Rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition that women are particularly susceptible to.
This skin condition Rosacea has symptoms including flushing, stinging, redness and in some cases spots, meaning it can be mistaken for acne. It’s also incredibly sensitive to your environment so even if you have nailed your skin care routine you can still struggle. Everything from the climate to emotional stress can trigger a flare up. And while there are some treatments available one of the most important ways of managing rosacea is simply managing your own personal triggers.
Whether you are prone to flushing or have severe symptoms like itchiness or rashes, read on to find out everything you need to know about rosacea. Plus, every product one beauty expert uses to manage her redness.
What is rosacea?
‘Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition which usually occurs on the face and can affect all skin types,’ explains Dr Daron Seukeran, Group Medical Director for SK:N. ‘ It may also manifest itself as persistent redness, blood vessels and spots which can resemble a similar appearance to acne, although the two should not be confused.’
Much like pigmentation and dehydrated skin, rosacea is common in middle-aged women, although can affect anyone. As well as being mistaken for acne, sometimes the redness and irritation that rosacea causes can appear to be other inflammatory conditions such as eczema.
This misdiagnosis as well as a lack of single cause or cure are the reasons rosacea can be tricky to manage.
Symptoms of rosacea
- Persistent flushing of the face
- Thread veins
- Red spots
- Thickening of the skin
‘There are four main symptoms to help identify if you are suffering with rosacea.’ explains Dr Seukeran. ‘Persistent flushing of the face where redness will most commonly appear around the nose and cheeks. This is as well as thread veins, which will be visible blood vessels around the same areas of the face.’
‘Then there are red spots which can be filled with puss and can often be misdiagnosed if not seen by a dermatologist. Thickening of the skin can also appear as excess, bumpy tissue, particularly around the nose although this is a rare complication and is mainly seen in male patients.’
Less common symptoms include:
- Sensitive skin – burning, itching, stinging and pain
- Dry, rough skin
- Raised red patches (plaques) on your skin
- Facial swelling (lymphoedema)
Why does my rosacea get worse during the summer?
‘Summer can be difficult for people with rosacea as the sun, hot weather and humidity can all lead to a flare-up,’ says LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Anshu Kaura. ‘Sun exposure is one of the most common triggers when it comes to rosacea, so using a daily sunscreen with at least SPF30 or higher is the best way to protect your skin against it. You should also try and stay in a cool or air-conditioned area on particularly hot days.’
Should I go to the doctor for treatment?
Unfortunately there is no known cure for rosacea, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid seeking help if yours is persistent and causing you serious discomfort.
‘There are a number of effective treatments that can help to alleviate the symptoms of rosacea.’ says Dr Daron Seukeran. ‘This includes antibiotics and topical prescription medications which can be prescribed by a doctor and can often lead to remission after about four to six months of treatments.
In terms of dealing with redness and flushing, laser treatment can be an effective solution in removing these symptoms.’
Identifying your triggers is the best solution
‘Identify what causes your Rosacea to flare up, whether that be certain foods or drink, and try and avoid these.’ says Dr Daron. ‘The most important thing is to seek medical attention if it persists. If left untreated rosacea can cause other complications such as irritation of the eyes and enlargement of the nose, which is rare but also a very unpleasant symptom.’
Rosacea skincare: How this beauty expert soothes her skin
For make-up artist and beauty blogger Rose Gallagher, managing flushes and concealing redness is her area of expertise. Read on to discover Rose’s rosacea story and the products she swears by.
‘I’ve always been rosy so it was something I noticed especially from secondary school onwards,” Rose says. “To be honest it didn’t knock my confidence purely because I always had a knack for covering it, but without make-up on I have days when I feel fine and others when I feel conscious.’
In order to keep her skin happy and healthy, Rose developed a back-to-basics approach to skincare. A huge fan of French pharmacy brand La Roche Posay, she uses their Toleraine Dermo-Cleanser to cleanse before following with their eye and face cream.
Rose Gallagher’s shopping list
1. La Roche Posay Toleraine Dermo-Cleanser, £12.50
Sun protection is important for all skin types, but especially for rosacea sufferers whose skin can be triggered by sunlight. Rose won’t leave the house without SPF50.
2. La Roche Posay Anthelios Pocket Sun Cream, £10
Again, it’s trusty La Roche Posay Rose turns to, this time their Anthelios SPF. Specially formulated for sensitive skin, it delivers broad spectrum protection and won’t clog your pores. For instant calm, she turns to La Roche Posay’s Rosaliac anti-redness range or anything from CeraVe, a purse-friendly, fragrance-free and fuss-free option
3. CeraVe Foaming Facial Wash, £9
This foamy gel cleanser feels great on hot skin and are easily worked in with your hands. Just make sure you pick one without drying surfactants (sodium laureth sulphate is a big no-no) This ticks all the boxes, is refreshing and contains ceramides to soften, not strip skin.
4. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel, £87
For a luxe treat, Rose relies on Dr Dennis Gross’s Mild Two-Step Peel. This helps smooth uneven texture without aggravating her skin as stronger acid treatments might.
Make-up for rosacea: how to achieve natural, even coverage
When it comes to make-up, Rose counts IT Cosmetics Cult CC as the go-to for full coverage. She switches between the original, illuminating and matte depending on the finish she’s after.
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ illumination SPF50, £32
Many make-up artists recommend green colour correctors to counteract redness, but in reality Rose thinks they leave her complexion gaunt. Instead, she uses a peachy blush to add radiance and detract from the redness.
Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint, £26.50
‘I tend to use cream blush so that it sits softly over any texture in my skin. Powder can sometimes cling to it a little. Jillian Dempsey blushes are gorgeous.’ explains Rose.
Follow Rose’s rosacea journey and find out more about the products she can’t live without at @mixedgemsbeauty.
If your rosacea is impacting your mental wellbeing, or if you are unsure whether you have rosacea, with a gp.