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  • Sana Skin clinic

Could your Acne in fact be Rosacea?

Updated: Jun 20

Often confused as acne, let's shed some light on this common skin condition..

What is it?

Rosacea (pronounced “roh-ZAY-sha”) is a skin condition that refers to a range of symptoms that generally begin with modest redness on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin.

As the disease progresses symptoms typically worsen to include persistent erythema (redness) of the nose and cheeks and small blood vessels may begin to become more prominent.

At these later stages, watery pustules or papules (pimples) may become apparent, often worsening as a result of aggravating factors including but not limited to; exercise, consumption of coffee, stress, alcohol and spicy foods, excessively hot showers and prolonged exposure to UV rays. Diffused redness is also an indicator of collagen loss, which leads to thin skin density and weakened support of the capillary network.

Who can get Rosacea?

Although rosacea may develop in many ways and at any age, patient surveys indicate that it typically begins any time after age 30 as flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go.

Although rosacea can affect all segments of the population and all skin types, individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are believed to be at greatest risk. The disorder is more frequently diagnosed in women, but tends to be more severe in men. There is also evidence that rosacea may tend to run in families, and may be especially prevalent in people of northern or eastern European descent.

While the cause of rosacea is unknown and there is no cure, knowledge of its signs and symptoms has advanced to where they can be effectively controlled with professional treatments and lifestyle changes.

Left untreated, studies have shown that over time the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. Inflammatory bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases — particularly in men — the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. In as many as 50 percent of patients the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.

Stages of Rosacea

mild - moderate - severe

What should I look for?

Rosacea can vary from one individual to another, and in most cases, some rather than all the potential signs and symptoms appear.

According to a consensus committee and review panel of 28 medical experts worldwide, diagnosis requires at least one diagnostic sign or two major signs of rosacea. Various secondary signs and symptoms may also develop but are not diagnostic.

Diagnostic signs of rosacea

(The presence of either of these signs is diagnostic of rosacea)

  • Persistent redness

  • Persistent redness is the most common individual sign of rosacea and may resemble blush or sunburn that doesn’t go away - typically sitting across the nose and cheeks

  • Skin thickening

  • The skin may thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, most commonly on the nose (known as rhinopehyma, pronounced ‘rye-no-FY-muh’). This condition is less common but can lead to facial disfigurement and inadequate nasal airflow if severe

Major signs of rosacea

(The presence of at least two of these signs is diagnostic of rosacea)

  • Flushing

  • Many people with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing/flushing. This facial redness may be accompanied by a sense of heat, warmth or burning that comes and goes and is often an early feature of the disorder

  • Bumps and pimples

  • Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stunning may occur

  • Visible blood vessels

  • In many people with rosacea, prominent and visible small blood vessels call telangiectasia (pronounced ‘tell-ANN-jeck-TAY-zha’) appear on the cheeks, nasal bridge and other areas of the central face

  • Eye irritation - In many rosacea patients, the eyes may be irritated and appear watery or bloodshot, a condition commonly known as ocular rosacea. The eyelids also may become red and swollen, and styes are common. Crusts and scale may accumulate around the eyelids or eyelashes, and patients may notice visible blood vessels around the lid margins. Severe cases can result in corneal damage and loss of visual acuity without medical help

Secondary signs and symptoms

(These may appear with one or more of the diagnostic or major signs)

  • Burning or stinging

  • Burning or stinging sensations may often occur on the face. Itching or a feeling of tightness may also develop

  • Swelling

  • Facial swelling, known as oedema, may accompany other signs of rosacea or occur independently. Raised red patches, known as plaques may develop without changes in the surrounding skin

  • Dryness

  • The central facial skin may be rough and appear scaly despite some patients complaining of oily skin.

In rare cases, the signs and symptoms of rosacea can develop beyond the face, most commonly on the neck, chest, scalp or ears.

- A full professional skin analysis, including diagnostic imaging will give you the clarity needed to proceed looking into treatment options.

How to treat Rosacea?

Whilst there is currently no cure for rosacea, the team at Sana skin clinic can certainly help manage it. The focus is on education, keeping the skin calm, strengthening the skins barrier with targeted in clinic treatments, correct skincare prescription, internal naturopathic support and avoiding any aggravating factors.

Cellular health, dietary intake such as essential fatty acids and optimal gut health is vital to improve and manage Rosacea.

Sana skin clinic offers tailored skin programs to address and combine all levels of care in their HEAL Program and complimentary consultations are available for bookings online

Using the custom compounded dermatological ranges of Dermaviduals, we are able to provide a unique customized routine for each skin that comes to see us, this allows us to treat rosacea through the use of specialty products whilst also customizing to what each specific rosacea skin needs.

Most important when treating rosacea is avoiding ingredients that are leading causes of irritations and contributing to severe skin conditions. This is why Dermaviduals is the perfect range for us to treat rosacea clients as the products contain..​

  • NO fragrances

  • NO preservatives

  • NO emulsifiers

  • NO colours

  • NO mineral oils

  • NO silicones

Once the inflammation has subsided we can begin preparation for more advances treatments options, such as IPL treatments to help reduce the appearance of the broken/dilated capillaries that can appear across the cheeks and nose.

In summary, there is no cure for Rosacea but with knowledge and the right tailored care this condition can be managed well. Feel free to reach out of book a consultation at Sana skin clinic if you are ready for our team to help you.


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