How Do You Get Rosacea?


I hear you.

My skin was great. I have had beautiful skin all my life, but now wham! rosacea has reared its ugly head. If you hang around the rosacea boards for any length of time this story will become familiar.

Risk Profile

So just how do you get rosacea?

Well the NRS Blog has an answer to this plea. It is all about your risk profile.

If you are over 30 with fair skin, have a relative with rosacea and are of Northern European Ancestry then the statistics suggest that you are at risk for having rosacea.

Sorry, but sometimes it is just down to sheer probability.

Risks Answer ‘Why Me?’

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

“Why me?” is a question many ask when they find themselves with the embarrassing effects of rosacea – which may include facial redness, visible blood vessels, bumps, pimples, eye irritation and other symptoms if left untreated. While rosacea can strike all segments of the population, surveys by the National Rosacea Society have revealed a profile of those most at risk for this conspicuous and chronic condition:

Other Reasons

Of course if you are outside the common risk profile, you could still have rosacea. Other common reasons include over use of steroids, exposure to the sun and elements, stress, tendency to flush and more.

How to limit your Rosacea Progressions

So you think you have rosacea, what can you do to limit how quickly it progresses? Well you can limit the amount of flushing and trigger events you expose yourself.

We know from studies of twins that there are some factors that can bring on rosacea;

  • UV radiation exposure,
  • alcohol,
  • smoking,
  • skin cancer history,
  • cardiac comorbidity, and
  • age.

Where you are able to, limit your exposure to these. Ok so we are all ageing, but as far as the other factors are concerned, start there.

There is Hope!

It might feel unfair, but now that you have a diagnosis of rosacea, you are already on the way to relief. Here are some articles that will get you started.

[update:] There is also a thread at the Rosacea Community Forum that you might find helpful: Why did I get rosacea NOW in my 40’s?

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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22 Reader Comments

  1. Jen says:

    I had never used steriods, but anti-biotics-YES. And consuming plenty of foods that promote yeast growth like, Beer, Vinegar-yes vinegar and lots of it because I was told that it was good for you, but vinegar kills bacteria, good and bad, it’s a preservative. I am finally showing some improvement by eliminating vinegar and malt of all forms from my diet.

    • Ernest Schaefer says:

      YES when ever I have vinegar salad a few days in a row I breakout or home made pickles with favorite food has to go. you were more helpful than my doc…Thank You

  2. DonkeyLady says:

    Thank you Jen. That was very helpful. I too eat a lot of vinegar. I even make my own pickles (which my husband loves….which encourages me to make more!). So, I’ve stopped that. Now I only eat naturally fermented “raw” pickles. I’m looking for confirmations on this, and you just gave me one! Thanks.

  3. ben says:

    During adolescence I suffered from acne and constantly used face washes soaps, detergents etc with limited effects. In my 30 I was diagnosed with rosacea after presenting with redness, dryness, itchiness, dilated cappliaries on my nose and cheeks. Initially I used metro gel with a gentle cleanser (clinique) 2 x a day with reasonable results, I then had several laser treatments and was put on to 2% eryacne gel with good results. However in last 12 months this method began to fail and I was using more and more eryacne gel with limited success. THe redness was getting worse and the cappilaries more dilated. I then read that milk can cause acne roasacea, no real scientific evidence, but tried anyway. So drinking soy milk and avoiding dairy for last few weeks. The second and what I feel has been the most credible lifestyle change has been the complete and utter avoidance of any type of cleansing, moisturising agent on my face. I only use zinc oxzide sunscreen, fragrance free, during the day, that is all. If I wash my hands I dont then touch my face because I dont want any soap on it at all. When I get in the shower I place my face under the warm water, no touching, no rubbing, just let the gentle water pressure do its best. At first the dry flaking skin annoyed me, this was why I cleansed in the first place, however by just leaving it alone it has reduced significantly. My rosacea has cleared and I feel great. Summary: Avoid dairy, but most importantly under no circumstances whatsoever put any kind of chemical, product except zinc oxide sunscreen on your face. And if a blemish does appear just dab a tiny amount of anti-biotic gel on it ie eryacne. Hope this helps someone.

    • Hi Ben, John here from Ireland, rosacea sufferer, I was doing what you where doing putting products on my face that I thought were helping my condition but really where making my rosacea worse, I was told it is down to oily skin, so went to a skin clinic here in Ireland and I have been recently given a regime to stick too, so I wash my face with a soothing gel called bioderma sensibio DS, it’s soap free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic, and I too have started using zinc oxide sunscreen spf 40+, I was interested to hear you stopped using dairy products, I consume a fair bit of dairy products, milk, cheese, I was wondering if I cut out dairy from my diet, it could help, any tips or advice would be appreciated Ben, I would value your input, thank you.
      Regards john hennessy.

      • Please people give my cure a try. I don’t use much of anything on my fave except when trying to reduce rosacea. I had it, with frequent flarups, for over 20 years. I read one article about a trial of Omega 3-6-9 and thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. From a flareup in May 2016, I started taking one capsule a day in June 2016. Rosacea was gone in 3 weeks and have not had any in 16 months. My daughter-in-law developed rosacea several months ago and tried my method. Gone in less than 2 weeks. It may not work for everyone but I am very sure it worked for me. Perhaps my diet was lacking in omega fats. I don’t know. But it is way cheaper and easier than my metrogel regimen.

  4. nicole says:

    before rosacea, my skin are normal, but then, when i started using a soap that has the whitening effect, my nightmare started..My face is not very red, but the main problem is the acne ,but the acne gel won’t help,they appear near the center of the face, i really wish i can reverse my skin to the normal state as before,is it impossible?

  5. june miller says:

    Im wondering if all my sinus infections this past fall and all the antibiotics I took for it… plus getting a yeast infection on my tongue from all the antibiotics… could have then caused me to get rosacea now… Im using the soolantra cream once a day… seems when I first put it on everything flares up then later calms down… only been using it a couple weeks will wait and see what happens… have had lots of stress… many teeth extractions from infection then dentures… then stopped smoking all in the same month… so lots going on here…

  6. Theresa says:

    I Suffered from chronic rosacea for 25 years. I used all the topical stuff and then resorted to the oral medication Oracea which helped a little more then Metrogel and Finacea, but I still lived in a constant state of embarrassment. Then 4 years ago I gave up gluten and dairy and I’m a new person. Now I take no medication and use nothing but a mild cleanser and only have a flare up after I accidently eat something with gluten.

  7. anitathepianist says:

    I have had Rosacea since 1964, and have wondered like everyone else, “why me?”, especially since there were no problems with my skin before. I have a few theories. My husband had a bad case of dandruff, later my son had the same problem. No one knew the cause. I suspect that Rosacea might have resulted from contact with him. Also, I developed this condition a few weeks after child birth. So I’ve wondered if this condition that I had not had before could be linked to changes in hormones. Why else would this condition start then and it had never been there before. This condition has blighted my life.

  8. Michael Wood says:

    Can you use Rozex in the morning followed by Soolantra at night !!

    • anitathepianist says:

      You’re right..I had perfect skin, not even pimples as an adolescent. Rosacea started right after I had a child and has never left..It has blighted my life.

  9. Bev says:

    My Rosacea started when I went through the change of life and has never left me. I had a lot of antibiotics as a child due to illness, my skin was always good but thats all well gone now and never to return.

  10. Tom says:

    I started to get Rosacea about 5 years ago when I was 50. I’ve tried creams and antibiotics but nothing really worked. I did a lot of research over the years and one day came across a post on a forum.
    Try washing your face morning and night with Selsun dandruff shampoo, only a pea sized amount , then apply Dermalex Rosacea Treatment, I get it from Boots. After a couple of weeks my rosacea virtually cleared up and I’ve never had a spot since. Please give it a go it changed my life.

    • anitathepianist says:

      Tom, I had suspected that dandruff and Rosacea might have a connection…My skin is so sensitive that I’m afraid of trying Selsun, but I might just do that…Thanks for the tip.

      • Roberta Beach says:

        I had rosacea off and on for 20 years and tried facial potions that cleared it up somewhat, temporarily, my research lead me to try omega 3 6 9 capsules one daily by mouth and it coeared up in a month two years ago. Might be wirth a try.

  11. Susie says:

    It would be so nice if the dermatologist would listed to you. Unfortunately, mine was a jerk. I tried to tell him that due to a serious auto accident I was given mass doses of steroids. Also, my immune system was in the tank. I was very fortunate with my facial skin as it was just like my mother. Never even had a zit as a teenager. For eight years I fought Rosacea and mites. Told I was delusional and it was my imagination Unfortunately, got a staff aureus bacteria soft tissue infection in my face.That was fun. Then I found a dermatologist that would listed and a lab that did a skin culture that confirmed everything. Ended up spending a week in the hospital on IV medication and more weeks at home on Bactrim. It is difficult to believe just how ignorant some doctors are. All they had to do was LISTEN. My face is now scared and there is nothing to be done.

    • KayCee says:

      Susie, dont despair there are treatments for scarring. Give your skin barrier time to heal. I know once burnt twice shy, but if you pursue consultations you might find a derm or a plastic surgeon who can help you. Not all docs are as you describe, but sadly some are. Take good care of yourself with nutrition and build your immunity up. Sounds like you could maybe even benefit from a good probiotic. I had treatments for my skin and I am better, not perfect, but better. It took me a long time to put my trust in a doctor who was able to help. Of course proceed with caution, but don’t give up. I believe my skin issues began as a result of colonoscopy prep. Not the procedure, but the prep. I think all my good bacteria were stripped from my stomach as the timing was so very close after that procedure. Stay strong and Good Luck.

  12. Jennifer says:

    I am 60 years old. Was “diagnosed” by a PA at a dermatology office. She prescribed metro-gel.
    No help at all. Went to another Dermatology Dr in San Luis Obispo Ca and she put me on 40 mg doxycyline every day, 50 mg spironolactone everyday. Used an easy cleansing regimen by ZO (Obagi),
    I have been TOTALLY CLEAR for 2 months and due to go back for a follow up soon.
    I NEVER post comments. Hope this helps.
    Also, I think the cream Soolantra is way better than metro-gel. I keep soolantra on hand.

    • Roberta says:

      I had rosacea on and off for years. Tried gels and cleaning regimens and noted it flared up with stress, heat or alcohol. Then i read of some success with Omega 3-6-9. As this supplement easily available i tried. Cleared up in a month and none for 2 years and counting now. Recommended it to a couple of others and it also worked for them. May not work for all, but if your ubderlying cause is dietary imbalance, it’s worth a try. And way cheaper than metrogel or antibiotics.

  13. Lynette says:

    Leaky gut (damaged due to gluten, medications, etc.) can lead to numerous autoimmune disorders, including rosacea. I’ve started a diet on mainly meat with canned peaches on occasion to heal my gut as well as taking multivitamins to curb any nutrient deficiencies. I’m also adding collagen peptides (20 gm per day) as soon as it arrives in the mail. Check out AIP (autoimmune paleo) diet/rosacea on google to see how diet can help improve/eliminate this skin issue.

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