What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting the central face areas and most often starts around the age of 30-60. It is a common cause of persistent facial redness and in its initial stages tends to come and go.

Symptoms of flushing, redness and pustules (that look like pimples) are controlled by lifestyle measures (avoiding common triggers like alcohol, excess heat, spicy foods and sun exposure), general skin care, medications and laser treatments.

Rosacea is a common condition affecting about 5% of adults (and occasionally in children) and becomes more common as we age. It is more common in those with fair skin and may be more difficult to recognise in darker skin.

What causes rosacea?

Multiple factors can lead to rosacea:

  • Genetic susceptibility.
  • The altered microbiome of the skin and gut
    Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, gut infection and an increase in a mite called Demodex on the skin may play a role in the inflammation of the skin
  • Altered immune response.
  • This may lead to excessive inflammation, dilation of blood vessels and new blood vessel growth leading to flushing and broken vessels seen in the later stages of rosacea
  • Environmental triggers
  • Triggers include sun exposure, excess heat, exercise, spicy foods, alcohol, air pollution and smoking.
  • Impaired skin barrier
  • This can lead to bacterial and mite overgrowth of the skin to cause inflammation.

What is the treatment for rosacea?

The best treatment combines lifestyle measures, medical-grade skincare and laser procedure.

What is the best skincare for rosacea?

  • Use mild cleansers rather than soap
  • Use physical sunscreen with Zinc Oxide or Titanium dioxide
  • Use an anti-inflammatory agent like salicylic acid, azelaic acid
  • Moisturise frequently to repair and strengthen the skin barrier
  • Avoid the use of topical steroids

Specific measures

For transient flushing

  • Topical Brominidine, to reduce flushing, oral beta blockers

For fixed redness and broken vessels

  • Vascular 532m laser (V laser)
  • Clear and Brilliant laser

For inflammatory pustules

  • Topical Ivermectin, topical metronidazole (prescription medication)
  • Oral retinoid (a type of Vitamin A, prescription only)

How do we treat rosacea, broken vessels and facial redness at The Marr Clinic?

Although rosacea is not a life-threatening condition, there is a psychosocial burden on a client. At the Marr Clinic, your treatment starts with a skincare consultation with one of our experienced practitioners. We aim for complete resolution of clinical features as this has been shown to prolong the time to symptom relapse and have a greater positive impact on the quality of life. Existing treatments for rosacea for example with lasers and light devices such as Clear and Brilliant, V Laser and LED, are very effective for the treatment of rosacea. However, it only targets one feature which is broken vessels. That means that a combination of treatments with skincare and laser are required to effectively treat rosacea.