Rosacea and How to Treat the Redness
Rosacea is a skin disorder that can cause redness, bumps, flushing or noticeable blood vessels, usually towards the center of your face.
If you have some or all of these symptoms, you might think you have acne as rosacea can be mistaken for acne and other skin disorders.
In addition, rosacea affects the face and your appearance and, because of this, can make you self-conscious, embarrassed and perhaps anxious, leading to a possible disruption to your social and working life.
What causes the redness in rosacea and how will I know what the symptoms of rosacea are?
The symptoms of rosacea can vary from person to person.
- Rosacea usually starts with flushing on your forehead, nose and cheeks. Over time (which can be a matter of months or even years) this flushing can change to a darker shade of red.
- Bumps and spots can also develop. These can be pimple-like eruptions.
- There may be small blood vessels visible.
- The skin can become extra sensitive with a burning, stinging or itching sensation. This sensitivity can become more noticeable in sunlight or when you become overheated.
- The symptoms of rosacea can come in waves with the redness flaring up for a period of time before diminishing again.
- Unfortunately, rosacea can also cause problems around your eyes, particularly affecting the eyelids so that they become red, itchy and sore.
Unfortunately, there are more complicated and severe symptoms of rosacea.
- The skin of the nose can thicken and look red and bumpy. This particular effect is known as rhinophyma. However, it is not so likely in women.
- When more severe conjunctivitis and inflammation of your eyelids occurs, it can feel as if you have grit in your eyes.
- In very rare cases, rosacea can affect the eye itself.
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There are a number of triggers that can make rosacea worse for some people, but they are not the actual cause of the condition itself...
Which triggers can worsen the symptoms or bring on a flareup of rosacea?
- Over exertion when exercising
- Hot and cold temperatures
- Spicy food
Is there any new research on possible causes for rosacea
One recent theory has been put forward by researchers at the National University of Ireland in their study. There are tiny bugs known as demodex mites (closely related to spiders) living in the pores of our faces. However, those with rosacea have 10 times as many demodex mites than those without the skin condition.
The head of the research team, Kevin Kavanagh, says that these demodex mites live on the skin of 20% to 80% of adults but are invisible to the naked eye. Until the recent research, it was thought that the mites lived harmlessly, feeding off the oily sebum that coats the skin.
However, the team have now discovered that changes in the skin brought on by age, stress or even illness can allow their population to swell.
It is these changes in the sebum that provide an improved food supply for the mites. The mites are unable to get rid of waste products, especially feces, so their abdomen keeps on growing. When they die and decompose, all their feces are released at the same time in the pores. With so many mites in the skin, this can be enough to trigger an outbreak because a bacteria that accumulate in the feces (known as Bacillus oleronius) is then released and triggers an immune reaction in the skin that leads to inflammation and tissue damage. The greater the number of mites, the worse the rosacea flare-up is.
It is the bacteria that is harmful and not the mites themselves.
How does healthy or unhealthy skin affect rosacea?
- One of the ways is getting a good night's sleep and ensuring that insomnia is not a problem. Adequate sleep not only reduces stress - a common rosacea trigger - but also allows your skin time to rejuvenate.
- Doctors often advise treating rosacea with antibacterial drugs. However, these drugs do not affect the mites but do react on the bacteria.
- In the same way, treatment with a natural product using essential oils is also a successful way of dealing with rosacea. It is well known that essential oils comprise a long list of healing properties, including anti-bacterial.
Are there any well-known people or celebrities who suffer from rosacea?
Frequent flushing of the face is a symptom most people will notice in the earliest stage of rosacea. And rosacea is surprisingly common with many of the world’s best known people suffering from it.
If you have rosacea you will certainly not be alone, you share this condition with 45 million people worldwide - Bill Clinton, the late Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Renee Zellweger, Cameron Diaz and many more.
In the USA, the number of rosacea sufferers is a high 20 million
This common but often chronic skin condition has 4 recognized stages - and each stage has different signs and symptoms, all of which affect the face.
Rosacea is much more likely in female adults (with a fair skin) who are aged between 30 and 60. If you have this condition, The rosacea support group can be found here for information - and as the name suggests, support.
What are the different stages of Rosacea?
PRE-ROSACEA – This first stage is where the main symptom is frequent flushing that can affect the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. The skin can become so sensitive that a burning sensation may occur when cosmetics or creams are applied. The face may even become swollen. Triggers are a strong factor and while these vary from person to person they can be emotional, chemical, environmental or even food related. In time the tendency to flush or blush easily will progress to a more persistent redness in the central portion of the face, particularly the nose. This redness results from the dilation of blood vessels close to your skin’s surface. By this stage, many will start to feel self-conscious so you can add depression, low self-esteem and embarrassment to the problem.
VASCULAR ROSACEA - This second stage is when small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks swell and become visible, showing through the skin as small red lines. The skin will feel warm and look puffy. The skin may become even more sensitive and the rosacea can be accompanied by oily skin and dandruff. Flushing and redness become persistent and then permanent.
INFLAMMATORY ROSACEA - The third stage is where, in addition to the redness, small, red bumps or even bumps containing pus may appear and persist. Nodules in the skin may become painful. This can spread across the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. In severe and rare cases, the oil glands or sebaceous glands in the nose, and even sometimes the cheeks, become enlarged resulting in a build-up of tissue on and around the nose. This complication is more likely in men and the condition can develop very slowly over a period of years so that eventually the nose becomes red, enlarged and bulbous. Thick bumps may also develop on the lower half of the nose and nearby cheeks.
OCULAR ROSACEA - The final stage is one which can be classed as a serious condition that needs to be brought quickly under control as, in severe cases, it could lead to the loss of vision. The symptoms (in conjunction with rosacea) are irritation in the eyes, light sensitivity, a decrease in visual ability and an obvious inflammation of the lids or conjunctivitis. With this development, a sufferer would need to see an ophthalmologist quickly. The main problem with ocular rosacea is the possibility of a secondary infection. A dry environment plus ocular rosacea provides a good breeding ground for bacteria including staphylococci.
Although there is no overnight cure for rosacea, it can be treated and controlled.
How can rosacea be treated and controlled?
The goals of treatment are to control the condition and improve the appearance of your skin. Treatments tend to be more effective the earlier they commence. Avoid any over-the-counter products that contain ingredients such as acids, alcohol and other irritants as the chances are that they may actually make the rosacea worse.
It is safer to see your doctor or dermatologist so that they can prescribe a safe treatment or to use a natural healing product available online. In addition to starting a course of treatment, you can help at home by avoiding anything which you think might trigger a flare up.
Keep a diary of any flare ups so that you can identify what might be a cause
- Protect your face from the sun in summer or the cold in winter
- Avoid touching or rubbing the skin on your face
- If using a topical medication, apply any moisturizer once the medication has dried
- Use skin products that are labelled noncomedogenic
How do you naturally reduce rosacea redness?
We can share our top ten tips for a more natural approach:
- Keep your skin clean by using a daily gentle cleanser twice a day with soothing and natural ingredients, being careful not to over wash your skin.
- Never be tempted to rub or scrub your skin. You should always be extra gentle.
- After cleaning, moisturize your skin by using a natural moisturizer, with ingredients that are helpful to your sensitive skin, night and day.
- You can camouflage any flushing of the skin on the face in the day time by using some make up. An hypoallergenic or mineral liquid makeup that is targeted towards dry skin is the most suitable to use for rosacea – especially one that will both work with your skin as well as helping to improve the condition itself. Go for a makeup with a green or yellow base to help cover up and camouflage the redness or rosacea. It lessens the appearance of the redness and may help "even out" your skin tone as well so that any dilated blood vessels become less noticeable. Your foundation should match your skin tone to make it look natural. On the other hand, your concealer should be one shade lighter than your skin tone.
- Avoid those cosmetics and hair sprays that could aggravate any redness as well as any make up with fragrances or other ingredients that may cause irritation. All the products you use should be free of alcohol and other irritating ingredients
- If you have ocular rosacea, use eye makeup that is specially formulated for your already sensitive eyes.
- Protect the skin of your face from the sun by using a natural sunscreen and wearing a wide brimmed hat. The rest of your body can safely get a dose of sunlight for 20 to 30 minutes every day to boost up your vitamin D levels as long as you do not become overheated. The sun on your face together with hot temperatures can trigger a skin flare up.
- Remember that it is best to stay cool at all times when you have rosacea so don't get overheated if you are exercising - and steer clear of saunas. Coolness is key to rosacea care.
- Use H-Rosacea Formula which is an all-natural product made from pure essential oils that is applied directly to the rosacea condition three times a day to help treat the symptoms of rosacea.
- Watch your diet as certain foods can trigger a rosacea outbreak. These include spices, eggplant, soy sauce and even avocado. Keep a diary of your eating habits and if you notice a particular food leads to a sudden outbreak, you will have your culprit. At the same time reduce or eliminate any alcohol use. If you are concerned about which is the right product for you, then check with your dermatologist and remember to try and go the natural route whenever you can.
If you would like even further information on this skin condition, you can read further health articles here.
aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/rosacea. (Accessed, 2 August 2021).
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072660. (Accessed, 2 August 2021).
Weiss E, et al. (2017). Diet and rosacea: The role of dietary change in the management of rosacea. DOI: