You’re Not Blushing. It’s Rosacea

April is designated as Rosacea Awareness Month to educate the public on this often life-disruptive condition affecting mainly fair-skinned women above 30 years of age — most of whom don’t even know they have it!

According to the National Rosacea Society, Rosacea is a common skin disease that happens when there is inflammation deep inside the skin and the support for the fine vessels within the skin is thought to be defective. It is usually seen as redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Occasionally, rosacea may also occur on the neck, chest, scalp or ears. Over time, the redness tends to become more persistent, with skin swelling and visible tiny blood vessels appearing and small bumps developing. In about half the patients, the eyes are also affected and may be watery or bloodshot.

Rosacea can affect quality of life and many people have reported problems at work, in their marriage and with meeting new people.

  • Feelings of frustration and embarrassment: In surveys conducted by the National Rosacea Society, 41 percent said their rosacea caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.
  • Low self-esteem: Surveys conducted by the National Rosacea Society found that almost 70 percent of people living with rosacea said that the condition lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Work-related problems: Surveys conducted by the National Rosacea Society find that when rosacea is severe, 70 percent of people say the disease affects their interactions at work. Nearly 30 percent say that rosacea causes them to miss work.

Rosacea can cause more than redness. There are so many signs and symptoms that rosacea has four subtypes:
WhatsApp Image 2019-03-29 at 9.05.42 AM

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (Facial Redness): Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
  2. Papulopustular rosacea (Bumps & Pimples): Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
  3. Phymatous rosacea (Skin Thickening): Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
  4. Ocular rosacea (Eye Irritation)): Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and person may have what looks like a sty.

The cause of rosacea has not been determined. It may be a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. We speak to Dr Calvin Chan, Medical Director of Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, who shares with us what treatment options are available to treat the bumps and redness often associated with the disorder.

1. Avoidance of triggering factors

Common triggers for rosacea include becoming overheated, having cold wind blowing on your face, and eating spicy foods and alcoholic beverages. Sun exposure is one of the most common triggers causing a flare up of rosacea. Avoidance of direct sun exposure, usage of broad-brimmed hats and umbrellas and application of sunscreens should be carried out. The sunscreens should have a high SPF (sun protective factor) of 30 and above.

2.Laser and Light Therapies

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machine can be useful in reducing persistent redness and treating the prominent blood vessels of rosacea. For patients with an enlarged swollen nose (rhinophyma), the Carbon Dioxide Laser can be used to reduce the thickness of the skin.

3.Practice rosacea friendly skin care

Many skin care products can irritate skin with rosacea. Some skin care habits, such as scrubbing your skin clean, can cause rosacea to flare up. Using mild skin care products and being gentle with your skin can help prevent flare-ups.

4.Topical Therapies

Topical antibiotics prescribed by your doctor may be useful in controlling symptoms and maintaining remission.

5.Oral Antibiotics

In more severe cases, a course of oral antibiotics may be prescribed to control symptoms. These oral antibiotics may exert an anti-inflammatory effect and are usually taken for several months. However, repeated courses may be necessary for patients with frequent recurrences.

Contact us to find out more

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.