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Rosacea Treatment

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that commonly affects the face by causing blushing, flushing, dryness, or swelling. It may also increase the visibility of blood vessels (couperose) on the facial skin. It is generally identified by redness on the nose and cheeks and sometimes on the forehead and chin. In some cases, it may cause small, pus-filled pimples in the affected area.

The symptoms of rosacea usually come and go. A flare-up of symptoms can last from a few weeks to a few months before subsiding. As reported by some people, emotional stress or excess sun exposure can increase the risk of a flare-up.

Although rosacea is not curable in a traditional sense, clinical treatments are available to manage its symptoms. Medication, self-care, or a combination of both may also help.

What are the Symptoms of Rosacea?

The initial symptoms of rosacea include episodic flushing or small pimples or bumps. Other symptoms, such as the ones mentioned below, appear as the condition worsens

  • Persistent or permanent redness.
  • Stinging or burning sensation in the affected areas.
  • Papules and pustules spreading over a larger area.
  • Small blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin.

Rosacea Causes and Risk Factors

Scientists haven’t been able to establish the exact cause of rosacea as yet. Many experts in medical circles believe that this condition results from a combination of environmental and hereditary factors. Other contributing factors include

  • Abnormalities in the blood vessels.
  • Microscopic mites.
  • Skin peptides.
  • Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

Triggers that may prompt or worsen rosacea symptoms are

  • Stress.
  • Extreme Temperatures.
  • Strenuous physical activity.
  • Exposure to sunlight.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Hot drinks.
  • Hot baths.
  • Menopause.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Some medical conditions.
  • Certain medications.

Types of Rosacea

Rosacea is generally classified into four types based on the symptoms and complications they cause. A patient might have symptoms of more than one type of rosacea. But in most cases, one type is predominant.

Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea

This type of rosacea may lead to small vessels beneath the facial skin becoming enlarged and visible, causing persistent redness on the face. Without treatment, Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea may spread over a larger area or become more persistent or even permanent.

Papulopustular Rosacea

This rosacea is characterized by pustules or papules that appear like whiteheads. These growths can be red and swollen bumps or pus-filled pimples. For this reason, these symptoms are often confused with acne. Papulopustular rosacea commonly occurs on the cheeks, forehead, or chin. Sometimes, it may also develop on the neck, chest, or scalp.

Phymatous Rosacea

Phymatous rosacea causes excess tissue formation that leads to skin thickening. It is a rare type of rosacea that commonly affects the nose, making it appear bulbous. This problem is more prevalent in men than in women.

Ocular Rosacea

Ocular rosacea affects the eyes and surrounding skin. It typically causes the eyes to look watery or bloodshot. It may also cause irritation or a burning sensation in the eyes. In some cases, ocular rosacea may cause cyst formation on the eyelids.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are no specific tests to check if you have rosacea. The only way to diagnose is a physical checkup, during which the doctor will visually examine the affected area and check for rosacea and its type. Diagnostic tools like dermatoscopy may be used for a close examination. Based on the evaluation, the doctor will formulate a treatment plan.

Below, we have briefly described treatments and measures to keep rosacea under control.


Topical and oral medication can help control rosacea. After a thorough checkup, your doctor will recommend the most suitable option to help you manage your rosacea symptoms.

Topical solutions that help control mild to moderate rosacea symptoms are as follows

  • Brimonidine (Mirvaso) and oxymetazoline (Rhofade) – These solutions help reduce flushing by constricting dilated blood vessels responsible for flushing.
  • Metronidazole (Metrogel, Noritate), azelaic acid (Azelex, Finacea), and ivermectin (Soolantra) – These topical products help reduce the appearance of pimples caused by mild rosacea.

Oral medications are usually reserved for severer rosacea cases. The most commonly prescribed oral drugs are

  • Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline for treating bumps and pimples caused by moderate to severe rosacea.
  • Oral acne drugs, such as isotretinoin for treating certain rosacea types of severe rosacea (e.g., phymatous rosacea) that cannot be managed with other options.

Please note that oral medications must be used only when prescribed by a qualified dermatologist or other doctor. Isotretinoin is explicitly contraindicated for pregnant women as it can lead to severe birth defects. Doxycycline can also affect the bone and tooth development of the fetus.

Laser Treatment

Lasers can effectively reduce redness on the face caused by dilated blood vessels or improve the appearance of skin damaged by rosacea. This treatment is provided in a clinical setting. During the appointment, a dermatologist directs a laser beam at the affected region. The type of laser to use is determined by the kind of rosacea you have or the treatment goals you want to achieve.

Laser types that are most commonly used to treat rosacea symptoms include the following

  • Pulsed-Dye Laser (PDL) – This laser targets visible blood vessels and constricts them using heat energy.
  • CO2 lasers and Erbium YAG lasers – These lasers help resurface the skin with excess tissue buildup or scarring caused by rosacea flare-ups.

IPL Therapy

IPL (intense pulsed light) uses multiple wavelengths to treat several skin conditions and can effectively manage several rosacea symptoms. It involves directing controlled light flashes at the treatment region. It selectively targets and treats blood vessels underlying the skin surface, reducing the appearance of redness without causing damage to the skin. The skin’s condition and appearance improve over time after the treatment.

It is worth mentioning that IPL therapy might not be suitable for all skin types and doesn’t treat all types of rosacea.

Prevention and Self-Care

General self-care and preventive methods can effectively help avoid rosacea flare-ups. Some guidelines are worth mentioning here.

  • Limit your sun exposure to avoid flare-ups. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher when going out.
  • Reduce stress, as it can trigger rosacea symptoms.
  • Limit your exposure to heat, even during strenuous physical exertions.
  • Be diligent with skin care by using gentle products and staying on top of your skincare routine.
  • Avoid spicy foods, as they can trigger flare-ups.
  • Stay hydrated with cold beverages and water.
  • Protect your skin from extreme temperatures and wind.


The cost of rosacea treatment in Dubai starts from AED 1615. The exact price of the treatment may vary from person to person, depending on the following factors

  • The severity of the condition.
  • The treatment option selected.
  • Treatment area.
  • The geographic location of the clinic or treatment facility.
  • The practitioner’s expertise.

Is there a permanent solution for rosacea?

There is currently no cure for rosacea. However, several treatments – including clinical procedures, medications, and prevention methods – are available to manage its symptoms and avoid flare-ups. These treatments can delay or reduce the intensity of rosacea flare-ups but may not provide permanent relief.

What foods trigger rosacea?

Foods that can trigger rosacea include

  • Cinnamaldehyde-containing foods (such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, and chocolate).
  • Histamine-rich foods (such as aged cheese and processed meats).
  • Spicy foods.
  • Hot drinks.
  • Alcoholic drinks.

Is rosacea a severe health condition?

Rosacea itself is not a severe health condition as it usually only affects your facial skin. However, it may be considered a serious condition based on its implications on emotional health, social interactions, and quality of life. In rare cases, ocular rosacea can cause complications such as corneal thinning and inflammation, which, if left untreated, could lead to vision loss. Moreover, some studies suggest that rosacea may increase the risk of other severe conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and migraine headaches.

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Nicole Zysk
Medical Aesthetician
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Are you worried about rosacea-induced redness and bumpy appearance on your face? Restore your skin’s appearance with rosacea treatments at Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic. For more information, call +971 4 348 5575. To book a consultation online, fill out the form below.

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