Is your skin sensitive? Do you notice any redness on your face? Have you just been diagnosed with rosacea? Today, Dr. Nika Juriševič, a resident in dermatovenerology from Ljubljana, the largest Slovenian hospital where she daily gains knowledge and experience in all areas of dermatovenerology, answers all potential doubts you may have about this very common dermatosis.
Photo: Ana Lasič
What causes rosacea?
When we talk about rosacea, we are talking about the frequent, inflammatory, chronic dermatosis that primarily affects the face. The cause of the disease itself is not definitively defined: it is a set of factors such as genetic predisposition, external factors, immune response, vascular hyperactivity, and inflammatory response of the skin. The presence of Demodex folliculorum and Staphylococcus epidermis can affect the disease by activating the immune system. Damage caused by UV radiation also plays an important role in creating and worsening rosacea symptoms. It is most frequently diagnosed in people with fair skin, women are more likely to get it, and it is especially prevalent between the ages of 20 and 50.
What are the most common symptoms of rosacea?
The most common symptom is recurrent redness, especially of the middle part of the face - nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. This redness can be triggered by a number of external and internal factors such as heat, wind, sun, sauna, intense exercise, hot drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, stress and anger. This redness can become permanent over time, dilated capillaries may appear, as well as a burning sensation on the skin. Over time, papules, pustules, or even edema may appear.
Many individuals with rosacea think that they actually have acne. Can you tell us what the main differences are and why it is very important to have a correct diagnosis?
With rosacea, papules and pustules can appear, but comedones are not visible. Skin is usually affected with redness, papules and/or pustules centrally, i.e. on the forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. In acne, in addition to papules and pustules, we see both open and closed comedones, as well as cysts and nodules that can also be present. Acne, in addition to the face, often affect the neck, décolleté and the back. It is important to distinguish between acne and rosacea because successful treatment depends a lot on the correct diagnosis.
How to treat this skin disease and can it be cured permanently?
For rosacea, I recommend avoiding triggers and regular use of sunscreen (SPF 50). It is treated topically with metronidazole, azelaic acid, ivermectin and brimonidine. Severe forms can be treated with systemic antibiotics and retinoids. Symptoms of rosacea such as varicose veins can be removed by laser, IPL and electrocoagulation.
What daily skincare regimen would you recommend for individuals with rosacea?
For skin care, in a person diagnosed with rosacea, I would advise cleansing with a gentle product that does not irritate the skin, applying moisturizing serum, hypoallergenic creams and daily use of a cream with a high protection factor. All products should be suitable for skin with rosacea or for sensitive skin.
In your experience, what are the most common mistakes when treating rosacea skin?
The most common mistake I notice is too frequent and too aggressive cleansing, as it leads to damage of the skin barrier. Another mistake is using mechanical scrubs a lot, or products that contain acids. The third mistake is applying an insufficient amount of sunscreen and its improper reapplication!
Dr. Nika Juriševič's favorite Skintegra product is:
My favorite Skintegra product is Infrared serum, because it soothes my skin and restores the skin barrier. Apart from Infrared, I also really like Hydra B serum emulsion, because it hydrates my skin and immediately after application leaves a feeling of nourished and radiant skin.