A common, relapsing chronic skin condition that mainly affects the face…

In detail, what is Rosacea?

Rosacea means ‘red as a rose’. It is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the skin on the face, causing reddening and flushing. Rosacea sufferers have good days and bad days, given that flare-ups are erratic.

Rosacea skin

Rosacea skin

healthy skin

healthy skin

Rosacea skin

If left untreated, rosacea can worsen. Medical science distinguishes 4 stages of rosacea:

  •    The first is known as couperose, where small red veins appear on the face. During this stage redness is usually intermittent.

  • The second stage is when the redness persists on the forehead, nose, cheeks or chin.
  • In the third stage small red bumps appear on the face, along with thin red lines caused by small dilated blood vessels.

  • The fourth stage causes permanent bumps and eventually thickened skin around the nose

  • Rosacea can understandably make one feel embarrassed, as it clearly blemishes your face. Many people suffer from this skin affliction in silence, as they’re not aware that the symptoms can be treated successfully.
What are the signs and symptoms of rosacea?

Rosacea can vary substantially from one person to another. Most people with rosacea will have some (rather than all) of these signs and symptoms.

Primary signs of rosacea:

  • Flushing – Many people with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. This facial redness may come and go, and is often the earliest sign of the disorder.
  • Persistent redness – Persistent facial redness is the most common individual sign of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that doesn’t go away.
  • Bumps and pimples – Small, red, solid bumps or pus-filled pimples often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stinging may occur.
  • Visible blood vessels – In many people with rosacea small blood vessels become visible on the skin.

Other potential signs and symptoms:

  • Eye irritation – In many people with rosacea the eyes may be irritated and appear watery or bloodshot, a condition known as ocular rosacea. The eyelids also may become red and swollen, and sties are common. Severe cases can result in corneal damage and vision loss without medical help.
  • Burning or stinging – These sensations may often occur on the face. Itchiness or a feeling of tightness may also develop.
  • Dry appearance – The central facial skin may be rough, and thus appear to be very dry.
  • Plaques – Raised red patches, known as plaques, may develop without changes in the surrounding skin.
  • Skin thickening – The skin may thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, most commonly on the nose. This condition, known as rhinophyma, affects more men than women.
  • Swelling – Facial swelling, known as edema, may accompany other signs of rosacea or occur independently.
  • Signs beyond the face – Rosacea signs and symptoms may also develop beyond the face, most commonly on the neck, chest, scalp or ears.
What causes rosacea to break out?

Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, there are various theories. Facial blood vessels may dilate too easily, and the increased blood near the skin surface makes the skin appear red and flushed. Various lifestyle and environmental factors – called triggers – can increase this redness response.

Some of the most common rosacea triggers include exposure to sunlight, stress, strenuous exercise, hot or cold weather, hot drinks, alcohol and caffeine, certain foods (such as spicy foods).

Is rosacea contagious?

No. Rosacea is not considered an infectious disease.

Is rosacea affected by diet or alcohol?

Yes, if you suffer from rosacea you should avoid consuming meals with hot spices. Alcohol can also trigger or aggravate the condition.

Can rosacea be treated with antibiotics?

Antibiotics are sometimes used as a treatment for severe rosacea, especially if the symptoms are accompanied by pimples and pustules. Antibiotics might help calm the inflammation and clear pimples and redness from your face. Antibiotics are prescribed under the discretion of your GP.

Are there self-care tips to prevent rosacea?

The best way to avoid flushing and redness caused by rosacea may be to avoid the environmental or lifestyle factors that cause a flare-up in a particular individual. By keeping a diary people can identify and then avoid their personal rosacea triggers.

The most common rosacea triggers include sun exposure, stress, hot or cold weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol, hot baths and spicy foods. Using sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection might prevent the worsening of rosacea symptoms from sun exposure.

What triggers Rosacea?

What causes rosacea?

One of the causes of rosacea is a lack of ceramides. These are 'waxy' molecules that help bond skin cells together to form a protective barrier and seal in moisture. When ceramides disappear, the skin becomes dryer and more susceptible to inflammation and infection.

What triggers rosacea?

Once the underlying skin disorder is present, rosacea is mainly triggered by external factors. Therefore, if you are able to avoid these triggers, you should be able to control the condition. It is easier to manage rosacea in this way than it is to manage other skin conditions, like psoriasis or eczema.

Weather conditions are known to be a culprit. If you have rosacea you should try to avoid hot or cold weather extremes

Another trigger can come from your diet. Foods and beverages to avoid include:

  • hot drinks and soup
  • tea and coffee
  • spicy food
  • alcohol, especially red wine

Certain medicines – like the ones used to enlarge blood vessels or lower cholesterol – can cause flare-ups. Cosmetics containing alcohol or perfume irritate the skin and aggravate rosacea.

Stress is also a common trigger of rosacea. Additionally, intense workouts in the gym or other excessive exercise overheat the body and increase redness.

What is the treatment for rosacea in children?

Rosacea is rarely seen with children. The majority of people affected by rosacea are adults aged 30 to 50. Still, children can develop rosacea, although the symptoms are often mistaken for other, more common skin disorders.

Children with rosacea on their face should use sunblock to help prevent skin irritation. Older children can use the medication recommended for adults, which can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Who has Rosacea

Rosacea is a rather common skin condition: 10% of the world's population suffers from it. There is some evidence that a predisposition for rosacea is genetic: if it runs in your family, you’re more likely to get it.

Rocasea is most common among people over 30 who have fair skin. It normally starts around the age of 30 and is more common in people with fair skin, and affects three times more women than men. It rarely affects children [12].

How do I use Dermalex rosacea cream?

Dermalex Rosacea cream is formulated for rosacea-prone and sensitive skin. It helps prevent redness.

Apply Dermalex Rosacea cream twice daily after cleansing the skin. Massage gently into the affected areas (avoiding the area near the eyes). It can be used as often as needed and is suitable for long-term use [13].

Please read the full instruction for use before using the product.

Can I use makeup to cover rosacea?

Yes, but be very careful when selecting your make-up products. The more ingredients and products you apply to your skin, the higher the likelihood that an ingredient or product may aggravate it.

Before using a new product on your face always test it in a peripheral area such as the neck or arm to make sure your skin doesn't react to it. Avoid any products that burn, sting or irritate your skin.

How to treat Rosacea

Rosacea cannot be cured, but it can be managed successfully. We advise treating rosacea at an early stage - not only to relieve the symptoms, but also to prevent the condition from getting worse.

The first step is to identify the triggers of your rosacea and avoid them. Sun exposure is a common trigger of rosacea, for instance, so daily sun protection for your skin is vital.

The next thing you can do is care for your skin properly, using gentle products for rosacea-prone skin.

Topical creams

The third way to treat rosacea is through the use of topical creams. These primarily reduce the inflammation and redness.


Antibiotics are often prescribed to tackle the inflammation. These can be topical (applied directly to the skin) or taken in pill form. They aren’t without drawbacks, however, as they also eliminate healthy, natural protective microflora.

Laser therapy and cosmetic surgery

Laser therapy reduces the incidence of visible red blood vessels. In severe cases cosmetic surgery may be used to reduce thickening of the nose.

A word on steroid treatments

While steroids (primarily hydrocortisone) can be used temporarily to ease the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema, they should not be used to treat rosacea. In fact, they can aggravate rosacea, as they cause similar effects. They can cause couperose, pustules and reddening of the skin on the face - a condition known as steroid rosacea.


How to prevent rosacea

There’s no fool proof method to prevent yourself from getting rosacea, but you can avoid the things that trigger flare-ups, like spicy food, hot drinks, stress and intense exercise. Make sure to use daily sun protection, as exposure to the sun is one of the main triggers of rosacea.

Rosacea is a dry skin condition, so we strongly advise that you use a moisturizing cream on your face. Avoid cosmetic products that contain alcohol or perfumes, and use soaps and shower gels that don’t dehydrate your skin.

You can use make-up to help cover any patches of persistently red skin. If your condition is more severe, there are corrective camouflage creams with a green tint designed to conceal the red skin. Clean your eyelids regularly if the rosacea is causing them to be inflamed.

As with all skin conditions, a healthy diet, enough sleep and regular gentle exercise can help improve the symptoms of rosacea.

Dermalex Rosacea

Dermalex Rosacea is a mild, highly effective cream to help relieve rosacea symptoms [13]. It does not contain steroids, which are contraindicated [14], or antibiotics.

It works through a unique triple action:

1. Helps make the skin more resistant to triggers

The loss of ceramides results in a thinner top layer of the skin (the so-called epidermis). This makes the skin more vulnerable to external irritants that cause flushing. Our product helps protect the skin with an invisible film containing UVA and UVB filters.

2. Helps repair the skin barrier function

The ceramides in the cream help to restore the weakened skin barrier. This is important to prevent further moisture loss and to keep external threats from entering and causing new flare-ups.

3. Helps relieve the symptoms

Dermalex Rosacea helps reduce the redness, irritation and swelling. It moisturises the skin, helping to provide a soothing effect and camouflaging the redness.

12. Berg, M. and S. Liden, An epidemiological study of rosacea. Acta Derm Venereol, 1989. 69(5): p. 419-23.

13. Sparavigna, A., B. Tenconi, and I. De Ponti, Preliminary open-label clinical evaluation of the soothing and reepithelialization properties of a novel topical formulation for rosacea. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol, 2014. 7: p. 275-83.

14. Chosidow, O., B. Lebrun-Vignes, and I. Bourgault-Villada, [Local corticosteroid therapy in dermatology]. Presse Med, 1999. 28(37): p. 2050-6.


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