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Identifying Mild Rosacea and Seeking Treatment

By Dr Kelvin Chua
Identifying Mild Rosacea and Seeking Treatment

Have you noticed some redness that persists on parts of your face, like your cheeks, nose, chin, forehead or neck, even when the weather isn’t that hot? Then chances are that you may have rosacea.

It is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects the face. Small pus-filled bumps are typical signs of the condition and can cause a burning sensation. Depending on the extent of the symptoms, rosacea can be distinguished as mild or severe.

At the same time, mild rosacea can sometimes be confused with acne or rashes because of the redness being less apparent than moderate and severe rosacea. Knowing what mild rosacea symptoms are like can help you get an accurate diagnosis and seek early treatment. This is important because rosacea symptoms tend to worsen without treatment.

Identifying Mild Rosacea

Mild rosacea usually includes symptoms that are similar to moderate or severe cases, while being less severe. For instance, the redness on the face for someone with mild rosacea might last for an hour or more whereas for someone with moderate or severe rosacea it can last for days or even weeks.

The subtypes of rosacea that are considered mild include:

  • Acne rosacea (papulopustular rosacea) which causes acne-like symptoms during flare-ups.
  • Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR) which is characterised by flushing and redness of the skin.
  • Ocular rosacea which causes redness, burning and itching of the eyes.

Other than some redness and inflammation of the skin, mild rosacea is not linked to any major health risk. However, it can lead to feelings of embarrassment, lowered self-esteem and self-confidence, anxiety, and depression.

Fortunately, there are rosacea treatments in Singapore available to help relieve the symptoms. These include laser therapies, electrosurgery, dermabrasion, and prescribed medications, like azelaic acid, metronidazole, doxycycline, and isotretinoin.

How to Know If You Have Mild Rosacea?

Some people with mild rosacea may have a red flush underneath their skin. This is regardless of weather conditions. For others, mild rosacea can manifest as small pimples or pus-filled bumps.

If you have mild rosacea, your symptoms may be intermittent or fluctuate and sometimes can be barely noticeable. Mild rosacea can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions characterised by redness of skin, like acne, lupus, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and steroid-induced acne.

If you suspect you have rosacea and want to get an accurate diagnosis, you should consult a specialist as soon as possible. When rosacea is in its mild stage, you can take remedial steps before it gets worse.

Rosacea Singapore

Symptoms of Mild Rosacea

Mild rosacea shares many of the symptoms found in moderate to severe cases. However, the symptoms of mild rosacea are less severe in terms of the following:

  • Facial blushing or redness across the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, and neck
  • Vein visibility on the nose and cheeks
  • Swollen bumps that resemble acne and sometimes contain pus
  • Warm sensations on the affected skin
  • Dry, stinging sensations on the affected skin
  • Watery or irritated eyes

In some cases, it is possible to develop rosacea symptoms without any other symptoms. For instance, ocular rosacea can be the first indication of facial rosacea, allowing your dermatologist to identify the severity of your rosacea based on the combination of symptoms.

Causes of Rosacea

Researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact causes of rosacea, be it mild, moderate or severe. However, there are various probable causes for rosacea, such as an overactive immune system, heredity, environmental factors and a combination of these factors. Luckily, rosacea is not contagious and cannot be spread by touch.

  • Immune System – People with autoimmune disorders are often at risk of developing mild rosacea.
  • Genetics – People who have a family history of rosacea are often predisposed to rosacea.
  • Environmental Factors – Dry, windy and hot climates can trigger or worsen mild rosacea by aggravating and irritating sensitive skin.
  • Dilated Blood Vessels – When the blood capillaries on the face are abnormally dilated, it makes the blood flow beneath the skin more noticeable, causing the face to appear red or flushed.
  • Demodex Mites – A type of tiny parasitic mite, known as Demodex folliculorum, can live in human hair follicles, leading to symptoms of mild rosacea or a rosacea flare-up.

You are more likely to develop rosacea if you:

  • Are female
  • Have skin that burns easily in the sun
  • Are over the age of 30
  • Smoke

Common Triggers of Mild Rosacea

If you have mild rosacea, it’s crucial to identify what triggers your symptoms so that you can take steps to avoid these triggers. Some of the most common ones are listed below.

  • Sun Exposure – Excessive exposure to the sun, especially UV light, can cause rosacea by triggering inflammation. This is why many dermatologists recommend rosacea patients to apply skin barrier protection of at least SPF 30.
  • Stress – Stress releases hormones like corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), glucocorticoids, and epinephrine, which can trigger inflammation pathways.
  • Extreme Weather Conditions – When the weather is extremely hot or cold, the external temperatures can affect the dilation or constriction of blood vessels in your face.
  • Intake of Certain Foods – Dietary triggers can also cause rosacea to develop. In a survey by the National Rosacea Society of over 400 patients, 78% altered their diet due to rosacea. Of this group, 95% reported a subsequent reduction in rosacea flare-ups.

Treatments for Mild Rosacea

Treatments for mild rosacea will vary from person to person based on their symptoms and triggers. However, the most common treatments often involve topical creams, oral medications, and laser therapy.

  • Topical Creams – Mild rosacea can be treated by applying a prescribed topical cream that contains azelaic acid, metronidazole, doxycycline, and isotretinoin. This will help improve the skin barrier and reduce inflammation. In the event of a demodex mite infestation, our doctors may prescribe Clarifying Lotion to kill off the mites. Soolantra can also be prescribed.
  • Oral Medications – Mild rosacea can be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by dermatologists. These may be taken with food or milk to avoid stomach upset. Stromectol may be used as an adjunct in the treatment of rosacea by reducing the number of Demodex mites in the skin, thereby reducing inflammation and improving the control of rosacea.
  • Laser TreatmentsLaser therapies are an option for those who have not responded well to other treatments for mild rosacea. They can help reduce flushing and redness while improving the skin’s condition.

Final Thoughts

If you are considering a rosacea treatment in Singapore, you should consult a qualified medical professional for proper advice and guidance. Here at SL Aesthetic Clinic, our panel of doctors are well-trained to diagnose and treat rosacea. We’re happy to address any questions or concerns you have. So contact us today to book a consultation.

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