Blog, Skin Conditions

What Causes Rosacea Flare-ups?

In this blog, we’ll discuss rosacea flare-ups.

This guide will also discuss the symptoms, treatments, risks, and take a look into what exactly causes rosacea flare-ups. 

If you are struggling with rosacea, you are not alone. More than 14 million people suffer from this condition in the U.S.

What is Rosacea? 

Rosacea is a fairly common disorder impacting your facial skin.

This condition causes redness to appear on your chin, forehead, nose, and cheeks.

As time goes by, the intensity of the redness often increases, resulting in a ruddy appearance.

In some instances, your blood vessels may become visible. Sometimes, rosacea flare-ups can appear on your neck or chest. 

What Causes Rosacea Flare ups

This condition can also affect your eyes. They may start to feel irritated and become watery or bloodshot.

If you have rosacea, you may develop pimples filled with pus or solid red bumps. This condition can also cause your nose to become swollen and bulbous. This is called rhinophyma.

Rosacea is most common among women in their forties and fifties with fair skin. 

Sometimes, rosacea can be mistaken as a different skin condition such as acne.

And, while women are more often affected, severe cases are usually found in men.

The most common signs of rosacea are visible small blood vessels and redness on the face. 

Types of Rosacea Flare-ups

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there are four different key types of rosacea.

  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is when the blood vessels become visible and there is flushing and redness of the skin.
  • Papulopustular rosacea is when there is swelling, redness, and breakouts similar in appearance to acne.
  • Phymatous rosacea occurs when your skin begins to thicken. The texture of your skin will become bumpy. This is most common on the nose.
  • Ocular rosacea is when irritation and redness appear in your eyes and your eyelids become irritated.

There is another form of rosacea referred to as steroid rosacea.

This is caused when corticosteroids are used for a long period of time on the face for the treatment of other skin conditions.

This may result in the development of redness or breakouts on your face. 

Rosacea Flare-up Symptoms

The symptoms of rosacea are different for each individual. 

The primary signs of this condition include:

  • The first sign you will see of rosacea is facial redness. This redness can appear and disappear before coming back. 
  • Pimples filled with puss or small bumps with a red coloration are common signs of rosacea.
  • You may develop bumps similar in appearance to acne. However, you will usually not see any blackheads. You may also feel a stinging or burning sensation.
  • You may see a persistent redness in your face. This may resemble a sunburn or a blush. The difference is the redness will not go away.
  • You may start to see small blood vessels on your skin. This is very common for individuals with rosacea.

The secondary signs of rosacea include:

  • The skin on the center of your face may become extremely dry and rough. The development of red patches may occur without affecting your skin in the surrounding areas. 
  • Your eyes may become bloodshot, watery or irritated. These symptoms may mean you have ocular rosacea. This can cause your eyelids to become swollen, styes to form and redness to remain on your eyes. 
  • Swelling of your face is a classic symptom of rosacea. In some cases, swelling may be the only visible symptom.
  • You may experience a stinging or burning sensation on your face. A feeling of tightness or itchiness may also develop.
  • Rosacea may cause your skin to thicken due to excess tissue. This condition is called rhinophyma. This usually appears on the nose. Your nose can start to appear bulbous.
  • The most common signs of rosacea will appear on your face. You may also see similar symptoms on the chest, neck, and ears.

Common Causes of Rosacea

The actual cause of rosacea is still unknown. However, certain elements of the process of how this condition forms have been identified. 

According to some studies, rosacea may result from a combination of genetics and environmental triggers as discussed below.  

Demodex has been identified as a microscopic skin mite. This mite is much more prevalent in individuals with rosacea. This may be a contributing factor to rosacea. 

Who is at Risk? 

Approximately fourteen million Americans have rosacea. The majority of these individuals are unaware they even have this condition. 

In most cases, this condition develops in women.

Men with rosacea tend to have more severe symptoms.

Rosacea affects individuals of every race and age including teenagers and children, however certain factors are common: 

  • Between 30 and 50 years of age
  • Fair-skinned, and often have blonde hair and blue eyes
  • From Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry
  • Likely to have someone in their family tree with rosacea

What Causes Rosacea Flare-Ups? 

What causes rosacea flareups is actually a complicated question because there are so many different factors. 

The most common causes include:

  • Intense exercise
  • Emotional stress
  • Hot foods and beverages
  • Heavy exposure to the wind and sun
  • Spicy foods
  • Consuming alcohol, especially red wine

Although there are no definitive answers for determining what causes rosacea flare-ups for everyone, the cause is usually found in environmental factors or your lifestyle.

Your best option is to figure out what is triggering your rosacea by monitoring when flareups occur and making personal records. 

This will enable you to avoid your triggers and decrease the risk of flare-ups and help your dermatologist to make the right treatment plan for you. 

Treatments for Rosacea Flare-ups

Although there is currently no cure for rosacea, medical therapy has the power to either reverse or control the symptoms and signs.

If you think you may have rosacea, you need to speak with a medical professional. 

A thorough examination will be performed to help diagnose the symptoms and signs of rosacea. You will need to answer questions regarding your medical history. 

There is no specific test available for the diagnosis of rosacea other than a thorough examination of the visible signs and physical symptoms. 

The treatment for rosacea is dependent on the symptoms and signs you are experiencing. One of the most common treatments is medications. 

The physician may prescribe either topical or oral medications for the redness, pimples, and bumps that are so common with this condition. This helps control the condition and can keep your rosacea under control. 

Rosacea Flare-ups

Treatment can result in control of your symptoms and signs of rosacea.

In some more serious cases, a laser can be used for the removal of any visible blood vessels. Which will decrease the amount of redness in your face. 

If you have rosacea, you may or may not be experiencing any visible symptoms. But if you’re suffering from rosacea, reach out to us at the Dermatology Center of Acadiana today and schedule a consultation!

The right treatment plan can make all the difference in improving your day-to-day quality of life and even eliminating physical symptoms entirely.