Rosacea: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

24 June, 2019


"While there is currently no cure for rosacea, it can be effectively managed with medical therapy and lifestyle changes."

"While there is currently no cure for rosacea, it can be effectively managed with medical therapy and lifestyle changes."

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that primarily affects facial skin through flushing, redness and inflammatory bumps and pimples. Symptoms may last from a few weeks to a couple of months and are frequently mistaken for acne or other skin problems.

Although rosacea develops in many ways and at any age, it is worthy to note that it typically begins after age 30. Individuals with fair skin who blush or flush easily are believed to be at greater risk. Rosacea is also diagnosed more frequently in women, however, it tends to present more severe symptoms in men.

While there is currently no cure for rosacea, medical knowledge of this disorder has advanced to where it can be effectively managed with medical therapy and lifestyle changes.

If you suspect you have rosacea, a top priority should be to seek an accurate diagnosis and consultation with a qualified dermatologist near you. Do this before your condition becomes severe and starts to intrude your daily life.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rosacea?

Redness in the facial area

Normally affecting the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. You may notice redness that comes and goes and sometimes does not go away for a prolonged period. Blood vessels on your nose and cheeks may swell and become visible.


Rosacea can cause constant flushing and blushing. You may also experience an on off sense of burning, heat or warmth.

Red Inflammatory Bumps

Resembling acne, these pimples and bumps may appear anywhere on your face, sometimes containing pus. The skin on your face might also feel hot and tender to the touch.

Enlarged nose (commonly in men)

Due to severe development of inflammatory bumps and pimples, rosacea could enlarge the nose area due to excess tissue growth, causing the nose to appear swollen and bumpy. This symptom is more commonly found in men.

Eye irritation

Many patients experience dry eyes that appear bloodshot or watery. In more severe cases, eyelids are swollen and there is potential vision loss from corneal damage.

Dry, Rough, Scaling Appearance Of Skin

You may experience rough scaly skin, and severely dry skin around your face.

What are the causes of Rosacea?

The causes of rosacea are not clear, but the following related factors could possibly contribute:


Stress is a major trigger of rosacea. Any efforts to reduce your stress levels will play a big part in preventing flare-ups and worsening of existing symptoms.

Genetic factors, Family history

Studies show that most rosacea patients have a history of this skin condition in their families. There is an excellent possibility that they inherited the rosacea genes.

Your immune system may contribute to Rosacea

Studies found out that most patients with rosacea that resembles acne react to Bacillus oleronius bacteria. This reaction results in an overreaction of their immune system.

H. pylori bacteria

A bacteria found in the gut, which stimulates the production of bradykinin, a small polypeptide known to cause blood vessels to dilate. While it has been reported that there are a large number of rosacea patients who also have a H. Pylori infection, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that H. Pylori causes Rosacea.

Demodex folliculorum

A mite that lives on human skin and usually causes no problems. However, it has been shown that patients with rosacea have much higher concentrations of these mites. It is currently unclear whether the mites cause the rosacea, or whether the rosacea causes the overpopulation of the mites.

Tips For Managing Rosacea

  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of at least 15.
  • Moisturize your skin if it feels sore
  • Refrain from rubbing or touching the skin on your face
  • Use a gentle facial cleanser, with no parabens or harmful chemicals Avoid any products that contain known skin irritants or alcohol
  • As far as possible, try to use products that are labelled as non-comedogenic
  • Avoid alcohol in all forms
  • Minimize eating spicy foods
  • Keep a “symptoms diary” – identify and foods or drinks that trigger an outbreak of symptoms, and avoid them for a period of time
  • Do not self prescribe with (OTC) steroid creams – speak to a Dermatologist who will be able to prescribe treatments according to your symptoms

Medical Treatments of Rosacea

Oral antibiotics

If you have severe rosacea, your doctor may prescribe some oral antibiotics such as erythromycin or doxycycline to control its symptoms. These oral antibiotics have anti- inflammatory properties, and you will have to take them for a few months.

Topical gels

To control the symptoms of rosacea, topical gels such as clindamycin gel 1%, metronidazole 0.75% and erythromycin 2% may be prescribed. These gels kill bacteria in your skin. Topical ivermectin is the latest effective treatment for rosacea.

Brimonidine gel could reduce skin redness by tightening blood vessels in your skin. To clear up the bumps on your skin, Azelaic acid gel could also reduce redness and swelling of your skin.

Pulse dye laser

In this treatment, your doctor will use intense light to remove large blood vessels. It also reduces persistent redness.

If you suffer from an enlarged swollen nose, a Dermatologist can use Carbon Dioxide Laser to reduce the thickness of your skin. Studies conducted in 2004 show that pulse dye laser treatment options decreased the symptoms of Rosacea.

Intense pulsed light

This form of therapy is done by using controlled light of specific wavelengths to get rid inflammation and redness of your skin.


Rosacea can be effectively managed through treatment and lifestyle changes. Have more questions? Book an appointment with dually accredited Dermatologist in Singapore, Dr Liew Hui Min to get your condition assessed.

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