Rosacea, or facial flushing, is a chronic but common condition. It can persist for a long time and mainly affects the face and varies in degrees of severity. April is Rosacea Awareness Month.
According to the NHS, an estimated one in 10 people in the UK have rosacea – and it can cause more than just a red face. Controlling the flare-ups and masking the redness can feel like a never-ending battle.
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. There are several known factors that can increase your risk of having it. It is more prevalent in fair-skinned people of Northern and Eastern Europe – and women are more likely to be affected than men. It also tends to be hereditary.
Rosacea usually starts with a tendency to blush easily. After a while the central areas of the face become a permanent deeper shade of red with small dilated blood vessels.
If left unmanaged it can result in thickened skin and damage to the eyes.
The first signs of rosacea include:
- Redness (blushing) across your nose, cheeks, forehead and chin that comes and goes
- A burning or stinging feeling when using water of skincare products
- Swollen bumps that are similar to acne.
Other symptoms can include:
- Dry skin
- Swelling (especially around the eyes)
- Thickened skin
- Broken capillaries
- Enlarged nose
How do we treat rosacea?
As with most skin conditions, prevention is better than cure.
- Protect your skin by using a high SPF on your face every day. Reapply frequently if outdoors
- Never scrub or rub your face when cleansing – this can make it worse
- Do not use perfumed products and use a soap substitute. Find gentle products that don’t trigger a flare-up
- Consider lifestyle factors that can worsen rosacea eg. avoid alcohol, spicy foods, UV radiation from the sun, hot showers and control stress levels
- Avoid extreme temperatures
- SkinBase IPL Rejuvenation can help with rosacea. The light targets the broken capillaries and subdues any redness. Read more about IPL.
If left untreated rosacea can get worse over time. While it cannot be cured, symptoms can be controlled by making a few basic lifestyle choices. Don’t be left red-faced!