If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you either have rosacea or think there’s a possibility you may have it. Rosacea is characterized by facial redness (caused by overactive blood vessels under the skin that dilate and cause flushing), red bumps, and pimples. In honor of National Rosacea Awareness Month and in an effort to gain a better understanding of this disorder, here are 8 surprising rosacea facts you may not already know.

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood disorder of the facial skin that is estimated to affect well over 16 million Americans–and most of them don’t know it.*

1. The onset can be mistaken for acne or sensitive skin.

Rosy cheeks in your teens and twenties can be mistaken for sensitive skin, and rosacea’s pus-filled bumps can be mistaken for acne. Early detection is important because treating rosacea the same way you would acne will exacerbate the problem, resulting in dry, irritated skin and no improvement in the pimple-like bumps.

2. It’s more common in those who have fair skin.

Rosacea can affect anyone regardless of their skin tone, but it’s more commonly diagnosed in people with fair skin since the flushing is more noticeable on those with lighter complexions. If you have darker skin and have noticed a redness to your complexion that won’t go away, it may be time to talk to your dermatologist.

3. It’s genetic.

If you don’t have the rosacea gene, you will never get it. If you do, your genetic makeup will determine the severity of the disorder.

4. There are a ton of triggers.

Stress, spicy foods, alcohol (especially red wine), hot beverages, extremes in temperature are all triggers that can cause a rosacea flare-up. Basically, anything that will cause your face to flush is a trigger.

5. Overexposure to the sun will make rosacea worse.

No matter how severe your case, too much sun will cause your rosacea to flare-up. Daily application of sunscreen, SPF 30 or above, is recommended. It’s best to go with the natural sunscreens (they contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) since chemical sunscreens have been known to cause irritation in rosacea patients.

6. To reduce inflammation, use products that replenish hydration.

Opt for hydrating cleansers and with moisturizing ingredients, as they will help to calm your skin while cleansing your pores. It is important for rosacea patients to avoid face wash with physical exfoliants (jojoba beads or crushed shells), chemical scrubs (like salicylic acid) and alcohol-based toners.

7. There is no cure for rosacea.

Exact causes of rosacea are unknown, and therefore the disorder remains incurable. Keeping it under control is a matter of avoiding triggers and using anti-inflammatory topical products that help to soothe the skin.

Are you having trouble reducing the irritation and redness caused by moderate to severe rosacea? Consider enrolling in a paid clinical trial at DermResearch.

8. If left untreated, symptoms tend to get worse.

Don’t ignore the early warning signs, like prolonged flushing. If there’s even a small chance you think you may have rosacea, get it checked out. Over time, rosacea can become more severe and the longer you wait to treat it, the more difficult it becomes to reduce the redness. In extreme cases, the nose can become swollen and bumpy from excess tissue (rhinophyma) and eyes can become irritated and bloodshot.

Source: What Is Rosacea? National Rosacea Society

Participate in a Research Study

Austin area residents: are you or someone you know struggling with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, or rosacea? Participating in a research study provides an opportunity to be involved in the process of discovering new treatments while receiving compensation for time and travel. Inquire about eligibility by calling DermResearch at 512-349-0500 or view our current studies.


@dermresearchTX wants to know:
What treatment have you found to be most successful at reducing your facial redness?