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What is it ?

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that appears first as intermittent redness, then as permanent redness on the central area of the face (cheeks, nose, lower forehead and chin). This condition is caused by an abundance of small dilated blood vessels and it affects more than 3 million people in Canada.

Different stages of Rosacea:

Stage 1

Redness appears occasionally and can be triggered by temperature, hot beverages, exercise, spicy dishes or alcohol, etc.

Stage 2

The redness settles permanently in the center of the face. In dermatology, this is known as erythematous telangiectatic rosacea.

Stage 3

If one does not intervene, papules (small, red, and hard bumps) may appear. A burning or tingling sensation can also be felt at this stage known as the inflammatory stage.

Stage 4

Some smaller, red veins become visible under the skin, while the skin around the nose and cheeks thicken.

Stage 5

In rare cases, severe rosacea – called phymatous rosacea – can lead to the development of rhinophyma - a bulbous enlargement of the nose, most common in men. Rosacea can also be ocular when it is located on the eyelids, conjunctiva and cornea, manifesting itself as red, watery and very dry eyes.

What are the causes?

The onset of rosacea, more common in women, is a phenomenon that can be triggered or aggravated by the following factors:


Hereditary factors are good indicators for determining whether a person will or will not be affected by rosacea during his or her lifetime. Skin colour (people with lighter skin are more affected) and family history of rosacea and are important factors.

Sun exposure

Exposure to UV rays can aggravate the symptoms of rosacea. It is recommended to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or more during summer and winter. This practice will limit flare ups of the condition.

The use of cosmetic products

As soon as the first symptoms appear, it is important to pay attention to the products used on the face. In order not to make the situation worse, cosmetics containing perfume, alcohol, abrasives or other irritating ingredients should be avoided; gentle products are preferred.


Several other factors may influence the onset or aggravation of rosacea – exposure to extreme temperatures, intense physical exertion, stress and drug use (specifically, prescription Cortisone creams and topical acne treatments), and also tobacco use.


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