Rosacea on Skin: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Rosacea on skin is a chronic inflammatory skin ailment (Image via Instagram)
Rosacea on skin is a chronic inflammatory skin ailment. (Image via Instagram)

Rosacea on skin is a chronic inflammatory skin ailment that commonly affects the face. Rosacea can easily be misunderstood for another skin condition, such as acne, eczema, or an allergic reaction.

Blushing of the face, aggravated skin, and breakouts are the most prominent signs of rosacea. Blushing is also a symptom, as are issues with the eyes. About 1-2% of the population suffers from rosacea. Unfortunately, a rosacea patient's diagnosis is often wrong, suggesting that the true incidence is likely much higher.

Although rosacea sufferers can alleviate their symptoms with topical creams and oral medications, a cure has yet to be discovered. Read more about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of this skin condition below.

Meanwhile, read here about skin cycling and if you should try it.

Causes of Rosacea on Skin

Rosacea can worsen if left untreated (Image via Flickr)
Rosacea can worsen if left untreated (Image via Flickr)

Scientists are still not sure about the causes of rosacea on skin. Some researchers believe that the following factors are to blame:

The cause of facial flushing and spider veins may lie in vascular abnormalities, according to dermatologists. However, researchers have yet to pin down the root cause of the problem that leads to blood vessel inflammation.

Demodex folliculorum, a type of skin mite: This skin-dwelling mite rarely triggers any unpleasant side effects. Rosacea sufferers, though, are more likely to have an abundance of these mites. It's unknown whether an increase in mites is caused by rosacea or vice versa.

Rosacea is often mistaken for acne. (Image via Flickr)
Rosacea is often mistaken for acne. (Image via Flickr)

Helicobacter pylori is a type of bacteria that causes stomach ulcers. Bradykinin is a small polypeptide that causes blood vessel dilation, and it's produced in response to these gut bacteria. Experts believe that this bacterium may contribute to the emergence of rosacea.

Many people with rosacea on skin have family members who also suffer from the condition. That suggests a possible genetic or hereditary element.

Symptoms of Rosacea on Skin

Different people may experience signs and symptoms of rosacea in a wide range of ways. Rosacea on skin strikes people with fairer complexions more frequently.

Most cases of rosacea on skin feature the following signs and symptoms:

  • Skin discoloration that doesn't go away, like a sunburn or blush. It develops when an increase in blood flow causes hundreds of tiny blood vessels close to the skin's surface to enlarge.
  • Increased dermal thickness may result from an abundance of skin tissue. Rhinophyma, a deformity of the nasal bones, is a common complication, and it disproportionately affects males.
  • When someone is flushed, the skin of their face turns temporarily darker. It can start on the face, work its way down to the neck and chest, and leave the skin feeling hot and uncomfortable.
Red, inflamed patches on skin are common symptoms of rosacea (Image via Pexels/Cottonbro Studio)
Red, inflamed patches on skin are common symptoms of rosacea (Image via Pexels/Cottonbro Studio)
  • Pimples and bumps on the skin: These may appear as red, small bumps on the skin that resemble acne. Pus could be lurking there.
  • Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are enlarged blood vessels that appear most frequently on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, and other areas of the face's midsection.
  • People may experience red, watery, or bloodshot eyes due to irritation. Blepharitis, a reddening and swelling of the eyelids, and styes are common complications. Half of those who suffer from rosacea also experience eye problems. In extremely unusual cases, vision may blur.

Some secondary symptoms include:

  • Redness, itching, and swelling (from fluid and proteins leaking out of blood vessels)
  • Dry, rough skin on the face

Treatment of Rosacea on Skin

Rosacea on skin has no known cure, but its symptoms can be managed with a variety of treatments. If left untreated, the symptoms may worsen.

The most successful treatment plans typically involve a combination of traditional medicine and behavioral modifications. Here're a few potential ways to treat rosacea on skin:

1) Creams for the skin

Inflammation and discoloration of the skin are skin problems that can be mitigated with topical creams. It's possible that your doctor can ask you to use them twice daily. Acne treatments like azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, and topical antibiotics are a few examples.

You can also get concealing creams recommended by your dermatologist to cover up skin imperfections.

2) Drops for the Eyes

Eye drops can help alleviate the discomfort of ocular rosacea. Blephamide is one type of steroid eye drop that a doctor may prescribe. They may recommend taking it for a week or so before taking a break.

3) Antibiotics

Rosacea treatments include topical skin ointments and/or antibiotics. (Image via Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)
Rosacea treatments include topical skin ointments and/or antibiotics. (Image via Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)

Some oral antibiotics have anti-inflammatory properties. They typically work more quickly than topical treatments. Antibiotics like tetracycline, minocycline, and erythromycin are a few examples.

Antibiotics called tetracyclines can alleviate eye problems. In patients with ocular rosacea, doxycycline has been shown to reduce symptoms such as dryness, itching, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.

4) Isotretinoin

In severe cases of rosacea, patients may benefit from taking the oral medication isotretinoin (accutane) (f other treatments have not worked. This is a potent medication that can stop oil production in the skin. There's, however, the potential for very serious adverse effects. Patients suffering from erythematotelangiectatic rosacea should not take this medication.

In any case, you should consult your doctor and follow their advise to treat rosacea on skin. You should not attempt these treatments and medications for yourself, as you may end up worsening the condition.

Prevention of Rosacea on Skin

As rosacea's origins remain a mystery, there's currently no way to avoid getting it. However, rosacea patients can increase their odds of staying in remission by recognizing and avoiding activities and environments that exacerbate their specific cases or bring on flare-ups. The following are examples of potential causes:

  • Exposure to the elements (sun and wind)
  • Mental or emotional strain
  • Extreme hot or cold weather
  • Exhaustive exercise
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Hot drinks, soaks, and baths

Although there's no cure for the condition at this time, people can take medications to alleviate symptoms of rosacea on skin. Home remedies can also be beneficial.

For more skincare tips, check out these tips to improve skin texture naturally.

Edited by Bhargav