Rosacea is a common condition that affects many people and primarily in the age group of 30 to 50 years old although younger or older patients can also be affected. It affects women slightly more than men and it is considered a chronic relapsing condition which means there is no permanent cure and the condition may flare up at certain times and be less active in other times. There are different clinical presentations of rosacea and is divided into 4 main subtypes: vascular, inflammatory, phymatous, and ocular. The vascular subtype of rosacea involves redness which is either fixed or intermittent predominantly in the central part of the face and is often associated with visible vessels in the face. These visible vessels can often be seen on or around the nose and on the cheeks. The redness may be associated with flushing and a stinging and burning sensation which can be triggered by various triggers such as cold wind, hot steam, alcohol, spicy food, citrus fruits, tea, and coffee to name few.
The inflammatory subtype of rosacea presents with “spots” which can resemble the acne spots in being either red or spots with a yellowish centre but unlike acne there are no whiteheads or blackheads and the skin tends to be dry rather than oily such as in acne. These inflammatory spots may or may not be associated with the redness and visible vessels and is not uncommon to have rosacea patients with both of these presentations.
Phymatous rosacea is a subtype that presents with thickening of skin and enlargement of the glands and is particularly seen in the nose hence the term rhinophyma. Ocular rosacea refers to a subtype of rosacea which affects they eyes giving symptoms of dry eyes, blepharitis and/or sensitivity to light. It is important to note that patients with rosacea may present with one or more of these subtypes.
Treatment of rosacea involves avoiding the trigger factors as much as it is practically possible and establishing a suitable skincare regimen that suits the sensitive and hyperreactive skin of rosacea. Active treatments include certain creams and tablets and the use of lasers in the vascular and phymatous subtypes. Treatment with laser can be combined with creams or tablets.
Professor Firas Al-Niaimi has published on rosacea and laser treatments and this material can be found in the publications section of the website.
What are the causes of Rosacea?
Rosacea has no known cause, but may be triggered by a tiny mite called Demodex folliculorum; this mite lives harmlessly on the skin of most people, but has been noted in higher amounts on the skin of people with rosacea.
Is there a solution for Rosacea?
When it first develops, rosacea may come and go on it’s own. If your skin does not naturally return to its normal colour, it is advised that you seek professional advice from an experienced dermatologist such as Dr Firas Al-Niaimi on Harley Street. Dr Al-Niaimi will advise you on the best way to treat your rosacea; laser and intense pulsed light treatments are known to be a highly effective treatment for this skin condition.