According to the NHS, every one out of 10 people in the UK deals with this skin condition. Rosacea (acne rosacea) is one of the most common skin conditions that affect the face. Although it has no cure, several effective ways exist to prevent and control its symptoms.
This article shall explain the causes, prevention and best treatment for rosacea in the UK.
Rosacea is a common long-term skin condition that affects the face. Millions of people in the UK and worldwide deal with this skin condition; however, women and people with lighter skin shades are often at risk of rosacea than others. Rosacea can be extensively under control with long-term treatments that have proven effective over the years.
Symptoms of Rosacea
The most visible and common symptom of rosacea is redness (flushing) around the forehead, nose and cheeks. Other symptoms include;
- Burning and stinging sensation (especially when using water or skincare products)
- Small visible blood vessels on the skin
- Swelling, especially around the eye
- Dry skin
- Small red or pink bumps
However, these symptoms vary according to the type of rosacea.
Types of Rosacea
There are four main types of rosacea. However, unlike other skin conditions where people have just one style, patients with rosacea may show signs of different types of rosacea at the same time. The four types of rosacea include;
Also known as type1, ETR is the type of rosacea that people are most familiar with around the globe. Its symptoms include facial redness and flushing around the forehead, nose and cheek, and small visible blood vessels. Sometimes, the redness may extend to the neck, chin and scalp if not correctly managed.
Other uncommon symptoms of ETR include dry or scaly skin, stinging, tingling, swelling, or warmth in the affected areas.
Papulopustular is a type2 of rosacea. Its symptoms are acne-like large and painful breakouts that develop deep in the skin(papules and pustules. If untreated, symptoms extend to the scalp, neck, chest and shoulders.
Other symptoms of this type of rosacea include susceptible skin, burning or stinging sensation, and oily and dry patches of skin that change into hard, rough patches. Unlike acne accompanying adolescence, papulopustular rosacea is more common in adults, especially middle-aged women.
Phymatous Rosacea(type3) appears with skin thickening that later transforms into bumpy and protrudes skin-like scar tissue. This type often affects the nose, giving it a bulbous, enlarged appearance(rhinophyma).
This type comprises skin redness, visible blood cells and visibly enlarged pores.
It is the less common but one of the most severe types of rosacea that is more common in men than women.
Ocular rosacea(type4) affects the eyes. The redness and inflammation of this type of rosacea extend from the skin around the eyes to the eyelid and inside the eyes. Those with ocular rosacea experience bumps on the eyelid, swelling around the eye, a bloodshot eye, burning, watery, irritated eyes, increased eye sensitivity, and general dryness.
In some cases, patients may experience photosensitivity and blurred vision. It tends to feel like there is dust or dirt that has refused to go in the eye.
Ocular rosacea is often misdiagnosed as other common eye conditions.
Common Rosacea triggers
Few possible factors, such as reaction to microscopic mites(usually found on the face) and abnormalities in blood vessels of the face, have been suggested to be the cause of rosacea. However, there is still no proven cause.
Some triggers that are identifiable to make rosacea worse, however, include;
- Exposure to sunlight
- Strenuous exercise like aerobics
- Hot drinks
- Hot or cold weather
- Spicy foods
As rosacea has no definite cause yet, preventing it is not possible. However, you can be careful enough to adopt some things that can help control the symptoms by avoiding known rosacea triggers. These self-help measures include;
- Wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid eating cheese
- Avoid spicy meals
- Avoid excess caffeine intake
- Reduce strenuous exercise
- Take mild drinks in place of hot ones
- Protect your face from heat, humid or cold weather.
Best rosacea treatment in the UK
Dealing with rosacea might seem like an endless battle because there is no cure yet. However, you can work with a doctor highly skilled in treating skin issues to manage the condition. The doctor can help you work out a management skincare routine to prevent the swelling and redness from getting worse. This management is also necessary to prevent the rosacea from becoming permanent on your face.
Dr Nina Bal is a renowned expert skin doctor in the UK who has successfully helped patients handle their rosacea and other related skin conditions. The first step is to book a consultation appointment with Dr Nina Bal. She will assess your condition and prescribe a bespoke treatment plan to manage and treat your condition.
After examining your condition, Dr Nina will help you manage your rosacea in three steps. First, she may prescribe medical-grade skincare products that contain active ingredients that can rebuild your compromised skin barrier. After skin repair, skin protection products like SPF will be recommended. Finally, skin renewal products such as retinol will also be introduced to exfoliate your dead skin cells and reveal a new skin layer.
What are medical-grade skin care products?
Medical grade skincare products are products that contain an active blend of cosmetics and pharmaceutical ingredients. They are clinically tested and proven products that penetrate the top layers of the skin to provide medical and aesthetic benefits. These products should only be used under medical prescription and supervision and not be purchased over the counter.
The following are active ingredients in medical skin grade products required to repair your skin ;
Hyaluronic Acid is an effective skin molecule that retains skin moisture and keeps it hydrated. Hyaluronic Acid with high and low molecular weight triggers immune responses and regulates the activation of inflammatory cells.
It promotes the production of collagen and wound healing. Hyaluronic acid is produced by the skin naturally but in small quantities and it decreases as we age. As such, it is beneficial to supplement it with plant and animal-based hyaluronic acid.
When hyaluronic Acid is applied to the skin topically along with water, it traps the water and pushes it deep into the skin cells. As a humectant, hyaluronic acid does not just retain water, it also draws water from its environment. As such it is perfect hydration for rosacea skins.
L- Ascorbic Acid
L- ascorbic acid ( vitamin c) is also another beneficial ingredient for rosacea. L- ascorbic acid is one of the two natural forms of vitamin C. It is the most potent form of vitamin c used for dermatological and skin care products.
L- ascorbic acid contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have been proven to combat redness. This property makes it a suitable treatment for rosacea.
According to researchers, easily dilated blood vessels are some of the likely causes of rosacea redness. As such, vitamin C works effectively by strengthening the blood vessels. Vitamin C is also effective for inflammation as it protects the skin against free radicals.
It actively helps in restoring the integrity of the skin barrier and boosts the production of collagen. It also protects the skin against sunburn.
The primary purpose of peptides in your rosacea repair treatment is to promote collagen production. Peptides boost the production of proteins required by the body such as elastin and collagen.
Dr Nina can prescribe medical-grade products that contain retinol to restore your skin after it might have been repaired by the aforementioned ingredients. Retinol is a part of the family of vitamin A derivatives called retinoids. Retinol is a popular anti-ageing agent that boosts collagen levels and improves fine lines. It also thickens the skin by increasing cell turnover. The benefits of retinol for rosacea include;
- Skin regeneration
- Oil production
- Production of collagen
However, despite the benefits of retinol, it has to be used under medical prescription to avoid its side effects on sensitive skin. Trust Dr Nina to prescribe only products that contain the right quantity of retinoid. She will also prescribe how and when to use the products.
Other remedies for rosacea that may be prescribed include ;
For moderate to severe rosacea that the symptoms are pimples and bumps; she may describe oral antibiotics such as doxycycline.
- Oral acne drug
Prescriptions of powerful oral acne drugs such as Isotretinoin (Claravis, Amnesteem and others) can help with severe cases of rosacea. It helps clear rosacea acne.
- Topical drugs
When you use cream or gels for mild to moderate cases of rosacea, they help a great deal. When applied, they reduce flushing by constricting blood vessels. However, you may need to keep reapplying because they only work temporarily.
Examples of these topical drugs include; oxymetazoline (Rhofade), Brimonidine (Mirvaso), metronidazole, azelaic acids, and ivermectin.
The results of these topical products vary and shall be well explained by the doctor.
Laser treatments prove to help shrink visible blood vessels in the face. It is a cosmetic procedure that a dermatologist usually performs. After laser treatment, symptoms may seem worse and bruised, but the skin recovers and reduces symptoms.
You should, however, ask for the Pros and cons of laser treatment before getting any.
Dermabrasion is another cosmetic procedure that helps with rosacea symptoms by removing the top layers of the skin in a sanding-like process.
Even though this process has been proven effective in coping with rosacea, its side effects and complications take a toll on the skin.
Rosacea treatment over the counter
There are quite a lot of over-the-counter products for mild—rosacea treatment. You do not need a prescription to get these products to use. These products include; sunscreens with over SPF30, creams, lotions and moisturising gels.
Eye drops such as blephamide can be used with other treatments of ocular rosacea. Dr Nina may prescribe eye drops which you will have to discontinue when symptoms subside.
Skincare tips for Rosacea
Proper skincare makes a considerable difference when treating any skin disease. If you are dealing with Rosacea, you should try to;
- Cleanse your face twice a day(after waking up and before going to bed)
- Apply moisturiser daily to keep your skin hydrated
- Find a sunscreen that doesn’t irritate your skin and use it religiously.
- Do patch test for any skincare product and makeup
- Check and choose rosacea-friendly skincare products (ask your dermatologist for advice)
- Avoid over-exfoliating and facial sponges.
FAQs about Rosacea treatment
You are a significant factor in how well your rosacea gets adequate treatment. There are different approaches to managing rosacea. Try out medically prescribed methods and notice your body’s reaction to them. For optimum results, avoid rosacea triggers as much as possible. If there’s no positive change, consult your physician again.
Sunlight is the most common trigger for Rosacea. Other triggers include spicy foods, alcohol, hot and cold weather, stress, cheese, and caffeine.
As much as you are looking for medications to help relieve your Rosacea, you should be careful of some medicines that can trigger it. Some of them include; topical steroids, beta-blockers, vasodilators and vitamin B3. Be sure to ask a certified physician before using any medication.
To date, the leading cause of Rosacea is yet to be known. However, there are some rosacea triggers, such as sunlight, spicy foods, alcohol and others.
Every 1 of 10 persons in the UK is living with Rosacea. You do not have to feel embarrassed or anxious about your appearance. Don’t get withdrawn from the things and people you love because of your skin blemish. Making an appointment with Doctor Nina is the best way to cope with Rosacea. Seek support groups, either online or in person, with others experiencing this issue and focus on getting the best out of yourself. You should also try as much as possible to avoid triggers that could worsen your Rosacea.