Rosacea is well-known for being a condition that involves redness on the face, but does it feel hot as well as looking flushed? In this blog we look at how rosacea feels, as well as how it looks.
Rosacea isn’t always easy to diagnose at first. You may not be totally sure whether your constant blushing is the sign of something else, or you may wonder why your face is looking hot and bothered all the time. If you’re concerned about anything, do go see a GP for a diagnosis, but it’s worth knowing some facts about this complicated condition first.
Rosacea isn’t always red
Although redness is implied in rosacea’s very name, the condition doesn’t always manifest as pink or red flushing on the face. While the classic demographic for rosacea is pale-skinned women over 30 of Caucasian heritage, whose rosacea appears as an obvious redness on the face, not every rosacea sufferer fits this description.
In people of colour, rosacea can be underdiagnosed or missed entirely, leading to delayed treatment and unmanaged progression of the condition. In cases of rosacea on darker skin, diagnosis relies on other symptoms: swelling, discolouration, and the sensation of heat, for example.
Why does rosacea make your face feel hot?
Your face feeling hot is obviously a key symptom of rosacea, whatever your skin colour: unexplained or persistent heat on your cheeks and nose needs an explanation. So what’s going on?
Rosacea causes increased blood flow which in turn leads to dilation of the vessels of the face; this in turn makes the skin feel hot and flushed. It’s part of a dysfunctional immune system response, which overreacts in response to triggers. Although, at first, rosacea might just be noticeable as a flushed face that stays hot and bothered after exercise or embarrassment longer than usual, over time those dilated vessels lose their ability to constrict and can stay widened, leading to the persistent erythema (redness/flushing/inflammation) associated with rosacea.
It’s not just heat or redness
Rosacea’s symptoms and effects aren’t limited to feeling hot or persistent blushing: the overactive immune system response leads to chronic inflammation which can cause other problems. Persistently dilated blood vessels can give your skin a burning or stinging sensation, and can cause bumps and pustules almost like acne. Over time, skin can thicken, especially on the nose (where it’s known as rhinophyma); tiny broken capillaries blood vessels can appear as thread-like lines on the face (telangiectasia); your face can get swollen and the eyes bloodshot.
In conclusion, it’s worth taking as much notice of rosacea’s lesser known symptoms, as its best known ones, whatever your age, sex, race or colour. A good management plan can help stop the progression of the condition, as well as reduce the severity and frequency of flare-ups.
For more information about rosacea and how to manage it, see our blog on Rosacea Awareness.
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If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
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