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Does the sun trigger Rosacea?

The sun is out and we’re enjoying some welcome hot weather in the UK, even in Manchester! As a result, we have been receiving enquiries about whether or not the sun affects or triggers Rosacea.

The sun is commonly one of the main triggers for Rosacea and can be the start of the condition or the start of a flare-up, worse it can accelerate the progression of the disease.

What is the difference between Rosacea and sunburn?

Rosacea is a chronic condition characterised by facial redness and often is associated with breakouts of spots. It starts down the centre of the face in most cases. It is associated with a range of symptoms:

  • Swelling of superficial blood vessels
  • Red face
  • Red bumps and pustules
  • Burning stinging sensation
  • Facial flushing

According to the NRS (National Rosacea Society), sun exposure tops the list in both causes and triggers of the condition. Most sufferers are unaware of the fact that even shot term exposure (just 30 mins) can damage the facial blood vessels. The damage to blood vessels quickly progresses the disease and it is common to see a rapid acceleration from mild to more severe symptoms.

Sun cream and Rosacea

We find that most Rosacea sufferers are used to applying a sun protection for planned exposure. However, many patients admit they are less vigilant with using protection during shorter exposures, or in cloudy or cooler weather. There are lots of examples of this in everyday life:

  • Walking to work/ school/ shopping
  • Traveling in the car with the window open
  • Sitting outside a café or bar at lunch time
  • Exercising in the early morning
  • Sitting in sun rooms (70% of UV rays penetrate glass)
  • Doing small jobs outside in the garden.
  • Cloudy days in general.

What happens to skin in 20 – 30 mins unprotected exposure to the sun?

It takes less than 20 minutes for the blood vessel wall to absorb sunlight and collapse causing broken vessels or telangiectasia.

Sun exposure creates a growth of blood vessels a process known as Angiogenesis which results in the progression of Rosacea symptoms

Inflammatory and damaging enzymes are produced and these are responsible for the breakdown of the skin’s structure.

One of the latest discoveries is that in that first 20 -30 minutes Matrix Metalloproteinases is produced this is an enzyme responsible for damage in the skin.

Tips from our dermatologist

Develop Good Habits!

  • Use a balancing protecting moisturiser as part of your everyday routine
  • Use the best sunscreen you can every day get advice if your skin is hypersensitive to sunscreens
  • Avoid the peak hours of direct sunlight between 10am and 2 pm
  • Be mindful of even the shortest exposures and the accumulative effects of short times in the sun.

Don’t ignore the sensation.

Many sufferers note that they feel an itching, tingling or stinging sensation before their rosacea flares up. If this is ignored the flare-up is worse. Take measures, cool the skin, avoid direct sun, protect, avoid alcohol and stimulants. Make sure skin care is not harsh or abrasive. Treat the skin gently and it will lessen the outbreak.

Get help

Get advice about your skincare and sun care routine. It can help to seek expert advice. No two cases are the same as no two people are the same. Rosacea is affected by what you do in different aspects of your life and a plan to keep the symptoms at bay can be complex. Our expert Dermatologists have many years of experience in treating this condition and will be able to help in its control and treatment.

Clinic Treatments to help with Rosacea

A Consultation

The symptoms of rosacea are treated frequently by the team of dermatologists at Everything skin.

A consultation and skin analysis is the most important step as it will help to decide an individual treatment plan. This enables the team to understand how the condition has developed and takes into account lifestyle.

Skincare and topical medication

A range of medical or cosmeceutical products will be recommended to suit the condition. It will take into account the required sun protection

Oral medication

The treatment plan may be supplemented with prescribed medications.

Laser treatment

Amongst the range of lasers here at Everything skin we have the gold standard laser for treating vascular conditions including Rosacea. The Candela V Beam laser is used in most cases, however, we have an Nd:YAG laser which are used sometimes in addition.