blog rosacea

April is Rosacea Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about this common but often misunderstood skin condition. To help you better understand rosacea, including its causes, symptoms, and best treatment options, we’ve created this guide with answers to some of the most common questions that patients often ask our team of board-certified dermatologists at Feinstein Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery about this common inflammatory skin condition. 

What Causes Rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is still unknown and remains a topic of ongoing research. However, research on the underlying causes of rosacea have come a long way in recent decades. There appear to be several factors that can potentially contribute to the development of rosacea symptoms. These factors may include genetics, environmental triggers, immune system dysfunction, an imbalanced gut microbiome, abnormal blood vessel response, and the presence of microscopic mites called Demodex on the skin. While the exact cause can vary for each person, rosacea has often been linked with a combination of these factors.

Who Gets Rosacea?

Rosacea is most common among adults between 30 and 60 years old and is rarely seen in children, though it is possible to develop rosacea as a child or before you turn 30. While more common in women than men, rosacea tends to be more severe when men do develop this condition. Because there may be a genetic component to rosacea, people with a family history of this condition may be more likely to develop it themselves. 

What Does Rosacea Look Like?

Red flushing of the face is the most visible and common characteristic of rosacea, though other symptoms can also occur with specific subtypes of rosacea. These additional symptoms include visible blood vessels (telangiectasia), bumps or pimples resembling acne (papulopustular rosacea), thickening of the skin (phymatous rosacea), and ocular symptoms such as dryness, itching, burning, or stinging.

What Does Rosacea Feel Like?

Rosacea can cause stinging or burning sensations of the skin, especially when certain ingredients are applied to the face, or even very hot or cold water. These symptoms occur as a result of inflammation, so taking steps to reduce and manage inflammation can also help to reduce stinging and burning. 

While all subtypes of rosacea can result in itchiness, this symptom is most common in papulopustular rosacea, which causes acne-like pustules on the skin. 

Are Psoriasis and Rosacea Related?

Psoriasis and rosacea are both inflammatory skin conditions, but each has different underlying causes and outward symptoms. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the rapid turnover of skin cells, leading to thick, scaly patches on the skin. Rosacea, on the other hand, primarily affects the facial skin, causing redness, inflammation, and other symptoms. While they are not directly related, psoriasis and rosacea may occur simultaneously, requiring a tailored treatment approach.

Because both psoriasis and rosacea can cause red, irritated skin, these conditions are sometimes mistaken for each other. Thus, it is important to seek an accurate diagnosis from an experienced dermatologist in order to begin the proper treatment regimen depending on which skin condition you have.

Is There a Cure for Rosacea?

There is currently no known cure for rosacea, but its symptoms can be managed with various treatment methods and lifestyle adjustments aimed at reducing inflammation and redness, alleviating discomfort, and preventing future flare-ups. In a majority of cases, rosacea flare-ups can be minimized and those with this condition can achieve clear, comfortable skin with proper treatment.

Despite the absence of a cure, significant advancements have been made in understanding rosacea and developing targeted treatments to address its symptoms. Dermatologists and skincare experts have a range of tools and strategies at their disposal to help individuals manage rosacea effectively and improve their quality of life.

How Is Rosacea Treated?

The treatment of rosacea typically begins with addressing underlying factors that may contribute to the condition. This includes addressing gut health with probiotics or antibiotics, as gut health has been linked to skin conditions like rosacea.

In some cases, topical prescription medications such as ivermectin or metronidazole are used to reduce inflammation and populations of Demodex mites that have been associated with rosacea symptoms. Broadband light (BBL) therapy can also be used to reduce redness, visible blood vessels, and uneven skin tone and texture caused by rosacea.

In addition to in-office or prescription treatments, lifestyle and skincare adjustments can be made to help minimize triggers that cause symptom flare-ups. These can include not smoking, eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, and avoiding spicy foods, sun exposure, and very hot or cold water when showering. 

The best skincare regimen for rosacea will be customized to meet your skin’s specific needs. Generally speaking, those with rosacea can use anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients like green tea extract, chamomile, and niacinamide to help soothe red, inflamed skin and should avoid harsh ingredients like exfoliants, fragrances, and drying alcohols that can cause inflammation.

Can Rosacea Go Away on Its Own?

No, unfortunately rosacea will not go away on its own. In fact, rosacea symptoms can gradually worsen over time if left untreated. Rosacea that affects the eyes can lead to additional complications, including vision problems, if not managed properly. Thus, it is important to seek a diagnosis and professional treatment plan to help manage symptoms and avoid future complications. 

I Think I Have Rosacea. Now What?

If you suspect you have rosacea, it is essential to get an accurate diagnosis from a board-certified dermatologist. At Feinstein Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, our experienced dermatologists can evaluate your skin, provide a definitive diagnosis, and create a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Most often, this treatment plan will include a combination of a customized anti-inflammatory skincare regimen, lifestyle adjustments, and, if necessary, prescription medication or in-office treatments like BBL therapy. 

If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists to discuss your symptoms, please call our South Florida office at 561-692-6424, send a text message to 561-816-3197, or easily request an appointment online.