Rosacea – what it is, what causes it and treatment options

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects up to 22% of people across the globe.

If you struggle with persistent facial redness, you know how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, you don’t have to just grin and bear it.

Read on to learn more about rosacea, as well as the potential causes of and treatments for this skin condition.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that’s sometimes referred to as facial blushing or flushing. It causes visible blood vessels on the face and, in some cases, small, pus-filled bumps.

Many people with rosacea experience flare-ups that last for a few weeks or months at a time, then fade and become less noticeable.

Anyone can deal with rosacea, regardless of age, race, or gender. However, it seems to be most common among middle-aged women with fair skin.

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Types of Rosacea

There are four main types of rosacea, although many people experience more than one type at the same time. The four categories are as follows:

1. Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea 

The primary symptom of erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is persistent facial redness. It causes the small blood vessels below the skin to enlarge and become more visible.

If this type of rosacea is not treated, periods of redness may last, may start to cover larger portions of the skin, or may turn into a permanent issue.

2. Papulopustular Rosacea 

Unlike erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, which is characterized by facial redness, papulopustular rosacea brings with it the added symptom of “whitehead” pustules that typically appear on the cheeks, forehead, or chin. They may also affect the neck, chest, and scalp.

This type of rosacea is often mistaken for severe acne. It can cause dozens of blemishes, which often take a long time to fade away (much longer than traditional acne breakouts). Some people also experience facial flushing and redness as well.

3. Phymatous Rosacea 

The third type of rosacea, phymatous rosacea, causes the skin to become thick and scarred. It may also develop bumps, swelling, and discolouration.

Phymatous rosacea is rarer than the other types described above, and it most often affects the nose, causing it to appear bulbous or swollen. It tends to affect men more than women.

4. Ocular Rosacea 

As the name suggests, ocular rosacea affects the eyes and causes them to appear bloodshot or watery. Some people experience burning or irritation in their eyes, as well as cysts that develop on the eyelids.

Rosacea Causes

There is no one clear cause of any of the four types of rosacea. However, inflammation of the blood vessels is often cited as a contributing factor.

The following are some of the most well-known facial redness causes that may be contributing to inflammation and your symptoms:

  • Overactive immune system
  • Environmental factors (such as frequent exposure to UV radiation from the sun)
  • Smoking
  • Skin infections
  • Coexisting inflammatory conditions (such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or depression)
  • Family history of rosacea

It’s important to note, too, that rosacea symptoms tend to flare up in response to certain triggers. Some common triggers include:

  • Consuming hot drinks or spicy foods
  • Consuming red wine and other alcoholic drinks
  • Exposing yourself to extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Exposing yourself to intense sun or wind
  • Exercising in a way that significantly increases the heart rate
  • Consuming drugs that dilate the blood vessels (such as blood pressure medications)
  • Using cosmetics, skincare, or hair care products that contain chemical irritants

Anyone can develop rosacea, but it is more common among some individuals. This includes women, those whose skin burns easily, and those who are over the age of 30.

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Treament Options

At Bloom we develop a treatment plan with you that will include recommended treatments and products. 

No matter what triggers your rosacea, the good news is that there are lots of facial redness treatment options you can consider. Some of the most popular treatments include Laser GenesisLED TherapyDermal Needling and the application of topical products.

Laser Genesis

Laser treatments are effective at reducing rosacea symptoms because they minimise the appearance of enlarged blood vessels. Lasers also stimulate natural collagen production and help to heal existing skin damage for a brighter, more youthful complexion.

The most effective, medical-grade laser treatments can be used on all skin types, including those with olive and darker skin tones. These lasers have wavelengths with deeper penetration and are helpful for year-round skincare.

Most people notice significant benefits from their laser treatments within a few weeks. It typically takes 4 to 6 treatments for the best results.

LED Light Therapy

LED Therapy

Another option for treating rosacea is LED (Light Emitting Diode) therapy. This treatment involves the application of LED light energy to the skin to increase cellular performance, reduce inflammation, and promote faster healing.

LED therapy is non-invasive and does not rely on harsh UV lights or abrasive chemicals. Because of this, it is a popular option for reducing rosacea symptoms. It also helps with other skin conditions, including acne, because it kills the bacteria that may contribute to future breakouts. 

You can get this treatment done alone or combine it with another type of skin therapy for more noticeable results. It only takes about 30 minutes and is highly relaxing. It doesn’t cause any severe redness or other skin issues, either, and you can apply makeup right after your session is over. Often at Bloom, we recommend this as an add-on treatment. 

Dermal Needling

Dermal needling is a treatment that uses very fine needles to create micro-channels in the skin at various depths. This stimulates the production of new collagen and elastin fibres to create a range of noticeable benefits. Genosys power solutions, highly concentrated solutions that help stimulate tissue remodelling, are applied during the treatment which are deeply absorbed into the skin to stimulate tissue repair and encourage cell regeneration.

Topical Products

At Bloom, we typically recommend products that contain Vitamin B serum to help support your in-clinic treatment. One of our favourite Vitamin B serums is by asap skincare as it helps to regulate sebum (oil) production and reduce the appearance of redness, even in acne type skin. 

We also stock Redness Cream by Inno Derma, which is specifically formulated for rosacea-prone skin. It can be used as a facial moisturiser for your daily routine and it prevents and reduces skin redness and inflammation.

Preventing flare-ups and avoiding triggers

It’s also recommended that you take steps to identify and avoid your rosacea triggers. Keeping a journal of things you eat, activities you participate in, etc., will help you to figure out what makes your symptoms worse or better.

Wearing sunscreen (we recommend asap 50+ hydrating defence) whenever you’re outdoors is a must, too, as sun exposure is one of the most well-known triggers of facial redness, blood vessel damage, and inflammation.

If you’re fed up with rosacea, we’re happy to help here at Bloom Clinic. Contact us today to learn more about your rosacea treatment options.

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