Also known as papulopustular rosacea, acne rosacea combines features of both acne and rosacea.
Like other forms of rosacea, it’s characterised by inflammation, and the face being flushed, but acne rosacea particularly affects the central area of the face and, like acne, presents with acne-like spots, pustules and small bumps. It can feel hot, burning, stinging, and cause the skin to be bumpy, thickened or discoloured. Your face can feel extra sensitive to anything you put on it, and get puffy or itchy.
Acne rosacea generally affects the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin, but if there’s inflammation around your eyes (periocular acne rosacea) as well it’s important to see a specialist, so you can get treatment to prevent damage to your eyes.
It’s important to note that rosacea, although named for its rosy tone, looks different on different skin tones, and doesn’t always show up as a flushed, reddened rash. This means it can be under-recognised and under-diagnosed in patients of colour, which can have serious consequences if the rosacea affects the area about the eyes. So whatever your skin tone, take note if your face feels constantly hot or swollen, and if there are changes in tone, colour or texture of your skin.
While it’s not clear exactly what causes some people to develop acne rosacea, and everyone’s experience of the condition is slightly different, there are several common triggers for flare-ups.
These include temperature, toiletries, food, and physiological as well as psychological triggers. For more about triggers, see our article Top 5 Triggers of Acne Rosacea.
These triggers cause the immune system to react inappropriately, firing off inflammatory signals and resulting in the spots and flushes of typical acne rosacea.
It can be quite hard to tell the difference between acne and acne rosacea; it may come down to what sparks a flare-up, as well as the location and presentation of the spots, but a dermatologist should be able to give you an accurate diagnosis. A diagnosis will allow you to put a treatment plan in place so you can manage your symptoms.
For more information about what can provoke flares of acne rosacea, see our article Top 6 Triggers of Acne Rosacea.
For more information on managing the condition naturally, see our article on the Best Natural Treatment For Acne Rosacea.
Balmonds Scalp Oil with tea tree, nettle, borage & rosemary (£14.99 for 50ml): apply as a topical rescue oil, dabbing on spots as required.
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea butter, calendula and hemp (from £13.99 for 100ml): a nourishing but non-comedogenic daily moisturiser, for use anywhere on the body, face and hands.
Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil with rosehip, calendula, lavender & chamomile (£22 for 30ml): a rich, regenerative oil to help balance and restore sensitive skin.
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If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
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.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.