Rosacea is a skin condition that tends to target the center of a person’s face, making it look red and flushed. It is often mistaken for acne but can be distinguished by its small red bumps, visible blood vessels, and thickness of the skin. It is a common condition that affects 415 million people worldwide and currently has no cure.
With the right treatments and lifestyle adjustments, though, you can get your symptoms under control.
The Four Types of Rosacea
There is more than one type of rosacea. In fact, there are four, and it’s important to understand which type you are dealing with. To find the best rosacea treatment for your skin, you should first distinguish which type of rosacea you are suffering from.
Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (ETR)
ETR is the most common type of rosacea. It appears as red flushing across the center of the face – specifically, across the nose and cheeks. A person with ETR will often have visible blood vessels, a stinging sensation, and warm touch to the skin.
Papulopustular rosacea is also known as inflammatory rosacea, and it produces small, red bumps (papules) and pus-filled spots (pustules) on the skin. It often also causes redness and burning. This is the type most commonly mistaken for acne due to the rosacea spots, but rosacea is a different condition altogether.
Ocular rosacea differs from the other types as it affects the eyes. Rosacea eyes can be dry, watery, and sore, even causing blurred vision. Cysts, bumps, and inflammation on the eyelid are also very common with this type of rosacea.
Phymatous rosacea causes thickening of the skin. There are three types of this rosacea:
- Gnathophyma, which targets the chin
- Metophyma, which targets the forehead
- Rhinophyma, which thickens the skin on the nose
Rosacea is often easily identified by its five main symptoms, which are:
- Redness on the Face – The redness often looks like flushing and appears in the centre.
- Irritated Eyes – Ocular rosacea causes irritated eyes. Eyes will feel sore, dry, and watery.
- Visible Blood Vessels – Also referred to as spider veins, these veins show up on the cheeks, on the nose, and other areas of the face.
- An Enlarged Nose – Rhinophyma rosacea targets the nose, creating thicker skin and a bumpy texture, which makes the nose look larger.
- Red Bumps – Often mistaken for acne, rosacea’s small red bumps appear on the face and can sometimes be filled with pus.
If you experience these symptoms, speak to your doctor or dermatologist, as you could have rosacea.
It’s important to note that these symptoms are the main symptoms – people with rosacea might experience other symptoms such as rosacea around the mouth or a stinging sensation.
What Causes Rosacea?
The skin condition rosacea currently has no known cause. Doctors believe that genetics, blood vessel problems, and the immune system play a role in its presence.
While there’s no exact cause yet known, there are triggers that exacerbate symptoms in people with rosacea. These triggers include:
- Hot Drinks/Foods
- Hot Baths/Showers
- Spicy food
- Skin products
- Certain medications (such as blood pressure drugs and steroids)
Everyone has their own triggers – what triggers one person’s rosacea might not trigger yours. It’s important to learn your triggers so that you can avoid them.
Rosacea Risk Factors
Some people are more likely to get rosacea than others. People who tick these boxes are more prone to rosacea:
- You are a woman
- You have fair skin
- You have acne
- You smoke
- You are middle-aged
- You have blonde hair and blue eyes
- Rosacea runs in your family
At-home Treatments for Rosacea
Over-the-counter products can work well for many. In some cases, over-the-counter treatment or home remedies work well enough that you don’t have to take medication or get surgical treatment.
Rosacea Skin Care
A good skincare routine can help rosacea symptoms. If you suffer from rosacea dry skin, you can try moisturising and hydrating products to help soothe the skin and minimise dryness.
The best skincare for rosacea starts with a gentle cleanser. Find dermatologist-recommended cleansers that use natural ingredients and don’t dry out your skin. Then, add in serum, an oil, an SPF, and a high-quality moisturiser. Note: retinol and rosacea don’t always work well together – while retinol helps boost collagen, it can also lead to redness and breakouts.
An excellent choice for a rosacea cream is the Decubal Original Clinic Cream. It is created specifically for dry and sensitive skin, which is perfect for rosacea symptoms. Apply it twice a day for best results. You can also try the Decubal Face Wash for an extra splash of moisture without any harsh ingredients.
Once you’ve found the best cleanser for rosacea, the best moisturiser for rosacea, and the best face wash for rosacea, you will notice an improvement in the redness and irritation. Remember – often, finding the right rosacea skincare products can take some time, so don’t give up after one product doesn’t work well. It’s also important to remember that many products require time and patience to work.
Dietary changes are known to affect rosacea. Foods you should avoid include spicy foods, alcohol, hot drinks (like coffee and hot chocolate), and goods containing high levels of histamine (such as pineapple and tomatoes).
For foods that you should eat, try foods high in omega-3 like salmon, walnuts, mackerel, and yoghurt. Speak to your doctor if you have any questions about what your diet should look like or if you are planning on a significant change to your diet.
Other Rosacea Treatments
While Rosacea itself can’t be treated and go away, fortunately symptoms of rosacea can be treated. Whether you are battling small bumps across the cheeks, thickened skin on the nose, or a flushed appearance due to rosacea, you will find an excellent rosacea treatment to help minimise symptoms. While treating the symptoms with a topical cream such as Decubal Original Clinic Cream, other options could be:
To help treat rosacea, your doctor may prescribe or suggest some of these medicines:
Azelaic acid is a topical treatment that helps reduce redness and swelling – two of the most common rosacea symptoms.
Prescribing antibiotics for rosacea is common practice, as it targets the swelling and bacteria.
Isotretinoin is another medication that can help patients manage rosacea symptoms. Taken consistently, it helps reduce redness, making way for clearer skin.
Oxymetazoline works by reducing the blood vessels in the skin, which helps minimise facial redness. It is a common medication prescribed to rosacea patients that has positive effects.
Your doctor may also suggest some of these skin procedures:
Laser for rosacea is often provided after other treatments have been unsuccessful at treating symptoms. It works by targeting the blood vessels, using heat to minimise them until they are not visible.
Like laser therapy, electrosurgery targets visible blood vessels. It works by a needle penetrating the skin before an electric spark targets the blood vessels. The needle is thin, and the electric current is weak, so patients will generally not feel much discomfort.
Cryosurgery uses cold rather than heat or electricity. It involves applying intense levels of cold to the skin, which contracts the blood vessels, causing them to be less visible. The effect is an overall reduction of inflammation and the clearing of the small, red bumps.
Dermabrasion is specifically used for Rhinophyma rosacea. It is a surgical procedure that sculps the nose back to its original shape by sanding down the thick layers of skin.
Rosacea light therapy is a common treatment recommended by doctors. The pulsing lights directed at the skin reduce the visibility of blood vessels and redness. It can last for up to five years.
The Emotional Effects of Rosacea
The effects of rosacea aren’t confined to applying rosacea moisturiser and dealing with irritating rosacea eyes. While the physical effects can be hard to manage, the emotional consequences are just as crucial to address.
Many people with rosacea suffer self-esteem and confidence issues due to the appearance of their skin. They may also develop anxiety and constantly think about how their skin looks. This can have a debilitating effect, affecting not just their personal life but also their work life and social relationships.
Speaking to a counselor can be a good option – as can joining a support group for people with rosacea. You can talk to your doctor about these options,
Stress management is also essential for your mental health and rosacea symptoms (stress is a rosacea trigger). Try finding ways to channel your stress so that it doesn’t overtake your life. For example, if you find yourself obsessing over the way your skin looks that day, take a step back and do something else for a while. A relaxing hobby like painting, reading, or playing music can help.
What are the 5 symptoms of Rosacea?
The five main symptoms are a redness on the face, irritated eyes, visible blood vessels, an enlarged nose, and red bumps.
Can Rosacea Go Away?
There is no rosacea cure – it is a chronic, lifelong condition. Treatments can help reduce symptoms, though.
What helps Rosacea go away?
Although rosacea won’t ever “go away”, you can relieve some of the symptoms by using calming and moisturizing products like Decubal face cream.
What foods to avoid if you have Rosacea?
You should avoid eating spicy foods and food, like pineapple and tomatoes, as these contain high levels of histamine alcohol. Also, avoid hot drinks.
Can You Get Rosacea Later in Life?
Yes. Most cases of rosacea happen after the age of 30, and it’s usually women who develop it.
Can You Use Retinol If You Have Rosacea?
It depends on the patient. For some, retinol can reduce redness, but you should keep in mind that it can also worsen inflammation. Speak to your dermatologist about using retinol if you have rosacea.
What Does Rosacea Feel Like?
Rosacea can cause a burning and stinging sensation for the sufferer. To the touch, it often feels dry and sometimes bumpy.
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