Rosacea (roe-ZAY-she-uh) is a common skin condition that mainly affects the face.
While most people understand it as a condition that causes redness, it is often poorly understood. Rosacea can occur in anyone, but it most commonly affects middle-aged women, particularly those over the age of 30. Episodes of flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead come and go but persist long term.
Symptoms often begin with episodes of flushing, where the skin turns red, but other symptoms can develop as the condition progresses. These can include burning and stinging, spots and the small blood vessels in the skin becoming visible. Certain common triggers include exposure to sunlight, stress, exercise, hot or cold weather, hot drinks, alcohol and caffeine and certain foods.
Although there is no cure for rosacea, there are treatments available to make the symptoms more manageable. Often it is extremely responsive to the right treatment and can be successfully controlled. Long-term treatment is usually necessary; although there may be periods where symptoms improve and treatment can be stopped temporarily. While cosmetics won’t reverse or reliably treat rosacea, green-tinted moisturisers can be helpful to cover redness and improve confidence.
Treatment usually involves a combination of self-help measures and medication. There are a number of things you can do yourself to help keep symptoms under control, including avoiding things that trigger your symptoms and by taking good care of your skin by following a regular skincare routine using products suitable for sensitive skin.
Topical creams and gels are available on prescription which are usually applied daily, but may take several weeks to see improvement. For more severe cases antibiotics may be recommended as these can help reduce inflammation of the skin. These medications are usually taken for four to six weeks, but longer courses may be necessary. Acne treatments are also occasionally used to treat rosacea. Redness and visible blood vessels can also sometimes be successfully improved with laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment. At present this type of treatment is only available privately.
For more information on rosacea please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rosacea