant side effects, there will be 2 - 4 additional sessions a month apart. The number of sessions depends on the severity of the condition and skin response.

The main side effect is bruising in places of treatment that take up to a week to subside. After prolonged treatment, hyperpigmentation may develop.

Does Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) work on rosacea?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a visible, broad-spectrum pulse of light, usually delivered via a hand-held device. It is similar to a laser that is also used for skin treatments but has a broader range of light wavelength.

IPL has shown to work in rosacea in clinical trials. IPL acts via selectively heating up skin pigments (melanin, hemoglobin). In the case of rosacea treatment, it leads to the collapse of spider veins, spots, and pustules. After an initial consultation, you can expect 3 - 6 sessions of around 30 minutes each once a month.

Side effects include bruising, blistering, change in skin colour.

Does microneedling help rosacea?

Microneedling is a procedure when small needles placed on a roller applied to the skin. The standard dermaroller has a long handle with a drum-shaped cylinder at one end studded with rows and circular arrays of fine microneedles, usually 0.5–3 mm in length and 0.1–0.25 mm in diameter. It is rolled over face skin puncturing the skin, which increases collagen production and skin repair. The procedure is performed 4 - 6 times a month apart.

Micropcunctures increase the production of collagen, making skin firmer, and reducing pores. Research shows that microneedling is effective in milder forms of rosacea.

Does microneedling make rosacea worse?

Microneedling was introduced as a cosmetic procedure for skin rejuvenation. However, it is an effective treatment of milder forms of rosacea.

There are no systematic studies of the adverse effects of microneedling on rosacea. However, it is known that skin redness immediately after the procedure is a common side effect. If you have severe rosacea, contact your doctor for advice.

Is Microdermabrasion ok For Rosacea?

Microdermabrasion is a removal of the skin cells layer by blasting it with abrasives such as aluminum and vitamin C crystals from a hand-held device. The dead cells are then removed by vacuum. Microdermabrasion effectively removes fine lines and minor blemishes. It works on all skin types and does cause strong side effects. 4 - 6 sessions that last 30 minutes are required.

Side effects are redness and swelling but they subside quicker than in case of laser treatment.

Microdermabrasion is a stronger form of exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation is not used in rosacea, because the skin is hypersensitive. Do not use dermabrasion if you have rosacea as it will worsen your symptoms.

Can homeopathy totally cure rosacea?

Homeopathy is one of the alternative treatments for rosacea. Homeopathy is an opposite of allopathy e.g. traditional Western medicine. Homeopathy is built on an idea that a cause of the disease, diluted that there is fewer than one molecule in a swimming pool will cure the disease.

In clinical trials, homeopathic remedies do not perform better than placebo e.g. sham treatments. Homeopathic remedies can alleviate rosacea symptoms acting via autosuggestion. However, it’s unlikely that homeopathy will cure rosacea in the absence of other treatments.

Ayurveda for rosacea

Ayurveda is an alternative medicine system originating from India. Ayurveda is a holistic system that promotes a healthy lifestyle in the belief that it will reduce the symptoms. The main parts are rest, diet and exercise. It also uses herbal treatments combined with fasting and massage. In Ayurveda rosacea can be healed by cooling the body and healing digestion with herbs and diet.

As you can see, Ayurveda’s recommendations aligned with cosmetology and Western medicine advice.

Can rosacea be cured by Ayurveda? As with any natural treatment, the effect of Ayurvedic medicine is highly variable depending on the patient and the practitioner. However, there are some scientific reports that Ayurvedic preparations can improve symptoms of rosacea.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976400/

Supplements and Medications to Treat Rosacea

Additionally to topical treatments that are applied directly to the skin, many supplements and drugs fight rosacea symptoms from within. These systemic treatments are antimicrobial and antiparasitic compounds. They act by reducing the number of bacteria and other symbionts, thus reducing inflammation.

A doctor must prescribe systemic treatments as they usually have side effects. It is also essential to follow the instruction, not stopping the medication or prolonging it beyond the course length as this may cause the appearance of resistant organisms.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics control rosacea symptoms by reducing the number of living organisms on human skin, thus reducing inflammation. Because antibiotics kill all bacteria, including beneficial bacteria, prolonged exposure may lead to problems with digestion and infections with yeast candida and bacteria staphylococcus.

Does Metrogel work for rosacea?

The active ingredient of Metrogel is metronidazole. Metronidazole is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medication. It reduces the number of bacteria, fungi, and mites on the skin, thus reducing inflammation. Metronidazole is often prescribed to treat rosacea in different forms, including Metrogel.

It is listed as a potential carcinogen and may cause a severe skin reaction.

Clinical Trials Have Shown Clindamycin Not to be Effective For Rosacea

Clindamycin is an antibiotic that stops bacterial growth by inhibiting their protein synthesis. It is effective and frequently used in acne treatments in the form of pills or intravenous injections.

Side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramps and/or rash.

Several clinical trials did not show any effect of clindamycin on rosacea so it hasn’t shown to be beneficial for Rosacea.

Tetracycline Antibiotics

Antibiotics - derivatives of tetracycline act by inhibiting protein synthesis in a broad spectrum of bacteria. These antibiotics have a proven effect on rosacea and have been prescribed to treat the condition for several decades.

Common side effects include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash.

Common derivatives of tetracycline are doxycycline and oxytetracycline.

Doxycycline For Rosacea

Doxycycline from the tetracycline antibiotics family is often prescribed for the treatment of rosacea. T

he prescription determines how long you take antibiotics, including tetracycline and its derivative doxycycline. The course usually takes several months. It’s vital to finish the course, as an interrupted course can have a brief effect. On the other hand, it’s essential not to take antibiotics longer than prescription. The longer you take an antibiotic, the more probability that bacteria will become resistant to it.

Oxytetracycline

Oxycycline from the tetracycline antibiotics family is often prescribed for the treatment of rosacea.

How long does oxytetracycline, tetralysal adn lymecycline take to work on rosacea?

Antibiotics-derivatives of tetracycline, including oxytetracycline, lymecycline, and tetralysal, are often prescribed to treat rosacea. They have an anti-inflammatory effect. It takes time for oxytetracycline to work and reduce inflammation processes, so you should not expect an immediate impact. Some effect can be seen about a week after the start of the course, but the full impact will be apparent only at the end of the prescription course.

Clonidine

Clonidine is a drug that, among other uses, reduces blood pressure. It is effective against menopausal flushing and to minimize skin redness in rosacea. Common side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, and headaches. Severe effects include heart arrhythmia, hallucinations, and confusion.

Calcineurin inhibitors

Calcineurin is a protein that activates the T cells of the immune system. Calcineurin inhibitors block the protein action, preventing immune system activation, and reducing inflammation. The compounds of this class are moderately effective against rosacea.

Common side effects include local skin irritation or a burning and itching. The side effects occur more frequently than with other treatments, up to 50% of the people developing them.

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers is a class of medication used to treat abnormal heart rhythm and high blood pressure. Beta-blockers such as nadolol, carvedilol, and propranolol were used in clinical trials to reduce rosacea flashing and had a good efficiency close to the efficacy of taking antibiotic doxycycline. Beta-blockers can also have an anti-anxiety effect.

Adverse drug reactions associated with the use of beta-blockers include nausea, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, cold hands, and feet.

Anxiety medications

People with rosacea have higher incidences of embarrassment, social anxiety, depression. These psychological effects can be caused by the adverse effect of rosacea on the appearance. Anti-anxiety medications efficiently improve the quality of life of people with rosacea. It is recommended to combine it with treatments that reduce skin redness.

The side effects depend on the medication prescribed in each specific case.

Vitamins For Rosacea

As with many skin conditions, several vitamins are beneficial in rosacea treatment. First of them, Vitamin A and its derivatives, retinoids, as well as vitamin B3 (niacin). They have anti-inflammatory properties and normalise skin cells turnover.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an antioxidant and antioxidants reduce inflammation. Is vitamin C good for rosacea? The conventional wisdom backed by some research is that vitamin C is good for rosacea treatment. However, taking high doses of vitamin C in the form of pills are currently falling out of favour with clinicians. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins is a better way of getting enough vitamins.

Vitamin B3

A derivative of vitamin B3 produced by the body, nicotinamide, has anti-inflammatory properties. Nicotinamide increases collagen synthesis, improving the overall structure, moisture, and elasticity of the skin. Using B3 in a gel applied to areas of rosacea reducing symptoms, including the number of papules.

Vitamin B3 may be toxic in high doses and is thought to cause liver toxicity.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a group of chemically similar compounds. They are involved in enzymatic reactions to metabolise glucose, amino acids, and lipids. Vitamin B6 deficiency leads to widening of capillaries sothis vitamin can reduce rosacea symptoms.

It is water-soluble and its excess should be removed from the organism with urine. However, using the surplus of supplements sometimes leads to B6 accumulation and toxicity. It can cause neurotoxicity resulting in numbness of hands and feet.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a group of compounds that protects cell membranes against oxidation. While governmental organization recommends consuming 7 to 15 mg per day, an average person receives about 6 mg. Thus taking additional amounts of vitamin E topically or orally. is beneficial. There are no side effects of using too much vitamin E.

Clinical trials have shown that vitamin E supplements in women increase skin elasticity and reduce its dryness.

Microelements

Microelements work in enzymatic reactions in minimal quantities. High level of food processing means that they are often removed from the food. The scarcity of microelements leads to enzyme activity deficiencies in the organism, which can lead to inflammation.

Examples of microelements important for rosacea are magnesium and selenium.

Selenium

Selenium is a non-metal similar to sulfur and is a part of some proteins. Selenium deficiency can cause blood vessel dilation that leads to skin redness - a symptom of rosacea. Supplementing selenium can alleviate rosacea symptoms, but people rarely suffer from selenium deficiency, as it is abundant in vegetables and nuts.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a metal used in DNA metabolism and is one of the most essential metals in our body. Magnesium deficiency leads to capillaries dilation so it can be a cause of rosacea. Low magnesium is common, it is found in 2.5–15% of the general population.

Vitamins to Avoid For Rosacea

Retinol For Rosacea

Retinol or vitamin A and its derivatives are often prescribed as a remedy for various skin conditions including rosacea. In the case of rosacea potent retinol derivatives used if antibiotic therapy was inefficient. Vitamin A derivatives such tretinoin can reduce pustules but can make redness and spider veins more prominent. Vitamin A itself is a milder form and has fewer side effects, so it's safer to use.

Food supplements for rosacea

Soy

Soy contains phytohormones close to human female hormones estrogens. Soy supplements have been shown to prolong skin health and regeneration, improve skin firmness. This is especially important for perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women that frequently expedience rosacea.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25919144

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25399625

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24428524

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1529-8019.2007.00147.x

Topical treatments for rosacea

Because rosacea is a skin disease, many treatments are topical and applied to the areas were the rosacea symptoms are. Topical treatments should be the first line of treatment of mild rosacea when there are not many papules and pustules.

Topical remedies consist of a carrier such as glycerin and an active ingredient and vary in form, for example, gel or cream.

Metronidasole for rosacea

Metronidazole is an antibiotic often prescribed for treatment of skin infections, gum disease as well as bacterial vagina inflammation and pelvic inflammatory disease. It reduces bacterial growth in the place of infection which leads to a reduction in general inflammation.

Metronidazole is one of the most effective anti-rosacea treatments. It is often used to treat rosacea symptoms in the form of cream or gel. Metronidazole cream is called by the brand names Rosiced or Rozex. The gel is marketed under the brand names Acea, Anabact, Metrogel, Metrosa, Rozex or Zyomet.

Using metronidasole has possible side effects including metallic taste in the mouth as well as diarrhea and vomiting.

Do not take alcohol while using any product containing metronidazole as it may not only cause strong side effects but lead to hot flashes and heart-pounding and headaches.

Can Rozex make rosacea worse?

Rozex is a cream that contains metronidazole. Rozex does not usually cause worsening of rosacea symptoms. But if you notice that your condition is getting worse after Rozex application, contact your doctor.

Azelaic acid cream or gel

Azelaic acid has several effects beneficial for reduction of rosacea symptoms. In high concentrations, it kills bacteria that cause inflammation. It also reduces the production of the skin protein keratin and protease activity.

Creams and gels that contain azelaic acid sold under the brand names Dermaz 99, Crema Pella Perfetta, Azepur99, Azetec99, Azaclear, AzClear Action, Azelex, White Action cream, Finacea.

Azelaic acid is effective, but there are side effects that include skin itching, burning, or tingling. High concentration or prolonged treatment can cause skin peeling.

Ivermectin cream for rosacea

Ivermectin is a medication used to treat parasitic infections. The precise mechanism of its effectiveness in rosacea treatment is not known but probably connected to the control of skin mite, Demodex. In clinical trials, ivermectin was more effective in reducing rosacea symptoms than the standard treatment with metronidazole.

Possible side effects include itching and burning sensation. Prolonged treatment can harm the nervous system.

Brimonidine tartrate for rosacea

Brimonidine is a medication prescribed for the regulation of eye blood pressure such as glaucoma and hypertension. It is also effective against ocular rosacea symptoms. Brimonidine constricts eye blood vessels, relaxation of the eye muscle and excess liquid drainage.

It is prescribed in the form of eye drops or eye creams with brand names Alphagan, Alphagan-P, Mirvaso Lumify.

Common side effects include itchiness and a dry mouth as well as skin inflammation on site of application (contact dermatitis).

Retinoids for rosacea

Retinoids are compounds similar to vitamin A. They work by regulating skin cells turnover. Retinoids are prescribed and effective for several skin conditions such as severe acne and rosacea.

Synthetic retinoids have a much stronger effect than vitamin A but may have strong side effects, including hair loss, skin dryness, and itching. Isotretinoin is the most potent retinoid that cannot be used during pregnancy.

Accutane for rosacea

Accutane (or Roaccutane) is a pill that contains isotretinoin, a retinoid. Accutane is prescribed for severe acne and rosacea treatment. Isotretinoin is the most potent retinoid that regulates skin cells turnover and decreasing sebum production.

However, Accutane has a high concentration of the compound and can cause side effects. If you suspect that Accutane makes rosacea worse in your case, contact your doctor who can prescribe a formulation with a lower dose of isotretinoin.

Sodium sulfacetamide-sulfur

This is a combination of two compounds sulfacetamide and sulfur. Sulfacetamide is a sulfonamide, a group of compounds that were used before the invention of modern antibiotics. Like antibiotics, it reduces bacterial growth, therefore, reducing skin inflammation. Sulfur is an even older anti-infection compound which also removes excessive dead skin cells e.g., has a keratolytic effect.

Sodium sulfacetamide-sulfur is effective against several skin inflammation compounds such as pustular acne and rosacea. Side effects are mild, mostly possible irritation on the site of application.

Benzoyl peroxide for rosacea

Benzoyl peroxide is a skin-clearing agent. It kills bacteria and reduces inflammation. It has been used in skin treatment for several decades and shown its efficacy in clinical trials. Benzoyl peroxide is typically applied to the affected areas in gel, cream, or liquid form.

Common side effects of topical medications that contain benzoyl peroxide include peeling, itching, and dryness of the skin in application places. Higher concentration causes side effects more frequently.

Afrin for rosacea

Afrin is a topical decongestant that reduces runny nose symptoms and is manufactured in the form of a spray. It is FDA approved for use in rosacea as it constricts the face blood vessels that are the cause of rosacea.

The spray should be used according to the instructions, e.g., in the nose and on places of rosacea symptoms. Prolonged use may damage nose lining.

Permethrin for rosacea

Permethrin is a medication used against insects such as lice and mosquitoes and mites. The compound is used in the form of cream. Side effects include rash and irritation at the area of use. There are several studies where permethrin was concluded to be effective against rosacea in a mild form.

How to get rid of demodex mites in rosacea

Demodex mites are inhabitants of sebum oil glands on the skin including the face. Some rosacea sufferers have Demodex on their skin but rosacea symptoms are usually not caused by them unless there was a sudden demodex infestation.

If you want to get rid of Demodex, it’s important to use treatments that will not exacerbate your rosacea. Wash face with a mild cleanser twice daily. Use diluted tea tree oil on face and eyelids. Change your bedding frequently. Wash it in hot water and use a tumble drier. Avoid oil-based makeup, change it frequently and do not exceed its “best before date”.

In cases of severe Demodex proliferation, the doctor can prescribe products containing metronidazole or ivermectin.

Oils that help rosacea

Does hemp oil help rosacea?

Hemp oil is produced by hemp plants that were bred for technical purposes and don’t contain THC, the hallucinogenic compound. Hemp oil is widely used in cosmetics, to smooth the skin and reduce fine wrinkles.

Cosmetic industry and sellers of hemp-derived products report that hemp oil alleviates symptoms of rosacea. However, there is no scientific evidence that confirms these claims so far. On the other hand, there are no reports that hemp oil makes rosacea worse.

Is coconut oil food for rosacea?

Oil from coconuts contains lauric acid that can soothe irritated skin and it has been used in the topical treatment of rosacea. It doesn’t have proinflammatory properties, so there is no reason for it to irritate rosacea, especially if taken internally.

Is tea tree oil good for rosacea?

Tea tree oil is traditionally used for treating many skin conditions such as acne. It has anti-inflammatory properties so can be beneficial for rosacea. If a product has a high concentration of tea tree oil it may be too intense for rosacea treatment. When using a new product do try on a small patch of skin to make sure there are no adverse effects.

Does bio oil help rosacea?

Bio oil is a trademarked formulation that is used to alleviate skin problems such as stretch marks and scars, including acne scars. Essentially, it’s a mineral oil as a base with retinol and essential plant oils dissolved in it. Mineral oil is a known occlusive which means that it protects the skin.

There is no systematic research on Bio oil efficiency in treating rosacea. It may be helpful in some cases, but there are cheaper oils with fewer ingredients - and fewer components lessen the chance of triggering rosacea.

Does fish oil help rosacea?

Fish oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids is one of the compounds that relieve rosacea symptoms. There are randomised controlled scientific studies proving that regularly taking fish oil, for example, in the form of capsules relieves symptoms of even advanced rosacea.

Natural ingredients for rosacea

While it is possible to combine some of the plant remedies, you need to make sure that they don’t clash due to the active ingredients interactions.

Will aloe vera help rosacea?

Aloe vera is one of the most efficient natural emollients, e.g., compounds that soothe and smooth the skin and is recommended as a rosacea remedy.

Can aloe vera make rosacea worse? Unlikely on its own. However, it can be listed as just one ingredient in the commercial formulation. Several other compounds in the same preparation can cause rosacea.

If you suspect that a particular cream or lotion causes rosacea, you should stop using it immediately.

Is green tea good for rosacea?

Green tea is rich in antioxidants that are good in preventing and reducing inflammation. The compounds derived from this type of tea are shown to diminish the symptoms of rosacea. Green tea should be used as a topical agent, for example as part of topical applications or in compresses of cold tea in the places of rosacea outbreaks.

Does burdock help rosacea?

Consuming burdock is a home remedy recommended for people with rosacea because it has a positive effect on the gut bacteria. There is a connection between gut health and rosacea, but there are no clinical trials so far that confirm burdock effect on rosacea. There are no known side effects so it is worth trying.

Is chamomile oil good for rosacea?

Chamomile is one of the most popular herbal remedies due to its proven anti-inflammatory effect. Compresses and salves with chamomile flowers can improve rosacea symptoms, and there are no known side effects.

Can feverfew help with rosacea?

Feverfew is a plant from the same family as Chamomile and has similar flowers. Feverfew flowers have an anti-inflammatory effect that has been confirmed in several clinical studies. It is shown to be effective in the mitigation of rosacea symptoms and has no known side-effects.

Is turmeric good for rosacea?

Turmeric is a spice widely used in Middle Eastern cooking. Turmeric and its constituents constrict capillaries and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. It is one of the most promising anti-rosacea compounds. Clinical trials show that taking a course of pills that contain turmeric reduces rosacea symptoms such as facial redness.

Is licorice good for rosacea?

Licorice root contains compounds that work as anti-irritants and sensitivity regulators. A study has shown that a skincare regime that included licorice-derived compounds have improved rosacea symptoms in a significant number of participants.

Use oatmeal masks for rosacea

Oatmeal is a traditional humectant and emollient frequently used for inflammatory skin conditions, including rosacea. There are no known side effects and is safe to use. Use oatmeal as a mask on the places of rosacea symptoms.

Can wild chrysanthemum help with rosacea?

Extract from wild chrysanthemum has anti-inflammatory and UV protection properties. It also improves the mechanical elasticity of blood vessels. In a clinical trial where the participants with moderate rosacea applied a cream with wild chrysanthemum extract, they have had a reduction in rosacea symptoms. Thus wild chrysanthemum is a promising natural remedy for rosacea treatment.

Can quassia help with rosacea?

Quassia is a tree from South America with antiparasitic properties. It is used in traditional medicine to treat lice infestation and to improve digestion. A clinical trial has shown that applying quassia extract in the form of gel improves rosacea symptoms such as spider veins, papules, and pustules.

Is moringa beneficial for rosacea skin?

Moringa is a small tree native to tropical regions of South Asia. It is used for water purification and traditional herbal medicine. Moringa extract has antioxidant and UV-protection properties effective in the protection of skin cells. There is no clinical trials yet that prove moringa effectiveness against rosacea but preliminary studies look promising.

Moringa is also recommended for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Is pomegranate good for rosaccea?

Pomegranate has a rich history symbolising prosperity and fertility. Extract from pomegranate has shown antioxidant and anti-hyperpigmentation properties. It is one of the ingredients recommended for natural skincare as a topical application. Drinking pomegranate juice is also beneficial for skin conditions.

Use bearberry for rosacea

Bearberry is a dwarf shrub that grows in Arctic regions andis used in traditional medicine. A compound found in bearberry, arbutin, prevents skin pigmentation. It is used in skin lightening products and a promising compound as a topical treatment for rosacea.

Inorganic compounds for rosacea

Milk of magnesia for rosacea

Milk of magnesia is magnesium hydroxide. It’s often used to treat heartburn and as a food additive. There is no research to confirm its effect on rosacea, but there are reports that it can help without causing adverse effects.

Milk of magnesia is used as a mask. It is applied to the face and other body parts that have rosacea symptoms and regularly used for several weeks.

Can lactic acid help rosacea?

Lactic acid is an organic acid found in sour milk products. It is used in cosmetics as a humectant - a compound that attracts and retains moisture in the skin.

Rosacea is characterised by dry, inflamed skin so humectants such as lactic acid are often used to relieve the symptoms of rosacea.

Is glycolic acid safe for rosacea?

Glycolic acid is one of the organic acids widely used in cosmetics. It is a humectant e.g., a compound that attracts and retains water on the skin. Commercial formulations that contain glycolic acid are usually safe for rosacea.

Topical products to avoid during rosacea

Selsun blue

Selsun Blue is a medicated shampoo used for seborrheic dermatitis. Its main ingredient is salicylic acid, a powerful drying agent. Salicylic acid should not be used to treat rosacea skin. As a harsh treatment, it will most likely make rosacea worse.

Charcoal will dry skin making rosacea worse

Charcoal has a powerful drying effect on the skin. People with rosacea have dry, prone to irritation skin. Therefore, charcoal will not help and most likely will make the condition worse.

Sudocrem will worsen rosacea Symptoms by drying skin

The main ingredient of Sudocrem cream is zinc oxide that has drying properties. The problem with rosacea skin that it has too little moisture. Using Sudocrem will most likely worsen the symptoms.

Ingredients to avoid during dosacea

Avoid witch hazel for rosacea

Witch hazel is a popular and efficient remedy for acne. However, it has an opposite effect on rosacea as witch hazel containing solutions often irritate rosacea skin.

Do not use comfrey for rosacea

Comfrey is a popular natural remedy for skin abrasions and inflammatory conditions. However, it is highly toxic, especially to the liver, which leads to the prohibition of comfrey consumption. There are clinical trials that show the effectiveness of comfrey-derived compounds in rosacea treatment. But it’s important to understand, that these remedies had the alkaloids removed before use. Therefore, it’s better not to use raw and untreated comfrey for rosacea treatment.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is commonly used to treat acne. However, it has a strong drying effect. Salicylic is detrimental for mature skin in general and especially for rosacea as itcan make rosacea worse.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a product of fermentation of apple juice. Some studies show its efficiency as an antimicrobial and immunostimulating agent. However, no reports are investigating if apple cider vinegar helps rosacea. It will certainly not do any harm taken internally with sufficient dilution as a part of a healthy diet. Applying it to the skin is dangerous because it can have adverse effects.

Steroid hormones

Steroid hormones increase inflammation exacerbating rosacea symptoms. You need to avoid steroid hormones in medication such as nasal sprays. You should absolutely avoid taking hormonal supplements for increasing muscle mass.

Cortisone

Cortisone is a steroid hormone. Rosacea is triggered by steroid hormones in any form. Therefore, cortisone - containing cream is bad for rosacea.

Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/metronidazole/

Liu, R. H.; Smith, M. K.; Basta, S. A.; Farmer, E. R. (2006). "Azelaic acid in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea – A systematic review of randomized controlled trials". Arch. Dermatol. 142 (8): 1047–1052. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.8.1047. PMID 16924055.

https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/esnm68/chapter/Key-points-from-the-evidence https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28837365

https://www.drugs.com/npp/comfrey.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30077837

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=pomegranate+rosacea

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1529-8019.2007.00147.x

How to care for Rosacea

Rosacea is an inflammatory disease of the face and upper part of the body. Small blood vessels, capillaries that supply the skin with nutrients and oxygen become inflamed, causing general skin reddening and inflammation. If untreated, rosacea will progress to form “acne” - papules and pustules. Oil-producing glands on the nose can become inflamed, resulting in a characteristically red nose.

Rosacea affects mostly people of middle and older age. In general, rosacea skin is more sensitive to treatment than, for example, acne skin so it is essential to employ a holistic approach in treatment.

Learn what your triggers are to control rosacea flare-ups

Rosacea flare-ups can be caused either by environmental or lifestyle triggers. It is essential to determine the precise triggers of your rosacea flare-ups as then you will be able to avoid or alleviate them.

The triggers may be difficult to pinpoint as rosacea may have different causes. An excellent way to learn about your rosacea is to write a short lifestyle diary. At the end of each day, you will note:

  • The outside temperature and wind strength
  • How much sun are you getting
  • What type of physical activity you’ve had and for how long
  • The food you’ve had
  • Your skincare regime paying particular attention to the new skincare and bath products.

After you have several flare-ups, you will be able to find a common element and eliminate it.

The best way to control flare-ups is to determine their cause(s) and then avoid them. In the meanwhile, use prophylactic measures such as regular probiotics and soothing skincare regime. Avoid strenuous exercise, especially on hot days and hot baths.

Common Rosacea Triggers

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol widens the blood vessels including the capillaries. This is why after consuming alcohol people experience rosacea-like symptoms e.g. skin gets hot. When the alcohol gets detoxicated, the blood vessels go back to normal. Alcohol can trigger rosacea and when the blood vessels will stay wider it produces the so-called spider veins.

Hot baths and showers

Hot baths and showers raise the temperature of the body one of the mechanisms to get rid of the excessive body temperature is to widen blood vessels. This increases blood circulation and heat exchange with the environment. The wider blood vessels cause redening of the skin and can become inflamed.

Hot and cold weather conditions

Human organisms maintain the same temperature in a range of conditions. One of the ways the bodymaintains core temperature is by regulating heat exchange through the skin. In hot weather, blood vessels widen increasing blood flow which causes increased heat exchange with the environment. On the contrary, in cold weather, the exposed skin vessels narrow down regulating the heat exchange. As a result, both hot and cold weather put a strain on the skin blood vessels and may trigger rosacea.

Humid weather

During humid weather heat exchange slows down because it slows sweat evaporation. This is why subjective temperature feels more extreme if the humidity is high. The organisms strain trying to regulate heat exchange. Humid weather may trigger rosacea.

Sun

Apart from causing high temperatures, sun damages skin via UV light which candamage the skin and cause skin inflammation and trigger rosacea.

Stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety cause production of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes an increase in general inflammation. whichcan cause rosacea flare ups. Frequent flares can lead to the exacerbation of rosacea.

Menopause

Menopause can trigger rosacea in one of two ways (or both). On one hand, winding down female hormone production causes dysregulation of heat exchange and hot flasheswhich can trigger rosacea.

Secondly, stress, anxiety and other mental health problems common during menopause can also lead to rosacea.

Avoid Rubbing Your Skin

Rubbing skin causes its irritation and switches on defenses such as the immune system. Rubbing skin is a trigger for skin inflammation that can trigger rosacea. If you have sensitive skin, you need to avoid rubbing your skin, especially by using exfoliators or washcloths.

Avoid products that dry the skin

Similarly to exfoliators, skin products can cause rosacea. Products that dry the skin, for example, or contain salicylic acid will irritate the skin which can lead to inflammation which can trigger rosacea. If a product causes symptoms of rosacea, immediately discontinue using it. The skin will not “get used to it”, on the contrary, its condition will become worse.

Exercise

In general, physical activity is good for your wellbeing in general and your skin. however strenuous exercise can trigger rosacea. mall muscle tears inevitable during this type of exercise give the immune system signals for repair causing inflammation. The body also has to reduce body heat by widening the blood vessels causing redness.

What not to eat when you have rosacea?

More and more research shows that there is a direct link between our gut and general inflammation. Rosacea is one of the conditions where this link is quite clear.

Rosacea is an inflammatory disease. Therefore, all foods that are not easy to digest or encourage general inflammation will be detrimental for rosacea. In general, high-fat, high-sugar diet that is typical for fast food, and certain types of takeaway food triggers inflammation.

The human organism has an adaptation to a diet rich in plant food and plant oils. The constant abundance of animal fat, meat, and refined sugar is a relatively recent addition to the menu. That’s why an excess of these types of food will trigger general inflammation and rosacea.

Apart from fat, some food compounds are potent triggers of rosacea because they also cause inflammation:

  • All types of pepper
  • Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, fenugreek, cloves, mustard, horseradish
  • Spicy foods in general.

Temperature change often triggers rosacea. It’s no wonder then that hot drinks can cause rosacea. Especially if the drinks contain caffeine, but it’s better to avoid caffeine even in cold drinks such as coke and cold-brew coffee.

Alcohol dilates blood vessels. Regular alcohol consumption causes inflammation. Alcohol is one of the main types of drink to avoid if you have rosacea.

What is the best diet for rosacea?

If proinflammatory food is detrimental for rosacea, anti-inflammatory food is recommended to alleviate the condition. The Mediterranean diet that avoids animal fat using olive oil is good for rosacea. This diet also includes oily fish shown to regulate skin cells turnover, as well as green leafy vegetables such as spinach and different types of salad.

Probiotics - fermented food - can supplement the Mediterranian diet. Probiotics can be milk-based (yogurt, kefir, soured cream) or plant-based. Plant-based fermented food includes sauerkraut and pickled (not just salted) vegetables and kombucha tea. However, these mustn't be spicy as spices trigger rosacea. Thus German-style sauerkraut is beneficial, while Korean-style kimchi is not.

Does drinking water help rosacea?

Drinking plenty of water will ensure that your body isn’t overheated and stressed. High temperatures and stress are two of the main causes of rosacea so drinking plenty of water will help to control rosacea symptoms.

Treating Common Rosacea Symptoms

What helps rosacea redness? How to stop rosacea flushing?

Sudden skin redness or flushing is the first sign of rosacea. Removal of the cause will reduce it. For example, if the flare caused by an embarrassing social situation, a brief meditation will help to reduce the stress level and in turn, to subside the redness. If the redness is caused by temperature or exercise going into an air-conditioned building will help.

Redness that is caused by food or drink is more challenging to control. Drink plenty of water as it will help to flush spices and alcohol from the body. Avoid the ingredients that caused redness in the future - treat them as you would have treated a cause of allergy.

How to stop rosacea itching

Places of rosacea flare-ups can be itchy because the inflammation irritates skin receptors. In this case, it’s possible to use over the counter preparations that contain soothing ingredients. A mild cleanser and a moisturizer applied at least twice daily can help relieve itching. Both cleanser and moisturiser should not contain irritating components such as sodium dodecyl sulfate.

The main types of compounds that help for itching are:

  • Occlusives (mineral oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, silicone derivatives) form a layer on the skin surface that retards the evaporation of water. Important to use for rosacea treatment because rosacea skin is often dry.
  • Humectants (lactic acid, tartaric acid, glycerin) increase skin hydration by attracting and holding water.
  • Emollients (lanolin, soy sterol, and sunflower seed oil) designed to make the skin feel and appear smooth.

How to reduce spider veins

Spider veins are red and blue small blood vessels (capillaries) that are visible through the skin. Spider veins are one of the rosacea symptoms. To reduce spider veins avoid rosacea flares (see above). A healthy diet and controlled weight reduction can also reduce spider veins appearance. Good skin care is also a must for the reduction of spider veins.

However, the number of spider veins increases with age. At some point, natural treatment may not be enough. You can consider cosmetic procedures such as surface treatment with laser or pulsed light as well as radiofrequency occlusion. Collapsing spider veins with electric impulses (electrocautery) is yet another way to get rid of spider veins.

How to treat rosacea spots and pimples

Permanent rosacea spots and pimples mean an advanced degree of rosacea. If treating rosacea naturally doesn’t help, it’s possible to try some medications. Antibiotics such as tetracycline and sometimes derivatives of erythromycin can be prescribed. They reduce general inflammation and alleviate rosacea.

Other standard rosacea treatments include metronidazole, azelaic acid, and sulfacetamide-sulfur formulations.

How to reduce swelling from rosacea

Face swelling is a frequent symptom of rosacea. There are several ways to reduce swelling:

  • Use topical products that contain azelaic acid.
  • Applying products that contain an active ingredient brimonidine. An example of a product with brimonidine is gel Mirvaso.

There are also more systemic treatments such as taking a prescription course of antibiotics or vitamin A derivatives. However, the significant improvement in swelling is not instantaneous.

How to reduce dry rough skin

Rosacea is a skin condition that leads to dry, uneven, rough skin. To smooth the dry patches, skincare regime should promote skin cells regeneration and growth. It’s crucial to protect skin from the UV damage by always using sunblock.

Gentle cleansing at least twice a day should not use a washcloth or any mechanical aid to exfoliate. A gentle cleanser, moisturiser, and nourishing cream that support skin renewal are vital. Sond cleanser and a day cream will help you to reduce dry rough skin.

What is the best makeup to cover rosacea?

Because rosacea symptoms affect visible skin, especially on the face, it can harm confidence and self-esteem. In turn, this increases social anxiety and stress levels leading to worsening of rosacea symptoms.

Using makeup to cover rosacea is a relatively easy way to mask rosacea symptoms. The additional benefit of makeup is that it will reduce your skin exposure to UV that ages skin.

Rosacea Foundation recommends using a green-tinted base as it will visually compensate for the excess redness in the skin tone. Use oil-free foundation in the skin tone that matches your natural skin tone. Concealer should be one shade lighter. It’s important to have UV protection ingredients in your makeup.

What is a good foundation for rosacea

A good foundation for rosacea does not contain irritants and has ingredients that help rosacea skin. UV protection is a must. Vitamins A and C are helpful, as well as aloe and alpha-lipoic acid. 

How to apply makeup to cover rosacea

Makeup is a useful tool to mask the rosacea symptoms. But makeup application and the makeup itself mustn't get rosacea worse. Follow these simple steps for successful makeup application:

  • Before applying makeup, cleanse, and moisturise your skin using your usual products. The preparation stage will not only help your skin but will make makeup more stable.
  • Prior to using any makeup product, test it on an invisible area od skin, for example, your arm area covered by clothes. Wait 24 hours after application. Any stinging or burning sensation, as well as any worsening of rosacea symptoms, means that you cannot use the product.
  • The fewer product you use, the smaller is the chance of skin irritation. It's a good idea to use products with combined function, such as moisturiser that has a hint of colour and contains UV protection.
  • To avoid skin irritation and contamination, do not use your fingertips or sponges to apply makeup. Use an antibacterial brush and apply the makeup lightly. Use broad strokes for large areas and edge of the brush for narrow areas such as the nose. Clean brush between uses.
  • If you use a brush, apply a small amount of liquid foundation to your wrist. Dab the brush and smooth over the face from center and moving outwards.
  • Cream or powder foundation is swept across the surface of the compact and applied to the face using a minimal number of strokes.
  • Use extra-gentle dermatologically approved eye makeup that can be removed using water. Do not rub or tug on your eyes. Avoid false eyelashes as they can further irritate eyes.

Sources:

Del Rosso J.Q. (2011) The use of moisturizers as an integral component of topical therapy for rosacea: clinical results based on the Assessment of Skin Characteristics Study. Cutis. 84(2):72-6. PMID: 19746764

Katta R and Kramer MJ. (2018) Skin and Diet: An Update on the Role of Dietary Change as a Treatment Strategy for Skin Disease. Skin Therapy Lett. 23(1):1-5. PMID: 29357214

Levin J. and Miller R. (2011) A Guide to the Ingredients and Potential Benefits of Over-the-Counter Cleansers and Moisturizers for Rosacea Patients. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 4(8): 31–49. PMID: 21909456

Vaughn AR et al. (2019) Dietary supplementation with turmeric polyherbal formulation decreases facial redness: a randomized double-blind controlled pilot study. J Integr Med. 17(1):20-23. doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2018.11.004.

Weiss E and Katta R. (2017) Diet and rosacea: the role of dietary change in the management of rosacea. Dermatol Pract Concept. 7(4):31-37. doi: 10.5826/dpc.0704a08.

Rosacea Symptoms and Causes

What is rosacea?

Rosaceae is a long-term skin condition that affects the face. Rosacea starts when small blood vessels, capillaries in face skin, become inflamed and widen. Capillaries inflammation leads to skin redness and pimple-like bumps.

The nose, area underneath the eyes, cheeks, forehead, and chin are areas where rosacea occurs most frequently. Mostly in men, rosacea causes formation of a red, enlarged nose, with uneven skin, a condition known as rhinophyma. Rhinophyma is the result of an enlargement of oil-producing glands on the nose.

The four stages of rosacea are:

1. Pre-Rosacea

The main symptoms here are frequent flushing on the cheeks, chin, nose or forehead. People can also experience a burning sensation as well as swelling.

2. Vascular Rosacea

Small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks can become visible and appear as thin red lines. Due to the inflammatory nature of rosacea the skin that is affected by Rosacea can become puffy, swollen, small pimples and bumps can appear and the skin can start to feel sensitive. The skin can also become more oily than usual.

3. Inflammatory Rosacea

Small bumps can appear, some containing puss which can be painful. Oil glands on the nose and cheeks can also become enlarged and inflamed leading to a build up of tissue which can make the nose look bulbus.

4. Ocular Rosacea

This is a serious condition and can lead to loss of vision. Symptoms include irritation in the eye, dry eyes and burning in the eyes. You can also feel sensitive to light. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see an ophthalmologist. It is important to note that not everyone advances through all stages. The cause of rosacea isn’t known but there are various theories of what could cause it.

Is rosacea common?

Rosacea is a common condition affecting between 1% and 10% of people in different populations. It is most widely spread among Caucasians as it is more noticeable on fair skin. Women between 30 and 50 years of age are the most frequently affected. However, one of the most prominent rosacea forms that affects the nose, rhinophyma, is more common among men.

Does rosacea spread?

Rosacea is an inflammatory disease, and the overall affected area depends on the degree of inflammation. Rosacea can start as a small spot, but if the cause is not removed and no measures against it are taken, the area affected can increase.

Is rosacea only on the face?

The face is the part of the body most affected by rosacea. However, in severe cases, rosacea can appear on the ears and scalp as well as upper torso areas - neck, chest, upper back, and scalp.

Can rosacea affect eyes?

Several types of rosacea affect eyes:

* The same kind of rosacea that affects the nose, rhymatous rosacea, can affect eyelids. The eyelid skin becomes thicker and has an uneven surface with nodules.;

Ocular (eye) rosacea eyes and eyelids are red due to small dilated blood vessels (spider veins) and inflammation. The eyes feel dry, irritated, they may itch and become sensitive to light. They are also more susceptible to infection.

What is rosacea nose?

‘Rosacea nose’ or rhinophyma is a characteristic red, enlarged, bulbous nose that develops as a result of rosacea. The skin pores on the nose become enlarged. The nose skin grows circular enlargements. Small blood vessels also expand, leading to permanent nose redness.

Contrary to popular opinion, alcoholism is not the cause of rosacea nose. However, alcohol may cause skin flashing and worsen the symptoms of rosacea.

Can you get rosacea on your scalp?

The face is the area where rosacea usually starts. All adjoining places, such as scalp and neck are prone to developing rosacea as well.

Can you get rosacea on your chest?

The chest is one of the body areas that can develop rosacea. Other upper body areas that can be affected by more advanced forms of rosacea are neck and upper back.

Can you get rosacea on your back?

Upper torso, including the back, is affected in severe cases of rosacea.

Can you get rosacea on your lips?

There are no cases of rosacea forming on lips in the current medical literature. However, the bumps and pimples of rosacea may appear around the mouth.

Do I have rosacea?

If you have rosacea symptoms - your skin on the face and upper body become red suddenly (flushes) easily or permanently red, sometimes little pimples appear that are not white and blackheads. If small blood vessels in skin become visible, you may have rosacea.

The next step in rosacea diagnosis is to contact your doctor. Other skin conditions that need to be ruled out before the diagnosis of rosacea are acne, psoriasis, eczema, or lupus. These conditions may have similar symptoms to rosacea, but they have different causes and treated differently.

Is rosacea painful?

The symptoms of rosacea can be painful. A person who has rosacea can feel burning, itching, or stinging in places where symptoms of rosacea occur.

Is rosacea itchy?

Rosacea can be itchy in places of its occurrence, including the face. Unlike acne that correlates with oily skin, rosacea happens when the person has dry, flaky skin. Other symptoms of rosacea include burning sensation.

Does rosacea cause hot flashes?

One of the most common symptoms of rosacea is hot flashes - when the person feels skin rapidly warm up, and there is a feeling of internal heat. In people with fair skin, this is more noticeable as the skin suddenly and uniformly becomes red. Rosacea characterised by flashes to the skin on the head and upper body - face, neck, scalp.

The other condition that causes hot flashes is perimenopause - period in a woman’s life before menopause and the menopause itself. Because rosacea is most frequent in women between 18 and 50, early onset of hot flashes is more probably rosacea, especially if the woman has other rosacea symptoms - spider veins, pimples, skin thickening. After 40, hot flashes may be associated with other conditions such as menopause.

What do rosacea pimples look like?

Rosacea pimples look like acne pimples - red, solid conical skin bumps and pus-filled bumps. However, there are no blackheads. The pimples may look like whiteheads, but they are not associated with skin oil glands and hairs like acne whiteheads.

Accompanying symptoms will allow distinguishing between acne and rosacea pimples:

  • Skin is dry and peeling, not oily
  • Skin becomes red
  • Often it’s possible to see small blood vessels in the skin
  • Sometimes there are small patches of red skin
  • Itching or burning sensation

Does rosacea leave scars?

Rosacea usually does not leave scars. However, unlike acne pimples that disappear after the change of hormonal balance, rosacea is a persistent condition.

Do I have rosacea or something else?

The symptoms of skin conditions vary widely and overlap for different skin disorders. If you are unsure whether you have rosacea or a similar skin condition, you need to contact your doctor.

What is acne rosacea?

One of the acne symptoms is the occurrence of red pimples that can be mistaken for acne. Sometimes the pimples are filled with pus, just like whiteheads. However, while acne pimples are inflamed skin pores connected to skin hair, rosacea pimples associated with blood vessels.

Unfortunately, because acne and rosacea have different causes and different mechanisms of development, it is possible to have acne and rosacea at the same time.

Is rosacea acne?

Rosacea used to be classified as a type of acne ‘rosacea acne’. However, despite similar appearance, these are two different conditions with different causes. Acne is caused by changes in the hormonal balance that result in oil glands blockage and inflammation. Rosacea, on the other hand, starts with inflammation around skin blood vessels.

How do you get rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is not known. Genetics plays a role, e.g., the tendency to develop rosacea occurs more frequently in some families. Predisposition to rosacea is triggered by environmental factors such as sunlight and cold weather or lifestyle choices such as particular skin care products, spicy food, or alcohol.

Mal functioning innate immune system

The immune system is the body’s first line of defence and triggers a defence response when bacteria, viruses or other pathogens are present. Study’s have shown that an abundance of certain molecules of the immune system including Cathelicidins and Mast Cells can cause the symptoms of Rosacea.

Vascular changes

Research has shown that exposure of UV radiation can lead to the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which has been linked to the development of visible blood vessels.

Demodex mites & microbes

Demodex mites are a natural part of the human ecological community of microorganisms that live within and on the body.

Research has shown that demodex mites are found in greater numbers in people with Rosacea and an abundance of them can trigger an immune response.

Another theory is that inflammation can be caused by certain bacteria associated with the mites.

Neurovascular system

Study’s have shown that the nervous system is linked with the vascular system and can trigger the symptoms of rosacea.

That the sensory nervous system can trigger symptoms rosacea can be demonstrated with exposure to skin irritants and uv radiation, changes in temperature, alcoholic beverages and spicy food.

There is a nervous system disorder called neurogenic inflammation where the symptoms are similar to those of rosacea.

Is rosacea contagious? Can you catch rosacea?

Rosacea is an inflammatory disease. It’s not caused by or even associated with any infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus. Therefore rosacea is not contagious.

Is it rosacea or lupus?

The rash on skin may be similar during rosacea and lupus. However, lupus rash has a characteristic pattern. It is called a ‘butterfly pattern’ as the pimples locate to the nose and face next to the nose on both sides - so-called ‘malar rash.’ Malar rash can appear in other places of the body - arms, legs, and trunk. Rosacea rash doesn't have a defined pattern and doesn’t appear on arms and legs.

In some cases, it’s hard to distinguish between rosacea and lupus. Contact your doctor for the correct diagnosis.

Do I have rosacea or just red cheeks?

During rosacea, red skin is not a permanent condition. It has triggers such as strong emotions or alcohol and usually subsides after a while. More advanced forms of rosacea that can have permanent skin redness often also have pimples and pustules on the skin. However, these forms develop gradually from an occasional deep blush that is getting worse over time. So if you have red cheeks but not any other symptoms it is unlikely you have rosacea.

Do I have rosacea or sensitive skin?

‘Sensitive skin’ is an unspecific umbrella term that is applied to a range of skin conditions starting with rosacea and including eczema and allergies. Firstly, you need to compare your symptoms with rosacea symptoms, but only a medical doctor can make the correct diagnosis.

Do I have rosacea or eczema?

Start with comparing your symptoms with symptoms of both rosacea and eczema. For example, eczema spots can be located anywhere on your body while rosacea concentrates on the face, neck, back, and chest. Eczema presents as inflamed skin spots, while rosacea is associated with inflamed small blood vessels and pimples. For a definitive diagnosis, visit a doctor.

Can you have rosacea and psoriasis?

Both rosacea and psoriasis are autoimmune diseases. The immune system targets parts of its own body. During both rosacea and psoriasis, skin is the subject of antibodies attack. Having one autoimmune disease increases the chances of another similar disease, so its possible to have both rosacea and psoriasis.

Do I have rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is also called dandruff where the scalp skin is rough and flaking. Sometimes this condition affects the face. While during rosacea, skin is too dry, the condition associated with the inflammation of small blood vessels of the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis usually doesn’t have any symptoms while rosacea associated with changes in skin temperature and colour - flashes. Also, pimples and pustules that form during rosacea do not appear during seborrheic dermatitis.

However, it is possible to have seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea at the same time. In this case, it is essential that the treatment of dandruff such as steroids doesn't make rosacea worse.

Can you have blackheads and rosacea?

Blackheads - blocked skin glands is a sign of acne. Rosacea is a different condition that can have white-head like pimples that do not develop into blackheads. But because these are two independent skin conditions, they can develop at the same time. They also can have common triggers such as using irritating cosmetics and fatty and spicy food. It is vital to make sure that blackhead treatments do not make rosacea worse, e.g., find a treatment that doesn’t trigger rosacea.

How does rosacea develop?

The specific factors that cause rosacea in each case are not known. Uncertainty is common for autoimmune diseases that have a hyperactive immune system at the bottom of it. We know that genetics plays a part in the condition development as rosacea appears more frequently in some of the families. Environmental factors also play a role. The more polluted the environment the person lives in, the more frequently rosacea occurs.

Can rosacea come and go?

Rosacea is an inflammatory disease which means that the immune system mediates it. The inflammatory diseases usually have a trigger that kick starts the immune response. For example, allergies are triggered when the person allergic to a particular antigen has contact with it. Similarly, rosacea has one or several triggers such as spicy food or sudden change in the environmental temperature. Withdrawal of the trigger relieves the rosacea symptoms, and eventually, they disappear until the next contact with a trigger.

It is essential to notice the triggers, for example, by writing down what the surrounding conditions were and what you ate before the rosacea flare and avoid them.

Is rosacea genetic? Is rosacea hereditary?

Rosacea has a genetic predisposition; it runs in families. People of North European descent are more prone to rosacea. Little is known about which genes increase rosacea predisposition, but it’s known that it is connected to HLA genes that code cell-surface proteins responsible for the regulation of the immune system in humans.

Is rosacea an infection?

Unlike acne or dandruff, no living organism is associated with rosacea development. No fungi, bacteria, or virus cause rosacea. Rosacea is an inflammatory disease. During rosacea the immune system is hyperactive and attacks skin cells, including small blood vessels.

Is rosacea an autoimmune condition?

Rosacea is an autoimmune disorder in which immune system cells attack other cells of the same organism. Immune cells of the hyperactive immune system cause it by attacking skin cells.

Is ocular rosacea an autoimmune disease?

In general, all types of rosacea are caused by an autoimmune disease. In particular, ocular rosacea is one of the more severe forms of rosacea, but it is also a result of the immune system attack.

Is rosacea a disease?

Rosacea is a skin disease. Specifically, an immune, inflammatory disease.

What triggers rosacea?

Environmental conditions such as extremely hot or cold weather as well as sunlight or strong winds can trigger rosacea.

Lifestyle factors can also trigger rosacea, including the following:

  • Hot drinks or spicy food
  • Alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Stress
  • Strong emotions - this is more typical for young people
  • Cosmetics or facial products such as creams
  • Medications that widen blood vessels
  • Steroids

Does rosacea go away on its own? How long does rosacea last?

When the trigger that caused rosacea flare disappears, the symptoms of rosacea disappear too. For example, for rosacea caused by hot weather, when the temperature goes back to normal the Rosacea symptoms will reduce with it. But this is a temporary relief, and when the trigger condition reappears rosacea symptoms also appear. The stronger are the signs, the longer they will be visible. However, with age, rosacea usually becomes less prominent.

Does rosacea go away with age?

Rosacea appears in persons of fertile age e.g., between 18 and 50 years of age. However, in women of menopausal age it may become worse as the symptoms of menopause include hot flashes. ‘Rosacea nose’ that affects mostly men become worse with age.

How to control rosacea?

While there is no cure for rosacea, it can be controlled. Firstly, rosacea triggers have to be found and avoided where possible. Triggers removal will make rosacea flares less frequent and less severe.

Although rosacea is not associated with microbes or fungi, antibiotics often used to control it. Antibiotics reduce general inflammation levels, and rosacea is an inflammatory disease. Antibiotics that are prescribed for rosacea control can be topical e.g., applied to the skin in flare areas or oral in the form of tablets.

Laser therapy is also used to diminish the symptoms of rosacea.

Does rosacea go away after pregnancy?

Hormone fluctuations and immune system adjustments often cause deterioration of skin condition. Acne and rosacea can flare during pregnancy. After giving birth, the skin condition usually returns to normal.

It is essential to know that many rosacea treatments such as antibiotics are not suitable for pregnant women. Always consult your doctor before using any treatment.

Does rosacea go away after menopause?

While menopause can make symptoms of rosacea worse, they usually lessen after the menopause. However, there is little medical data on the condition progression after the menopause.

Sources:

Zouboulis, Christos C.; Katsambas, Andreas D.; Kligman, Albert M. (2014). Pathogenesis and Treatment of Acne and Rosacea. Springer. p. XXV. ISBN 978-3-540-69375-8.

Tüzün Y, Wolf R, Kutlubay Z, Karakuş O, Engin B (2014). "Rosacea and rhinophyma". Clinics in Dermatology. 32 (1): 35–46. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2013.05.024. PMID 24314376.

Zip C. (2017) The Role of Skin Care in Optimizing Treatment of Acne and Rosacea. Skin Therapy Lett. 22(3):5-7. PMID: 28492949

Yamasaki, K. and Gallo, R.L. (2009) The molecular pathology of rosacea. 55(2): 77–81. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2009.04.007 PMID: 19481425

Del Rosso J.Q. (2014). "Management of cutaneous rosacea: emphasis on new medical therapies". Expert Opin Pharmacother. 15 (14): 2029–38. doi:10.1517/14656566.2014.945423. PMID 25186025.