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A Complete Guide To Rosacea

A Complete Guide To Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin condition that is sometimes mistaken for acne. It’s a skin disorder that affects over 13m men and women in America but unlike acne, rosacea its more likely to affect middle-aged and older adults between the ages of 30 and 60. This frustrating condition appears differently for each individual, but those who suffer from it frequently complain of a red face, facial flushing and blemishes that closely resemble acne breakouts.

The 4 Stages of Rosacea

Rosacea can affect people in four different ways depending on how advanced the rosacea has become (this can be assessed with the symptoms). Not everyone who has this condition will progress to all of these stages or experience all of the signs.

Stage 1

Frequent blushing and facial redness may be the only signs of the condition. The skin typically experiences skin irritation and redness when certain makeup or beauty products are used. At this point, it may be confused as an allergic reaction and you might try and change personal care products, which usually does little to improve the symptoms. It can also be triggered by heat.

Stage 2

Facial redness becomes more prominent, especially around the nose and the cheeks. Superficial blood vessels on the surface of the skin dilate, enlarge and form thin red lines on the face, which can be difficult to hide even with make-up. At this point, the redness usually still comes and goes and is often aggravated by soaps, cleansers, creams and cosmetics.

Stage 3

The facial redness deepens and becomes more persistent. Dilated blood vessels on the face also increase in number. At the same time, red pustules and pimples appear that resemble those of acne.

Stage 4

This is the most most advanced degree of rosacea, the facial redness and other symptoms worsen and the eyes may become bloodshot and irritated. In some people the nose takes on a swollen, red and bumpy appearance making the skin appear thicker. Treatment for rosacea early can help the skin progressing to the later stages. 

What Causes Rosacea?

Those with rosacea overproduce certain proteins that trigger inflammation. Everyone has proteins that help to protect the skin against viruses and bacteria that cause infection. People with rosacea have elevated levels of these immune proteins. In addition, they have higher levels of enzymes that cause proteins to become active. When too many skin proteins are activated, inflammation can follow causing the visual damage seen with so many people who have rosacea.

 What Triggers Rosacea?

A number of factors can trigger rosacea and worsen the symptoms. The list of possible triggers is long, and they aren’t always the same for every person. Some of the most common ones are

  • Exposure to the sun
  • Emotional stress
  • Heat
  • Cold winds
  • Sudden changes in temperature
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Spicy foods
  • Medications
  • Certain cosmetics

Treatments for Rosacea

Depending on the severity, topical creams can help some symptoms but they won’t reverse the damage already blood vessels have already incurred. In this case, laser therapy may the best option.

A study done on topical creams showed that using a product containing green tea extract twice a day led to fewer pimples and pustules than those who used a cream without green tea. Also, Vitamin B has proved very successful at helping to reduce the appearance of stressed or damaged skin.

The Bottom Line?

Antibiotics along with topical creams and gels play a role in treating rosacea, but identifying and eliminating triggers that bring on the symptoms can improve the condition. Take steps to reduce stress, limit the use of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, avoid spicy foods and always wear sun protection when outdoors.

Choose a gentle, glycerin-based soap to reduce skin irritation, and follow through with a mineral-based sunscreen. Stay away from facial scrubs or creams containing alpha-hydroxy-acids or vitamin C in order to reduce skin irritation and consider using a cream that contains green tea extract.

Rosacea presents many daily challenges, but it can be successfully treated when diagnosed early, and that’s good news for anyone with this common skin condition.



Natasha Swindell

Natasha Swindell

Skincare Therapist

Mother of two and a lover of natural products. I have been in the professional skincare and beauty industry for over 10 years, although before this I used to be the child who bought new cleansers with my pocket money. Beauty was an early obsession, which I have grown to love even more after learning the importance of looking after your skin.