Condition: Rosacea

Rosacea is a common long-term skin condition that causes redness on the nose, chin, cheeks and forehead.

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What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, also called blushing, across the face. Flare-ups can last a few weeks or months, or the redness may become more permanent over time and small blood vessels may be visible. If left untreated small spot-like bumps can appear on the skin.

Rosacea can affect anyone of any age but is most common in people over the age of 30. Although women are more frequently diagnosed with the condition, men are often affected more severely. Rosacea can affect people of any skin colour but is more noticeable in those with paler skin.

What causes rosacea?

What causes rosacea isn’t fully understood, but the latest theories suggest it could be down to an overreactive immune system response caused by microbes or microscopic skin mites. Rosacea may also be hereditary.

A number of factors can trigger a rosacea flare-up:

  • Sun exposure
  • Stress
  • Hot weather
  • Cold, windy weather
  • Alcohol
  • Certain foods like spicy foods, cheese, mustard and pepper
  • Caffeine
  • Hot drinks
  • Hot baths
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Use of steroid tablets or creams

What are the symptoms of rosacea?

Symptoms of rosacea can differ greatly from person to person, and also depend on the severity of the condition. Symptoms associated with rosacea include:

  • Blushing or flushing of the face causing redness across the nose, chin, cheeks and forehead
  • Visible blood vessels across the nose and cheeks
  • Swollen bumps that resemble acne
  • A burning sensation that can make the skin feel hot and tender
  • Dry, irritated, swollen eyes and eyelids
  • An enlarged, bulbous nose caused by thickening of the skin
  • Facial swelling, known as oedema
  • Dry, rough skin that can appear scaly

A rosacea diagnosis is made based on the history of symptoms and an examination of the skin. Tests can be done to exclude other skin conditions, but there is no specific test used to diagnose rosacea.

What are the treatment options for rosacea?

Doctor-led treatments such as prescription facial creams and gels or a course of antibiotics can help control symptoms of rosacea. There are things you can try at home that may help too:

  • Avoid things that trigger flare-ups.
  • Maintain a good skincare routine and use sensitive products.
  • Wear SPF every day and avoid excessive sun exposure.
  • Experiment with beauty products to camouflage redness.

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Rosacea Specialists

By having a complete and integrated team of sub-specialty experts under one roof we ensure that patients are seen by the right consultant at every appointment. Our skin health specialists cover a wide range of dermatological conditions, and our dedicated allergy specialists are recognised leaders in their field.