What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common condition predominately affecting middle aged fair-skinned people. It usually affects the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin.

It is characterised by small red spots, pustules, flushing and redness. Although rosacea is more common in women, it is often more severe in men.

What causes rosacea?

The cause of rosacea is not known. There are a number of factors that may contribute to its development including genetics, environmental factors, inflammation and blood vessel formation.

How does rosacea present?

There are 2 key components to rosacea

Papulopustular component

  • Red papules and pustules typically affecting cheeks, nose and forehead

Erythrotelangiectactic (vascular) component

  • Flushing or blushing of face
  • Fine blood vessels present all the time
  • Flushing exacerbated by sun exposure, alcohol, hot or spicy foods

What treatments are available for rosacea?

Prescription treatment options include

  • Topical creams
  • Antibiotic tablets
  • Isotretinoin
  • Medications to reduce flushing
  • Vascular laser for blood vessels and redness
  • Brimonidine gel

Rosacea Do’s and Don’t’s


  • Use a soap free cleanser and apply products gently with fingers
  • Choose broad spectrum sunscreen
  • Choose cosmetics with protective silicones
  • Choose a light foundation and set with powder
  • Use green tinted makeup for redness
  • Avoid waterproof cosmetics and heavy foundation


  • Wash your face in a hot shower
  • Rub your face with a facecloth
  • Use harsh products or products containing acetone or alcohol
  • Use steroid based creams (unless prescribed by your doctor)
  • Use greasy moisturisers
  • Have aggressive facials or microdermabrasion

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