Rosacea affects up to 3 million people in the UK and is an inflammatory condition, the real cause of which is unknown. Rosacea causes vasodilation of small facial vessels as well as general inflammation and pustules.
Rosacea is characterised by a tendency to flush and a continued redness around the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. This continued inflammation can lead to a permanent dilation of the facial vessels, causing a permanent rash or redness (erythema).
Causes can be hereditary though some recent research points the finger at demodectic mites which appear to be some 15 to 18 times greater in cases of Rosacea, than non-sufferers. Demodectic mites are on all of us, so do not be distressed to hear that mites may be an issue - indeed, many of the microscopic hangers-on all humans have, exist in their own little ways, to make humans work!
The condition can affect anyone and everyone but the main sufferers appear to be female, and over 30.
There are four types of Rosacea:
1. Flushing and dilated capillaries or Erythemastotelangiectatic (a posh name for facial redness)
2. Pustules and Lesions or Papulopustular (again - though a term used in acne types)
3. Dryness and irritation around the eyes or (Occular)
4. Phymatous Rosacea which is a thickening of the skin, irregular skin texture and hyperplasia of sebaceous glands, connective tissue, and vascular bed of the nose (rhinophyma). These changes may also be seen on the chin, ears, forehead, and eyelids. Almost exclusively, this type appears in men.
Antibiotics may help but are not advised and Hydrocortosone Cream may help in the very short term but usually results in major flare-ups when discontinued. Most helpful is to look at possible triggers which include alcohol, spicy food, some cosmetics, certain foods and fragrances and some hot beverages and in some cases, changes in temperature.
Specific Rosacea - friendly skincare is available and include Azelic Acid products, Retinols and Niacinamide. Obviously, the main thing is to try and establish the main triggers and avoid them. New research indicates that an anti-parasite (Demodex mites) cream should be available in the near future