Flushing and Flare-ups of rosacea are more than a minor inconvenience, they can affect the way you interact with people, and cause embarrassment. Each time your skin flushes, it can stay red a little longer and rosacea may start to appear on more of your skin. In some people, repeated flushing leads to skin that stays permanently red. Visible blood vessels can start to appear and skin can thicken.

Treatment can also become more difficult with repeated flushing and methods which may have worked earlier can become ineffective as a result. This can lead to the need for stronger medicine or even laser therapy.

Rosacea Subtypes

Rosacea has 4 classifications with each requiring a different course of action. Understanding your particular case is key in learning to control your rosacea. The 4 classifications are:

Grade 1 – Redness and flushing

Also known as erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, characterised by prolonged flushing of the face and small, dilated blood vessels just under the surface of the skin. These symptoms are a direct result of hyperemia, which is an increase in blood flow through capillaries near the surface of the skin. This form of rosacea is rarely painful however it does make visible changes to the skin.

Grade 2 – Redness, pimple breakouts and broken capillaries

Simply called acne rosacea, also papulopustular rosacea for the pustules that appear, some yellow and pus-filled. A leading theory is that demodex mites that live around the face cause acne rosacea, and antibiotics have been found to be a powerful treatment which lends support to the idea. Some however argue that this is due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Grade 3 – Inflammation, thickening of the skin and rhinophyma

Rhinophyma is a form of rosacea where the sebaceous glands under the surface of the nose become enlarged, which leads to them forming together and thus causing the nose to swell. Commonly thought to be a result of excessive drinking, this is instead hypothesised to be because of a build-up of lymph fluid. Rhinophyma affects men over the age of 50 the most.

Grade 4 – Irritation, burning and swelling of the eyes

Ocular rosacea is usually developed alongside another type of rosacea and can be categorised by dry, itchy eyes, inflammation around the eyelashes and redness in the whites of the eyes. Symptoms usually improve as the accompanying rosacea condition is addressed. Sufferers are advised to keep the eyes hydrated using dry eye drops.

Who gets it?

Most people who get rosacea are between 30 and 50 years of age, with women more likely than men to suffer from mild rosacea. In men, it is more common to have severe cases and overall light-skinned people are most affected, typically those of Celtic, Northern European and Eastern European descent.

 You are more likely also if someone in your family tree has rosacea, a symptom that is prominent in sufferers of the condition.


Genetics, anything that causes your rosacea to flare is called a trigger. Sunlight and hairspray are common triggers, while others include heat, stress, hot drinks, alcohol and spicy foods. Some skin and hair care products can do the same, as well as makeup, wind and cold, medicines and even exercise.

Research is still ongoing as to what causes rosacea, although science tells us there are some common factors which may be linked:

  • It is possible that people inherit genes for rosacea
  • The immune system may play a role and could be triggered to overreact and lead to rosacea
  • A bug that causes infections in the intestines could also play a role although this is not a proven link
  • Studies have found a mite that lives on the nose and cheeks occurs in large numbers on people with rosacea
  • The protein cathelicidin, which usually protects the skin from infection, may cause redness and swelling

Physicians have also speculated that flushing may involve the nervous system, because rosacea is often triggered or aggravated when patients are under emotional stress.


Rosacea is a condition which typically affects the face, most commonly across the cheeks, nose and forehead due to the arrangement of blood vessels underneath the skin. The redness is a result of broken or dilated capillaries.

There are also pronounced psychological effects. In one survey, more than 76 per cent of rosacea patients said the skin condition lowered their self-esteem and confidence. As many as 41 per cent responded saying they avoided going out in public because of rosacea.

This can become a self-perpetuating cycle as a key trigger of rosacea can be stress, which means when a flare-up occurs the resulting stress can make the condition worse.

Further to this, studies show individuals with rosacea are almost five times more likely to have depression than people without the condition. Overall it can have a dramatic effect on the patient’s ability to socialise.

Is there a cure for rosacea?

There is no cure for Rosacea, however it can be treated and managed to prevent progression of the condition.

Treatment for rosacea can range from antibiotics and a topical application of a cream to courses of cosmetic treatments. These include very light CO2 laser resurfacing which can help to reduce inflammation, reduce broken blood vessels and pimples, neutralise bacteria and stimulate healthy cell activity. IPL can also help to reduce broken capillaries and redness.

Gentle skincare products with anti-inflammatory properties can be a good place to start for rosacea sufferers.

People also seek psychotherapy because of concerns over rosacea. Improving emotional health can be a way to improve the state of your skin.

Triggers play an important role in the severity of rosacea, they may be spicy food, alcohol, hot drinks, sunlight and heat, so using sunscreen and avoiding hot baths and showers can be key. When it’s hot outside or you have been exercising, wash your face with cool water and drink cold beverages, so basically changes in temperature are triggers.

Learn your triggers by keeping a note of symptoms and possible causes as triggers vary from person to person. This is vital to learning how to manage your specific case of rosacea.


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IPL course of 4 £600

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All consultation costs are deducted from treatment or skincare.

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