home Hair & Skin arrow
Rosacea: Symptoms, Treatment and Care

Rosacea: Symptoms, Treatment and Care

Isabelle Lederer

6 min

April 26, 2024

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that can cause red patches, visible blood vessels, and rashes that are often accompanied by itching, burning, and pain.

This chronic skin condition can have a significant impact on quality of life.

However, with the right treatment and care, the symptoms can be alleviated for those affected.

In this blog post, we reveal the symptoms associated with rosacea and how you can treat the skin condition.

Symptoms of Rosacea

The symptoms of rosacea can vary from person to person, but typical signs include

  • Redness: The face often becomes red, especially on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead.

  • Visible blood vessels: Small blood vessels may become visible on the skin, which is called telangiectasia.

  • Skin rashes: Small red pimples or pustules, similar to acne, may appear.

  • Sensitive skin: The skin is usually very sensitive and reacts sensitively to skin care products, sunlight or heat.

  • Burning or stinging: Many people with rosacea report a burning or stinging sensation on the skin.

  • Rhinophyma: In advanced cases, the nose may thicken and take on an irregular shape (rhinophyma).

    Rhinophyma, which is caused by hyperplasia of the sebaceous glands in the nasal area, occurs mainly in men (phymatous rosacea).

    The proliferation of connective tissue and sebaceous glands results in nodular skin thickenings: "nodules" or so-called phymas.

Rosacea can be misdiagnosed as other skin conditions such as acne or dermatitis – or vice versa.

To make an accurate diagnosis, we recommend a skin analysis with our experienced dermatologists at one of our HAIR & SKIN clinics.

Causes and Triggers

Rosacea usually affects patients between the ages of 30 and 50 with fair skin, especially people of Irish and Northern European descent.

In addition to the possible causes, certain triggers play a decisive role in the worsening of rosacea symptoms. These triggers can vary from person to person. Here are some triggers for rosacea:

  • Sunlight: UV rays are a known trigger for rosacea symptoms. The skin of rosacea patients is often sensitive to sunlight and UV radiation and can quickly become reddened or inflamed.

    Consistent sun protection with a high SPF is therefore crucial to minimise flare-ups.

  • Heat or cold temperatures: Extreme temperatures can also exacerbate rosacea symptoms.

    Both hot and cold weather conditions can cause the skin to react and become inflamed.

  • Spicy foods and drinks: Spicy foods, hot spices, hot drinks or alcoholic beverages can cause skin redness and irritation.

  • Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks are a common trigger for rosacea. The consumption of alcohol can cause the blood vessels to dilate and increase the redness of the skin.

  • Stress: Emotional strain and stress can exacerbate rosacea symptoms.

    The link between stress and skin diseases is well documented, and many people with rosacea report flare-ups during times of increased stress.

  • Cosmetics and skin care products: Some cosmetics and skincare products contain potentially irritating ingredients that can trigger rosacea symptoms.

    It is important to choose gentle and hypoallergenic products specifically designed for sensitive skin.

By identifying these triggers and trying to avoid or minimise them, people with rosacea can often better control their symptoms. Keeping a diary to track triggers can help to recognise patterns and take appropriate action to control symptoms.

It is advisable to consult with a dermatologist about individual triggers and treatment options to ensure the best possible care for rosacea.

How Does the Skin Condition Rosacea Manifest Itself?

Rosacea is characterised by persistent redness and visible veins on the skin of the face. In the case of papulopustular rosacea, skin rashes such as papules and pustules may also appear.

In advanced cases, swelling, thickening of the skin and inflammation of the eyelid margins can occur. Triggers can be hot drinks, certain medications and laser treatments.

Treatment Options for Rosacea

There are various treatment options for rosacea, depending on the type of rosacea and the severity of symptoms. A dermatologist can recommend a personalised treatment strategy.

Common options include:

  • Topical creams: anti-inflammatory creams or gels can help reduce redness and rashes.
  • Oral medication: In severe cases, doctors may prescribe antibiotics or other medication to control inflammation. The vitamin A derivative isotretinoin is a very effective medication.
  • Laser and light therapy: Specialised laser treatments with intense pulsed light can reduce visible blood vessels and improve the skin.
  • Skin care: A gentle skin care routine with special products for sensitive skin can help minimise irritation.
  • Lifestyle changes: Identifying and avoiding triggers such as sunlight, alcohol or certain foods can help improve symptoms.

Skin Care for Rosacea

Proper skin care is crucial to controlling rosacea symptoms. Here are some tips:

  • Gentle cleansing: Use mild, fragrance-free cleansers designed specifically for sensitive skin.
  • Moisturise: Use a light moisturizer to soothe the skin and lock in moisture.
  • Sun cream: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor every day to protect the skin from UV rays.
  • Avoid irritants: Avoid harsh skin care products, like products containing alcohol and harsh exfoliants which can irritate the skin.
  • Make-up: Use hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic make-up to conceal redness and achieve a more even skin tone. Avoid over-application.

Living With Rosacea

Rosacea can have not only physical but also psychological effects. Many people with rosacea experience issues with their self-esteem due to visible changes in their facial skin.

It is important to seek support and work with your healthcare provider to find appropriate rosacea treatment.

Signs of rosacea such as redness, nodules (‘red bumps’), swelling or dilated blood vessels can be temporarily removed with the help of lasers and contribute to an improved quality of life.

blog image

Your skin analysis

Book your detailed

skin analysis in your area.


blog image

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition typically characterised by facial redness, visible veins (telangiectasia) and rashes.

Symptoms also include sensitivity, burning and sometimes swelling.

What are the typical symptoms of rosacea?

The disease mainly affects the vessels of the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin, but the eyes can also be affected.

Typical symptoms of rosacea are persistent facial redness, visible veins, skin rashes (papules and pustules), sensitive skin, growths, burning or stinging, in advanced cases swelling and a rhinophyma (bulbous nose).

How can I avoid rosacea flare-ups?

Rosacea flare-ups can be reduced by avoiding triggers such as sun exposure, hot drinks, hot spices, alcoholic drinks, stress and harsh cosmetics. Keeping a diary of potential triggers can be helpful.

What are the treatment options for rosacea?

Treatment options for rosacea include topical creams (e.g. metronidazole, brimonidine azelaic acid, ivermectin), oral medications (such as doxycycline), laser therapy to reduce veins and inflammation, and skin care with gentle products.

What role do cosmetics play in rosacea?

Cosmetics can aggravate rosacea symptoms if they contain irritating ingredients. It is therefore advisable to use hypoallergenic and non-irritating products that have been specially developed for sensitive skin.

Can rosacea spread to the eyes?
Yes, in some people, rosacea can also affect the eyes, which is known as ocular rosacea. Eye symptoms may include irritation, dryness, swollen eyelids, and redness.

What role does sun protection play in rosacea?

Sun protection is crucial for people with rosacea as sunlight is a common trigger for symptoms. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor should be used daily to manage skin problems associated with rosacea and not exacerbate them further.

Can rosacea be cured?

Dermatology currently offers no cure for rosacea, but symptoms can be effectively controlled with proper treatment and skin care. It is important to work with a dermatologist to develop a personalised treatment strategy.

What factors or substances can exacerbate or trigger rosacea symptoms?

Rosacea symptoms can be exacerbated by various factors or substances, including soaps, eyelid margin inflammation, hair follicle mites (demodex folliculorum mites), menthol-containing products such as camphor and other irritating ingredients.

Conclusion: Rosacea Can Be Alleviated

Rosacea is a complex skin condition that requires patience to control. With a combination of medical treatment, skincare and lifestyle changes, symptoms can be alleviated and quality of life improved.

With the right care, people with rosacea can learn to protect their skin and feel comfortable in their skin again

A personalised treatment strategy, adapted to the specific needs of the patient, is crucial for long-term success in dealing with rosacea.