What Is Rosacea? Symptoms, Causes & How To Prevent The Skin Condition

rosacea symptoms, causes and prevention

Rosacea is a common skin condition, typically present on the face, which can cause redness and sometimes a stinging or burning sensation. It most commonly affects women, in particular those with lighter skin, but it can affect anyone and men may suffer worse symptoms. Left unchecked, rosacea can cause physical discomfort, pain and affect a person’s mental well-being.

How Do I Know If I Have Rosacea (Symptoms)?

Rosacea can present several symptoms, sometimes altogether or sometimes separately. The main symptoms to look out for are:

  • Redness. This is the most common symptom of the skin condition and usually presents itself on the face, particularly around the cheeks and nose, but also around the chin and forehead. This redness can show as small blood vessels but also as small, red bumps, sometimes filling with a yellow liquid known as pus. These symptoms may appear only occasionally, or they may be present long-term.
  • Tender skin. While some people don’t feel any physical discomfort or pain with rosacea, others may notice that their skin is tender, sore and sometimes feels quite hot. This can be made worse when applying certain products to the affected areas also, so it’s important to be careful what you use on your skin.
  • Irritated Eyes. Known as ocular rosacea, the eyes can become swollen, dry and irritated. This can be in addition to the effects of rosacea on the skin, or it may be separate.
  • Irritated Nose. Rosacea can also affect the nose, more commonly in men rather than women, as the skin can toughen up around this area and make it appear larger.

If you’re unsure whether you have rosacea, you should contact your GP who will be able to give you a proper assessment and diagnose the condition.

An example of rosacea on the cheek. Image courtesy of NHS.

What Causes Rosacea?

Like some other common skin conditions such as acne, the exact cause of rosacea is still unknown, possibly being inherited, coming from environmental factors, or both. It is not, however, caused by poor hygiene as some people suspect. There are some factors that may make the condition worse so these are things to be aware of:

  • Caffeine
  • Hot Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy Foods
  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Sunlight
  • Emotional factors such as stress
  • Drugs

What Can I Do To Help My Rosacea?

There is no cure for the skin condition, however there are things you can do to reduce flare-ups, improve symptoms and, in some cases, prevent flare-ups in the future. One of the most important things to do is to try and recognize what may make the condition worse so that you can avoid it. For instance, if alcohol tends to cause a flare-up, reduce your alcohol intake as much as possible. It’s also important to wear a high SPF sunscreen, particularly in hot weather, cover your face in harsh conditions, manage your stress levels and be careful what products you use on your face. The ‘blue’ range of our products at Clever Soap are suitable for those with rosacea and can help to gently cleanse your skin.

With all of the information above, hopefully you can start to understand what rosacea is, what might be causing it or making it worse, and how you can help to reduce flare-ups and prevent the condition from returning. Having any skin condition can be difficult both physically and mentally, so it’s important to act sooner rather than later. Be sure to speak to a GP if you have concerns as they may be able to help, and check out the NHS website for more information.

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