Health and FitnessMedical

Understanding Rosacea: The What, Why & How?


Papulopustular Rosacea is the common name used for a chronic inflammatory condition, which disproportionately affects people with lighter skin tone. A Clinical Research Institute in Michigan, United States has estimated that more than 16 million of the population is affected by rosacea flare-ups, with 18% population affected worldwide.

Rosacea is often believed to affect women more than men, but studies have revealed an approximately equal gender distribution. While Rosacea does not cause any major harm to your health, as a result, it can diminish your self-confidence the time your symptoms flare up.

The purpose of this blog is to offer all the information you’ll need about Rosacea. This includes what causes the flare-ups, and what could possibly help limit the presence of flushing and redness associated with the flare-ups.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a persistent chronic inflammatory skin condition. It usually appears on the face, specifically the cheeks, however, similarly it can also affect the ears, chest, and back. Individuals around the age of 30 are significantly observed to be more impacted, however, It could in fact show up in your late 40s and 50s.

Subtypes of Rosacea:

  • Subtype 1: Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (ETR)

    The most well-known type of Rosacea, is presented as persistent facial redness and flushing accompanied by burning and stinging sensation. Noticeable broken vessels are a regular effect for ETR victims.

  • Subtype 2: Papulopustular Rosea

    With this subtype, sufferers battle with skin inflammation like acne spots (Rosacea flare-ups) and breakouts.

  • Subtype 3: Rhinophyma Rosacea

    This subtype is much rare than other types of Rosacea. however, it generally influences men. Presented as roughness and thickening of the skin around the nose, giving a bulging and bumpy appearance.


  • Subtype 4: Ocular Rosacea

    Comparatively very rare, this subtype affects the skin around the eyes, causing dryness and itchiness around the eyes with a watery appearance. Recurrent eye infections are a common system.

Symptoms of Rosacea:

Symptoms range from subtle to intense. And they are different with each subtype. These symptoms might blow up for weeks to months but then disappear for some time. Most often presented as

  • Burning sensation: The skin around the affected area may feel hot and tender.
  • Facial blushing or flushing: Persistent flushing appears in the central part of your face.
  • Visible broken blood vessels: Small blood vessels of your nose and cheeks break and become visible.
  • Zits or Breakouts (Pus-filled bumps): Pimples on the face that resemble acne. These bumps sometimes contain pus.
  • Enlarged nose: Rosacea can thicken the skin on the nose, making the nose seem bulbous (rhinophyma). This happens more frequently in men than in women.


  • The pathogenesis of Rosacea flare-ups is believed to be multifactorial. This happens for several reasons like genetic, environmental, or a combination of various factors.
    Genetic factors:

    There is a report that 10-20% of patients are experiencing rosacea as a result of family records and increased occurrence of this condition indicates a genetic factor but a few studies cannot determine the real reason.

    Overactive Immune system:

    Rosacea can also occur as a result of defense mechanisms inside our body in response to microorganisms.

    Environmental factors:

    Stress, Alcohol consumption, Sun exposure, Medications, Hot and Spicy foods, and beverages, certain beauty products are also believed to cause flare-ups as well.

    UV exposure is a significant variable for the pathophysiology of rosacea. Patients with rosacea report that the state of their skin deteriorates in the wake of being out in the daylight.

Triggering factors:

Anything that causes a flare-up is known as a trigger, they appear inappropriately among the population.
Here are some of the most common ones we know:

  • Spicy meals and hot beverages
  • Alcohol, especially Red Wine 
  • Extreme temperature or Sun Exposure
  • Anxiety or Stress
  • Workout 
  • Medications e.g., Vasodilators, etc
  • Cosmetics & Skincare products

Is there a Cure for Rosacea?

There’s no cure for rosacea, but treatment has some control over and decreases the signs and side effects. The duration of the treatment relies upon the type and severity of your signs and side effects. Reappearance is common.

How to Care/Manage Rosacea Flare-ups?

Management of rosacea focuses majorly around controlling signs and side effects. Most frequently it’s a combination of good skincare and a few prescribed drugs. Realizing what sets off your Rosacea and simplifying a few changes can help reduce flares, improve the outcome of the treatment, and prevent Rosacea from worsening.

Lifestyle changes:

Some self-care can help overcome the symptoms of flare-ups.

  • Protect your face by applying a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen and generously every day prior to going outside. Use sunscreen after any topical medicine you have been prescribed for your face, and prior to putting on any cosmetic products, for instance.
  • Try to avoid as much direct exposure to the sun as possible. For example, you can do this by wearing a cap when out during mid-day or else wearing long sleeves, etc. In chilly, breezy weather, wear a scarf or a mask.
  • Treat your skin gently and with care. Try not to touch or rub your face repeatedly and excessively. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser twice every day and moisturize well. Use water-based and fragrance-free products if possible and avoid those that contain other skin irritants, such as sulfates, petroleum, fragrance, alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. etc.
  • A few beauty products and techniques might help with hiding the presence of skin flushing.


As much as caution is needed to overcome this condition, there are certain prescribed drugs to relieve the symptoms.

Topical Creams:

For mild to moderate symptoms, go the topical route. There are multiple ointments that could possibly help you with your flare-ups. These include Brimonidine (Mirvaso) and oxymetazoline (Rhofade), which reduce flushing by constricting blood vessels.

Metronidazole 0.75% and Azelaic acid 15%, could help control acne due to Rosacea.


Doxycycline or tetracycline, for moderate to severe conditions to control Rosacea flare-ups.

Anti-acne drugs:

Severe Rosacea that doesn’t respond to other treatments, may be controlled by certain powerful oral acne drugs. Erythema and flushing are additionally decreased by taking non-selective beta-blockers and alpha-adrenergic agonists.

Laser Therapy:

Laser treatment focuses on side effects like redness, patches, thickening skin, and noticeable veins. The lasers use heat from frequencies of light to eliminate small red veins from the face. The outcome of this approach is extremely successful and generally painless in treating rosacea side effects.

Differentiating Rosacea Acne Vs. Acne Vulgaris:

When people hear Acne Vulgaris or just Acne, they think about breakouts. However, there is another type of skin breakout caused by Rosacea, that requires a different type of treatment. The redness from acne rosacea can spread further from the cheeks to the forehead, chin, and nose, whereas the redness from acne vulgaris stays where the breakout is located.

While the two are confused by their outlook, Both conditions are characteristically different in the way they influence the skin. It’s important to differentiate the two.

Acne Rosacea vs. Vulgaris Acne:


Acne Rosacea Acne Vulgaris
Chronic Inflammatory Disease
Papules and pustules
Triggers UV light, heat, alcohol, anxiety, caffeine, spicy foods  Mixed
Occurrence  Episodically  Chronic
Area affected  Central Face  Generalized


The Takeaway

To sum it up, Rosacea is a common extreme aggravation on the skin and may lead to significant distress. There is no Proper treatment for Rosacea flare-ups. However, We can control it. Focusing on the severities and complexities of the condition and maintaining a good lifestyle. There are multiple Clinical Trials for Papulopustular Rosacea Study near you that may be able to help you and countless others suffering from this skin condition. Keeping up with a few fundamental standards can help battle against this condition.

Also Read: 7 Ultimate Skincare Guidelines For Your Sensitive Skin

Moin Tabish

Moin Tabish is a Software Engineer and a Digital Content Producer And Marketer Particularly related to medical technology, Software Development, and More.

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