Rosacea–The Basics

Rosacea is a common, chronic skin disease. According to the U.S government, more than 14 million people currently live with rosacea, and is most frequent in individuals who are between 30-50 years of age, are fair-skinned, or have a family history of the disease.  To diagnose rosacea, dermatologists examine your skin and eyes for one or more of the following four subtypes: facial redness, acne-like breakouts, thickening skin, and ocular rosacea.


  • Subtype 1, Facial redness, can begin at the center of the face (nose and cheeks) and spread to one’s forehead, chin, ears, and even back. Individuals with this subtype generally have flushed cheeks, or blush more easily than other people.
  • Subtype 2, Acne-like breakouts, occur in areas where the skin is red. The skin may be very sensitive and sometimes cause a burning or stinging sensation. Plaques, or raised patches of skin, may also arise.
  • Subtype 3, thickening skin, is very rare. Indicators of this subtype include bumpy skin texture, rhinophyma, visibly broken blood vessels, and large pores.
  • Subtype 4, ocular rosacea, is when rosacea affects the eyes. Common symptoms of ocular rosacea are sensitive and itchy eyes, blurry vision, and visibly broken blood vessels.


Rosacea’s external side effects cause a lot of problems in a woman’s quality of life. Many people diagnosed with the condition often feel embarrassed to go out in public or engage in social events. Surveys also suggest that a diagnosis of rosacea is associated with lower self-esteem and may impact mental health, sometimes causing anxiety and depression.


The exact cause of rosacea is unknown; however, scientists believe the immune, nervous, and vascular systems all possibly play a role in the flare-ups and bumps associated with rosacea.


There is also a bacteria called Demodex folliculorum which could be responsible for subtype 2.

According to Dr. Kavanagh, one of the researchers of a National Rosacea Society-funded study, the bacillus bacteria can produce an antigen that is responsible for the inflammation of tissue, leading to the redness, papules (bumps), and pustules (pimples) exclusive to Rosacea.


There are medical conditions, such as lupus and allergic skin reactions, that can often be mistaken for rosacea, due to the commonality of symptoms. Dermatologists first rule out the possibility of these conditions and then move on to discussing treatment options.


Rosacea can cause flare-ups that are often induced by specific triggers, such as spicy foods, extreme temperature, anxiety, vigorous exercise, etc. Identifying these triggers are important to avoiding them and preventing further flare-ups.


Also, some skincare habits such as scrubbing your skin to exfoliate may cause rosacea to flare; hence the implementation of mild skincare products will go a long way in preventing the condition from worsening. Even though rosacea can evidently be caused by various triggers, the main success at being able to control the condition comes with making healthy lifestyle changes and protecting your skin from the factors that cause rosacea to worsen. If you are cognizant of these factors and take care of your skin, you will look and feel better.


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