Most of us go a bit red sometimes. We flush when it is hot, blush when we are embarrassed, or generally go a bit pink in extreme temperatures. But chronic redness of the skin – particularly the face – is a different matter and can be a potentially life-disrupting condition.
Many things can cause chronic redness – such as over-exfoliating or scrubbing your skin, which is best only ever done in moderation; to excessive sun exposure over the years in which ultraviolet radiation actually causes blood vessels to grow and spread across your face; to a condition such as allergic contact dermatitis, where your skin reacts to something it doesn’t like. This could be anything from chemicals in cosmetics or sunscreens, soaps, perfumes, or even hair spray.
What is rosacea?
The most common cause of chronic redness is rosacea (“roh-zay-shuh”). This is an inflammatory condition that causes red skin, and at varying levels of severity. Rosacea is generally recognized by a persistent flushing and redness of the face, sometimes with visible blood vessels.
Even though it is extremely common, the exact cause is not known and it is sometimes attributed to certain abnormalities in blood vessels in which they enlarge, giving your face a flushed appearance. People with rosacea often experience stinging or irritation, particularly when exposed to the sun or cold, and can turn redder when eating hot or spicy foods. It can even manifest itself as burning and stinging in your eyes.
It is generally agreed there are four main subtypes of rosacea:
• subtype 1, which is flushing and persistent redness, often with