Rosacea is a common and long-term skin condition that mainly affects a person’s face. When rosacea first appears, the face may look flushed. Later symptoms include permanent redness, spots, visible blood vessels and a sensation of burning or tingling. People who have fair skin and who tend to blush easily may be at a higher risk of the condition. The condition can also affect people of Asian and African origin. Rosacea appears more often among women around the time of menopause along with hot flushes.
“Sunlight provides us with vitamin D and in the winter you see a decrease in sunlight, there’s no specific research on this but it may be a possibility.”
There’s less humidity in winter air so ensure you apply enough moisturizer. A good treatment is to soak in a warm bath, gently pat your skin dry – don’t rub – and then apply a moisturizer.
Rosacea causes small blood vessels in your face, scalp, neck, and ears to swell, making your skin look flushed.
It can be made worse by a range of different triggers and these vary from person to person.
Possible triggers include alcohol, spicy food, sunlight, stress, and high and low temperatures.
“For those whose rosacea intensifies in winter it is likely that the cold weather is responsible, though it is worth considering stress might be a contributing factor – particularly around the holiday season,” according to Matt.
He advises: “Make sure you dress appropriately when going out in the cold. It is particularly important to cover your face, make use of hats, scarves and moisturizers to make sure that you don’t leave your skin unprotected against the elements.”
Also try to avoid a quick transition between indoor and outdoor heat. Fires and radiators can also be a trigger for rosacea.
Primary signs of rosacea include:
- Many people who have rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. The facial redness, which may come and go, is often the earliest sign of the disorder.
- Persistent redness.Persistent facial redness may resemble a blush or sunburn that does not go away.
- Bumps and pimples.Small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples often develop in rosacea. Sometimes the bumps may resemble acne, but there are no blackheads. There may also be burning or stinging.
- Visible blood vessels.Small blood vessels become visible on the skin of many people who have rosacea.
Other potential signs and symptoms include:
- Eye irritation.The eyes may be irritated and appear watery or bloodshot in some people with rosacea. This condition, called ocular rosacea, can also cause styes as well as redness and swelling of the eyelids. Severe cases, if left untreated, can result in corneal damage and vision loss.
- Burning or stinging.Burning or stinging sensations may occur on the face, and itchiness or a feeling of tightness may also develop.
- Dry appearance.The central facial skin may be rough, and thus appear to be very dry.
- Raised red patches may develop without changes in the surrounding skin.
- Skin thickening.In some cases of rosacea, the skin may thicken and enlarge from excess tissue, resulting in a condition called rhinophyma. This condition often occurs on the nose, causing it to have a bulbous appearance.
- Facial swelling can occur independently or can accompany other signs of rosacea.
Signs and symptoms of rosacea may develop beyond the face, affecting areas including the neck, chest, scalp, or ears.