You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

10 rosacea myths that need to be debunked

Netdoctor (UK) logo Netdoctor (UK) 12/10/2017 Jenny Cook

10 rosacea myths that need to be debunked © Volanthevist / Getty 10 rosacea myths that need to be debunked Rosacea is a very common skin condition that causes a hot, sensitive rash to appear on the sufferer's body – typically on their face. It is thought to affect up to one in 10 people in the UK but, despite its prevalence, it remains shrouded in mystery. 

Here, we speak to Dr Stefanie Williams – dermatologist and medical director at Eudelo – to debunk some of the more common misconceptions surrounding the condition, which can often cause embarrassment, anxiety and low self-esteem. 

Myth 1: It's caused by alcohol…

"Although the exact cause is unknown, rosacea is a chronic skin condition linked to a genetic predisposition for rosacea," says Dr Williams. "Alcohol, in particular red wine, does not cause rosacea, but it may trigger are-ups in pre-existing." 

Myth 2: …Or poor hygiene

Rosacea has nothing to do with hygiene, but is actually caused by a genetic predisposition.

"However, certain environmental and lifestyle triggers – such as overloading the skin with too-heavy moisturisers – may trigger a flare-up. Using irritating skincare may cause rosacea skin to sting and potentially are up." 

Myth 3: You should avoid coffee

"Hot drinks including coffee may cause facial flushing and with this potentially a rosacea flare-up (in some patients, not all!). However, it's more the heat than the caffeine. If this is a problem for the individual patient, then think about avoiding hot drinks in general."

© Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK)

Myth 4: …And spicy foods

"Rosacea is caused by a genetic predisposition for the disease. Spicy food does not cause rosacea, but it may trigger flushing or flare-ups in pre-existing rosacea."

Myth 5: Rosacea always causes red skin

Rosacea might start with flushing or fixed redness (also known as 'vascular rosacea'), but Dr Stefanie says there are other, lesser known, symptoms.

"These include 'breakouts' with red bumps and pus-filled spots that may look similar to acne ('known as inflammatory rosacea'), and there might also be eye symptoms such as irritation or inflamed eyelids, and / or a thickening of the nose skin ('rhinophyma')."

Myth 6: Only laser treatment will help

While laser treatments are a viable treatment option for vascular, inflammatory lesions such as spots, bumps and pimples need a different treatment. 

"If you have any inflammatory lesions, you shouldn't even have laser or IPL at that point (first these have to be cleared!). Treatment options for inflammatory lesions include prescription creams or tablets such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or vitamin A derivatives." 

Myth 7: Men and young people can't have rosacea

Although it's true that rosacea is more common from 'midlife', it does not mean that people under the age of 30 can't get rosacea.

"Additionally, although rosacea is more common in women (especially for fair skin types), men can suffer with rosacea too. In fact, male cases are often more severe."

© Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK)

Myth 8: It's contagious

"Not true. However, rosacea can run in families." 

Myth 9: It's purely cosmetic

It is important to take rosacea seriously and treat it properly as, if left untreated, it can worsen over time. Dr Stefanie warns:

"It is much easier to control and manage rosacea if treatment is started early enough." 

Myth 10: It's curable

Unfortunately, there is no way to switch rosacea off for good, as it's a chronic condition with genetic background.

"Don't fall for miracle rosacea 'cures'. The good news is that dermatologists can help you take control of the condition, so that it might not be visible. However, flare ups are still possible if maintenance treatment is stopped or the skin is exposed to trigger factors such as unsuitable skincare."

Related: The Secret to Health and Happiness? Laughing at Yourself. (provided by NBC News)

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Netdoctor

Netdoctor (UK)
Netdoctor (UK)
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon