Dr Sobia Ali, skin health doctor at Dr Nestor’s Medical and Cosmetic Centre, characterises the skin condition by a facial rash, with symptoms including redness, flushing and congested pores, but as Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible: Your No-Nonsense Guide To Good Skin unravels, it is often misunderstood.
"Rosacea was previously known as 'acne rosacea' but this is no longer the case, as both conditions are unrelated," Dr Mahto explained. "Symptoms of rosacea include facial skin sensitivity, redness, flushing or a sensation of heat and small red bumps known as papules," she continued. "Some people may develop prominent, small, dilated blood vessels and other potential problems include facial swelling, gritty eyes, and enlargement and redness of the nose."
So what causes rosacea? While it isn't fully understood, the skin condition is said to be aggravated by many factors, such as temperature changes, sunlight, alcohol, exercise, hot drinks, stress and spicy foods, according to both experts. "There is no cure," adds Dr Mahto, "but the condition can be managed with cream treatments, oral antibiotics, anti-flushing medications, and laser therapy. The latter can be used to treat prominent blood vessels, redness and occasional skin thickening which can be associated with rosacea. Usually multiple sessions are required and a skilled cosmetic dermatologist will be able to carry out the treatments after discussion of the best laser type for your skin."
Dr Ali also mentions that rosacea symptoms could be a result of hormone fluctuations, genetics and hyperactive oil glands, and so recommends incorporating an ingredient like salicylic acid – which decongests pores, exfoliates skin and reduces inflammation – into your skincare routine. Dr Mahto also suggests avoiding perfumed soaps, instead opting for emollients, and says that sunscreen is extremely important to help manage rosacea. "UV radiation is one of the common rosacea triggers," she explains. "Ideally an SPF of 50 should be worn that provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA (which traditionally penetrate the skin and result in things like pigmentation and fine lines) and UVB (associated with burns)."