Facial Redness

Rosacea or acne rosacea is a persistent and chronic skin condition which causes flushing or redness on the face.

Facial redness (facial erythema) on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead are mostly accompanied by a slight swelling and burning feeling. It can occasionally extend to the skin on the neck, chest, ears and scalp areas.

Rosacea commonly affects people with fair skin. It typically occurs in women between the ages of 30 and 60, though instances of rosacea in men are not uncommon. In some cases it affects women during menopause. Men often suffer from rhinophyma, which is the thickening of the skin on the nose making it swollen and bulbous.

Laser and IPL treatment for rosacea

One of the major advancements in the treatment of rosacea has been the use of lasers and a non-laser light therapy called Elos Medical IPL (combination of IPL and radiofrequency).

IPL uses a non-laser light source. IPL can be safely and effectively used to reduce the following symptoms of rosacea:

  • Telangiectasis or dilation of blood vessels.
  • Facial erythema or persistent redness.
  • Flushing.
  • Papular and pustular lesions.

At Palm Clinic we use Elos Galaxy IPL often in conjunction with Coolglide 1064nm NdYag laser. Typically over several treatments we see significant improvements in redness and veins associated with rosacea and significant reduction in facial veins.

Treatments are spaced at least one month apart and typically require 3-5 treatments to achieve acceptable results. Most patients with moderate to severe rosacea will require top up treatments to maintain the result over the years.

Before and After Photos of Rosacea Treated with Elos IPL

Facial redness responds well to Elos Aurora. Many patients appreciate this treatment as broken veins on the face often have a connotation of being associated with excess alcohol even though this is not usually the cause.


What causes rosacea?

Causes of rosacea are not well known. Rosacea is often considered a hereditary condition. It is also said that rosacea is likely to occur in people who blush a lot. Occurrence of rosacea can be associated with environmental, chemical, food or emotional triggers. Common triggers include exposure to extreme heat and cold weather, hot beverages and spicy foods, and alcohol consumption. As a large number of hair follicle mites (Demodex folliculorum) are found in rosacea papules, they are also a possible cause of rosacea. The stomach bacterium helicobacter pylori is also reported to be associated with rosacea, though most dermatologists disagree with this theory. Rosacea may worsen with the use of facial creams, oils and topical steroids.

What are the symptoms of rosacea?
  • Redness on the face, particularly the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead.
  • Small red lines beneath the skin due to the thickening of blood vessels (telangiectasia).
  • Skin becomes thicker, particularly over the nose.
  • Hard raised lesions (papules) and pus filled acne pimples (pustules) develop on the reddened facial skin.
  • Inflammation in the eyes causing a burning or stinging feeling.
  • Irritation in the eyes, watery eyes, sensitivity to light and sometimes blurred vision.
  • In advanced cases, the nose becomes larger and swollen with thickened skin causing a rhinophyma.


There are 4 sub-types of rosacea.

  1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea marked by flushing and redness.
  2. Papulopustular rosacea with papules and pustules and burning and stinging sensation.
  3. Phymatous rosacea characterised by thickening skin and enlargement as in rhinophyma.
  4. Ocular rosacea marked by ocular changes like conjunctivitis, telangiectasis of the conjunctiva and inflammation of the eyelids.
How is rosacea diagnosed?

There are four acknowledged stages of rosacea.

  1. First stage is called pre-rosacea characterised by facial blushing which may begin in early childhood, though the condition of rosacea sets in after the thirties. Frequency of flushing may increase and experience of burning and stinging when using antiacne products or cosmetics may be common.
  2. In the second stage which is vascular, redness (facial erythema) and thickening of the blood vessels and their visibility on the skin as small red lines (telangiectasis) develop.
  3. In the third stage facial erythema and telangiectasis increase with the formation of papules and pustules. In this stage changes in the eye (ocular changes) like inflammation of the eyelids and watering of the eyes begin to occur.
  4. In the fourth stage, the skin and eye inflammation increase to a great extent. In very rare and severe cases ocular inflammation can lead to loss of vision whilst fibroplasia and sebaceous hyperplasia of the skin lead to rhinophyma.
What are the effects of rosacea?

It can lead to frustration due to the unattractive appearance and the discomfort experienced. It can mar the personal, social and professional life of the individual. In extreme cases the psychological effects of such a condition can be very serious and can cause the patients to become reclusive. Rosacea is primarily a facial occurrence and develops gradually. In its initial stages, patients often mistake the facial flushing, papules and pustules for adult acne, sun burn or normal signs of ageing.

What treatments are available for rosacea?

There is no cure for rosacea. But there are various rosacea treatments to control rosacea effectively. Your Palm Clinic doctor will determine a treatment plan for you depending on the extent of damage to the skin.  IPL and laser treatments are most useful for the facial redness and flushing.

The first line of treatment for the pustules associated with rosacea is often topical or oral antibiotics generally prescribed by the family doctor. Metronidazole (Rosex) is generally given as a topical antibiotic. Oral medications include tetracycline antibiotics like tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline. The antibiotic rosacea gel or rosacea cream should be applied on the entire face instead of on the lesion spots alone.

The eyelids should be cleaned everyday with a diluted baby shampoo or a rosacea cleanser for the eyelids. Warm compresses should be applied on the eyelids a few times a day.

For treatment of rosacea in the advanced stages like rhinophyma, laser or radiofrequency surgery is the ideal method to remove the excess tissue on the nose.

What are the benefits of treatment?
  • Improves appearance.
  • Boosts self confidence and self-esteem.
  • No downtime with most rosacea treatments including IPL.
  • Long-lasting results.
  • Few or no side-effects.
Palm Clinic Aesthetic. We make it look natural.
Consulatation at Palm Clinic with Dr Sam DunnConsulatation at Palm Clinic with Dr Sam Dunn

Why Palm Clinic?

Our highly skilled medical team treat you with care and understanding.

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Botox®  is a prescription medicine for the treatment of frown lines, horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet round the eyes. Botox® has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Botox is right for you. If you have side effects, see your doctor. You will need to pay for Botox® and clinic fees will apply. For details on precautions & side effects consult your healthcare professional or the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) at www.medsafe.govt.nz. Botox® treatment lasts about 4 months and further courses of treatment may be necessary. Should only be administered by trained medical professionals.(Contains botulinum toxin A 50,100 & 200 units). Allergan (NZ) Limited, Auckland.

Juvederm Ultra™ & Juvederm Ultra Plus™ are medical devices Class III for the filling of medium size and deep facial wrinkles by injection into the skin and for creating definition and volume in the lips. Contains 24mg/mL. cross-linked hyaluronic acid. Juvederm has risks and benefits. Cautions: Use in an area that has been treated with another dermal filler, people with autoimmune disease, or who are pregnant, breastfeeding, under 18 years of age or have an increased susceptibility to keloid formation and hypertrophic scarring. People on blood thinning medicines. Possible side effects: injection site inflammatory reactions (redness/swelling, itching/pain on pressure) induration or nodules; discolouration; weak filling effect. If you have side effects or concerns speak to your doctor. Product and treatment costs will apply. Note: Juvederm treatment lasts about 12-24 months. For product information check with your doctor or product information at Allergan (NZ) Limited, Auckland.      

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Please note that individual results may vary from patient to patient, and the information provided on our website is only a guidance to the possible results.