Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes reddening of the skin predominantly on the face, and in some cases, patients also get little bumps and pimples on top of the redness, which is why rosacea is often confused with acne.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterised by facial flushing, redness, telangiectasias (visible vessels) and bumps and pimples. The first sign of rosacea may be redness or flushing that comes and goes. Rosacea is most often seen in fair-skinned people between the ages of 30 and 50 and typically affects the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. It is more common in women but more aggressive in men.
The cause of rosacea is not yet certain; theories include small intestine bacterial overgrowth, an immune reaction to a natural mite (demodex mite) that lives in our skin, unstable vessels, genetics and sun exposure. What we do know is that something irritates the skin, leading to chronic inflammation with intermittent flare-ups.
If the skin is sensitive or damaged, it will not cope with common daily aggressors. Sun, wind and pollution can cause a reaction within the skin. Since the skin is compromised and unable to properly protect itself from this reaction, the body sends blood to the areas as a defence mechanism.
Blood brings oxygen by red blood cells and immunity with white blood cells to try and correct the effect of these aggressions. However, it also brings heat, redness and inflammation. If this flushing reaction occurs regularly over time, the blood vessels just under the skin will become dilated and the redness will be more permanent.
As a result, the skin will become more vulnerable to daily aggressors and rosacea symptoms will get worse.
There are a variety of triggers that may make rosacea worse. These include alcohol, exercise, high and low temperatures, hot drinks, spicy foods and stress. Rosacea can be sun sensitive.
Rosacea can run in some families, but there is no clear genetic link.
Treatments can include, specially formulated peels, cosmeceuticals and or plasma shower (to reduce the number of skin bacteria).