Rosacea

Learn how to treat your skin condition

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea (pronounced "roh-ZAY-sha") is a common but poorly understood disorder of the facial skin that affects an estimated 14 million Americans. It is a chronic but treatable condition that primarily affects the central face, and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Although rosacea may develop in many ways and at any age, patients indicate that it typically begins any time after age 30 as a flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go.

While the cause of rosacea is unknown and there is no cure, its signs and symptoms can be controlled with medical or esthetic therapy and lifestyle changes. Individuals who suspect they may have rosacea are urged to see a dermatologist or other qualified physician for diagnosis and appropriate treatment -- before the disorder becomes increasingly severe and intrusive on daily life.

What Should I Look For?

Rosacea can vary substantially from one individual to another, and in most cases some rather than all of the potential signs and symptoms appear. According to a consensus committee and review panel of 17 medical experts worldwide rosacea always includes at least one of the following primary signs, and various secondary signs and symptoms may also develop.

Primary Signs of Rosacea

  • Flushing: Many people with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. This facial redness may come and go, and is often the earliest sign of the disorder.

  • Persistent Redness: Persistent facial redness is the most common individual sign of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that does not go away.

  • Bumps and Pimples: Small red solid bumps or pus: filled pimples often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stinging may occur.

  • Visible Blood Vessels: In many people with rosacea, small blood vessels become visible on the skin. 

Other Potential Signs and Symptoms

  • Eye Irritation : In many people with rosacea, the eyes may be irritated and appear watery or bloodshot, a condition known as ocular rosacea. The eyelids also may become red and swollen, and styes are common. Severe cases can result in corneal damage and vision loss without medical help.

  • Burning or Stinging : Burning or stinging sensations may often occur on the face. Itching or a feeling of tightness may also develop.

  • Dry Appearance : The central facial skin may be rough, and thus appear to be very dry.

  • Plaques: Raised red patches, known as plaques, may develop without changes in the surrounding skin.

  • Skin Thickening :The skin may thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, most commonly on the nose. This condition, known as rhinophyma, affects more men than women.

  • Swelling :Facial swelling, known as edema, may accompany other signs of rosacea or occur independently.

  • Signs Beyond the Face : Rosacea signs and symptoms may also develop beyond the face, most commonly on the neck, chest, scalp or ears.

Subtypes of Rosacea

The consensus committee and review panel of 17 medical experts worldwide identified four subtypes of rosacea, defined as common patterns or groupings of signs and symptoms. These include:

  • Subtype 1 (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea), characterized by flushing and persistent redness, and may also include visible blood vessels.

  • Subtype 2 (papulopustular rosacea), characterized by persistent redness with transient bumps and pimples.

  • Subtype 3 (phymatous rosacea), characterized by skin thickening, often resulting in an enlargement of the nose from excess tissue.

  • Subtype 4 (ocular rosacea), characterized by ocular manifestations such as dry eye, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, recurrent styes and potential vision loss from corneal damage.

Many patients experience characteristics of more than one subtype at the same time, and those often may develop in succession. While rosacea may or may not evolve from one subtype to another, each individual sign or symptom may progress from mild to moderate to severe. Early diagnosis and treatment are therefore recommended.

How is Rosacea Treated?

Because the signs and symptoms of rosacea vary from one patient to another, treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. Learn more about when to see a doctor.

Various oral and topical medications may be prescribed to treat the bumps and pimples often associated with the disorder, and a topical therapy to reduce facial redness is now available. Dermatologists often prescribe initial treatment with oral and topical therapy to bring the condition under immediate control, followed by long-term use of topical therapy to maintain remission. A version of an oral therapy with less risk of microbial resistance has also been developed specifically for rosacea and has been shown to be safe for long-term use.

When appropriate, treatments with lasers, intense pulsed light sources or other medical and surgical devices may be used to remove visible blood vessels, reduce extensive redness or correct disfigurement of the nose. Ocular rosacea may be treated with oral antibiotics and other therapy. To view photos of treatment techniques

Skin Care

Patients should check with their physicians to ensure their skin-care routine is compatible with their rosacea. A gentle skin-care routine can also help control rosacea. Patients are advised to clean their face with a mild and non-abrasive cleanser, then rinse with lukewarm water and blot the face dry with a thick cotton towel. Never pull, tug or use a rough washcloth.

Patients may apply non-irritating skin-care products as needed, and are advised to protect the skin from sun exposure using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Cosmetics may be used to conceal the effects of rosacea. Green makeup or green-tinted foundations can be used to counter redness. This can be followed by a skin-tone foundation with natural yellow tones, avoiding those with pink or orange hues

Choosing a Cleanser


To avoid irritation, use the fingertips,
not an abrasive washcloth or sponge.

Choose your cleanser with care according to your skin type. Keep in mind that unless your skin is oily, non-soap cleansers may be the best option — they contain less than 10% soap, rinse off easily, and have a neutral pH that's closer to the natural pH of the skin.

  • Dry to normal or combination skin. A wide range of non-soap cleansers is available, including a number of options developed specifically for sensitive or redness-prone skin.

  • Very dry skin. A creamy, low-foaming, non-soap cleanser may be ideal for skin that's very dry — these types of formulas often leave behind a thin film that helps skin hold moisture.

  • Oily skin. For very oily skin, wash with a mild soap, taking care to avoid scrubbing. Aggressive rubbing or over-cleansing can irritate skin.

Cleansing Tips

To minimize skin irritation, try this gentle, step-by-step cleansing routine developed by leading dermatologists for people with rosacea.

  1. Using your fingertips, wash skin with a cleanser suitable for your skin type. Avoid using an abrasive washcloth or sponge, which may irritate.

  2. Rinse away cleanser with lukewarm water. Hot or cold water may cause flushing or irritation. If your face is irritated by water at any temperature, try using a soothing cream cleanser you can simply tissue off.

  3. Gently blot your face dry with a thick-pile cotton towel. Don't rub skin, as this may cause irritation.

  4. Since stinging most often occurs on damp skin, wait 30 minutes for the face to dry completely before applying any topical medication. Slowly reduce the drying time until you find the least amount of time your skin needs to avoid a stinging sensation.

  5. After applying topical medication, wait five to 10 minutes more before applying moisturizer, sunscreen or makeup.

  6. If you have ocular rosacea, be sure to follow your doctor's directions for eyelid scrubbing and medication.

Moisturizer


Apply topical medication first, allow it to dry, then
apply moisturizer.

According to many dermatologists, moisturizer is a key for preventing the burning, stinging, itching and irritation often associated with rosacea, as well as building a strong moisture barrier to help keep out impurities and irritants that may aggravate sensitive skin.

Rosacea often involves a defective moisture barrier in the facial skin as well as greater than normal transepidermal water loss, both of which may contribute to the skin’s irritability and susceptibility to inflammation. In addition, rosacea usually appears after age 30, when facial skin naturally tends to become drier, and it has been estimated that approximately half of all rosacea sufferers experience dry skin. Winter or dry weather may especially pose difficulties for individuals with rosacea as dry air — both outdoors as well as in buildings that are warmed with a dry heat — intensifies the challenge to already-sensitive skin.

Facial moisturizers have now been developed specifically for signs and symptoms experienced by many people with rosacea. They are specially formulated with ingredients intended to calm and soothe facial skin and to help prevent redness from irritation, and may also contain sheer green color neutralizers to correct the appearance of redness. Used daily, moisturizers can help soothe irritation, improve appearance and restore the skin’s proper functioning.

Applying moisturizer to your face should not reduce the effectiveness of topical medication. First, clean your face with a mild cleanser and let it air dry. Then apply your topical medication and allow it to dry. After that, you should be able to follow up with any moisturizer or make-up products without interfering with your medical therapy.

Rosacea patients with sensitive skin might try a moisturizer combined with a sunscreen, which may be gentler and less likely to cause skin irritation. Men may wish to use a moisturizer to help soothe the skin after shaving

Makeup for Rosacea

While medical therapy can address the underlying physical aspects of rosacea, makeup can help instantly improve the look of your skin and boost your self-confidence about your appearance. Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best.

  • Get a clean start. Before applying makeup, cleanse and moisturize your face with skin-care products appropriate for your skin. Always treat skin gently, never rubbing or pulling with your fingers, makeup sponges or even a washcloth or towel, as this may cause irritation. And use the right tools to minimize irritation — anti-bacterial brushes may be best, since even the oil and bacteria on your fingers can irritate skin.

Keep it simple. The more ingredients and products you apply to your skin, the higher the likelihood that an ingredient or product may aggravate it. That's why it may be helpful to use multi-function products, such as a green-tinted base that also contains sunscreen. Always test a new product in a peripheral area — your neck, your arm — before using it on your face to make sure your skin doesn't react to it. Avoid any products that burn, sting or irritate your skin.

  • Use a green-tinted base. A sheer green-tinted primer is a good choice for a makeup base — it can help visually correct redness and even out skin tone. Get one with UVA/UVB protection and you'll help shield skin from exposure that can aggravate rosacea. A protective base has another bonus, too: it helps your makeup last longer.

  • Choose oil-free foundation and concealer. Look for an oil-free foundation that offers the level of coverage you need, from sheer to full. And for both foundation and concealer, choose your shade carefully. Foundation should match your natural skin tone as closely as possible, while concealer should be just one shade lighter than your natural skin tone.

  • How to apply foundation. Use a light touch when applying foundation. You may want to use an antibacterial foundation brush to apply it rather than a sponge (too harsh for skin) or your fingertips (can add unnecessary oil to the face). For brush application, start by applying a small amount of liquid foundation to the back of your hand. Dab with the brush and smooth over your face, starting in the center and blending outward. For cream or powder foundation, sweep the brush across the surface of the compact and apply to your face. Use broad strokes for large areas of the face: cheeks, forehead and chin. Use the edge of the brush to reach narrow areas: nose, mouth, eyes and hairline. Blend well. Be sure to clean the brush between uses.

  • How to apply concealer. Use an antibacterial concealer brush to lightly dot concealer under your eyes, starting at the inner corner and working outward. Blend well for a seamless look. You can hide bumps or visible blood vessels by dabbing and blending concealer directly onto each area, then using foundation all over to create a more even tone.

  • Consider cover-corrective makeup. Especially for those with moderate to severe rosacea, cover-corrective cosmetics may be an appropriate option. Available in a choice of formulations with UVA and UVB sun protection and a wide array of tones to match your natural skin color, they can thoroughly conceal many types of skin imperfections to create a flawless look.

  • Explore the benefits of mineral powder. Mineral makeup is often a good choice for skin with rosacea, as it typically doesn't contain potentially irritating ingredients. There are also innovative mineral powder formulas specifically formulated to color-correct redness. Dust a yellow-toned mineral powder over foundation, or use it over your protective base instead of foundation to help further tone down the look of redness.

  • To blush or not to blush. Mineral powder blushers are also available, but since skin already tends to have a lot of color, go easy on cheek color if you use it at all. Choose sheer blush formulated for sensitive skin and apply sparingly with an antibacterial brush, sweeping it from the apples of the cheeks toward the temples.

  • Opt for extra-gentle eye makeup. Eyes are sensitive to begin with, and if yours have signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea, it's especially important to treat the eye-area skin gently. Select products designed for sensitive eyes that have been ophthalmologist tested — and allergy- tested, fragrance-free formulas may be ideal. Mascara and eyeliner should be easy to apply and remove without pulling or tugging on the eyes. Look for mascara formulas that can be gently removed by simply rinsing with warm water. Mineral powder eye shadow may be the perfect choice for eyes susceptible to rosacea symptoms. Neutral colors, both in shadow and eye pencils, may also be less irritating than strong jewel tones since they have less pigment.

  • Go for neutral lips. Lips will shine in neutral shades close to your natural lip color. Avoid red shades that may exacerbate the look of redness in your skin.

Natural & Organic Professional Skincare

The power of nature working for your skin!

All information is Copy Write & Trademark of Pure Esthetx LLC