Why is Redness From Rosacea So Difficult to Treat?

Aug 01, 2023
Why is Redness From Rosacea So Difficult to Treat?
Skin redness from rosacea can be embarrassing and hard to eliminate — but why? Keep reading to learn more about rosacea and why clearing the redness is difficult, even with expert treatment.

Rosacea may not seem that common, but according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, more than 14 million people are living with the condition in the US.

Unfortunately, scientists don't completely understand the cause of rosacea, which sometimes makes it hard to treat. However, there's hope if you live with embarrassing redness on your face or body.

Our Dermatology Center of Worcester team specializes in many skin conditions, including rosacea. Dr. Camille I. Roberts is our in-house board-certified dermatologist, specializing in cutting-edge treatments for diseases like rosacea.

The facts on rosacea

Rosacea is a type of skin condition related to inflammation that often causes redness and other facial, neck, and chest symptoms. Unfortunately, rosacea is a chronic condition we can't cure, although treatments help manage symptoms.

Women with fair skin over 30 are the most commonly affected by rosacea. However, it can happen to anyone, although it's rare in children and teens.

Four primary forms of rosacea affect the body, and they include:

  • Ocular
  • Papulopustular
  • Phymatous
  • Erythematotelangiectatic

Each form of rosacea affects your skin differently and appears in various body areas. Redness is one of the most common symptoms of rosacea, along with others such as:

  • Skin flushing
  • Pimples
  • Red bumps
  • Small visible blood vessels
  • Swelling
  • Skin thickening
  • Dry skin

You may also experience eye irritation when you're living with ocular rosacea. They may also water constantly and are extremely sensitive to light.

What causes rosacea?

We still don't completely understand what causes rosacea to happen in some people. However, scientists have determined that the condition may be genetic, meaning it runs in families. Other causes may include:

  • H. pylori infection in the gut
  • Skin mites (Demodex)
  • Malfunctioning proteins (cathelicidin)
  • Immune system dysfunction

Rosacea may be the body's response to any of the above problems, and you may have more than one. Dr. Roberts evaluates your symptoms and health history to narrow down the cause of your symptoms.

Why is rosacea hard to treat?

The redness related to rosacea is hard to treat because the cause is often unknown. We must identify the root cause and provide the proper treatment to treat any condition.

However, unless we find an H. pylori infection or an immune system problem, the cause may remain unknown. Certain things can trigger rosacea symptoms to worsen, making things difficult, including:

  • Stress
  • Sun exposure
  • Alcohol
  • Hormonal changes
  • Spicy foods
  • Temperature changes

On top of not knowing the cause of rosacea, we also have to narrow down what triggers your symptoms to get worse. Because of this, getting rid of the redness can be tricky and take several attempts at treatment.

Understanding treatment options

The good news is that we can manage rosacea effectively with lifestyle changes and professional treatment. Dr. Roberts evaluates your symptoms to determine the best treatment for your needs.

At our practice, we offer topical creams and treatments, oral medications, and light therapy to ease the redness and symptoms of rosacea. Eye compresses and medicated drops help with ocular rosacea.

Learning what triggers your symptoms is an essential aspect of treatment. Using sunscreen, avoiding spicy foods, and managing stress can help you reduce redness related to rosacea.

A combination of lifestyle changes and medications is often necessary to relieve your symptoms long-term.

Don't continue to suffer from rosacea — call our Worcester, Massachusetts office at 508-452-2702 for an appointment or request a consultation online today.