Rosacea Awareness Month: New information video


This April marks Rosacea Awareness Month, and to support this, the Irish Skin Foundation (ISF) have launched a new information video resource for people living with this common skin condition. The video resource, presented by Professor Anne – Marie Tobin, Consultant Dermatologist, Tallaght University Hospital, provides information on the causes, symptoms, and treatments available and offers tips on self-management for people living with rosacea.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common, chronic inflammatory skin condition, which mainly affects facial skin and can be recognised by the presence of frequent flushing, persistent redness of central areas of the face, and in some people, acne-like spots, or pimples, and/or visible and dilated blood vessels. This skin condition can occur at any age, but usually occurs in adults older than 30 years.

Other possible symptoms may include, skin dryness, skin thickening or swelling, raised red patches, itchy, stinging, or irritated skin and eye symptoms.

What causes rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is yet, unclear, however, a number of theories have been proposed, which include the possible role of genetics, immune system factors, environmental triggers and the Demodex mite*.

In some instances, people with rosacea can have their symptoms by exposure to environmental, physiological, and emotional triggers, resulting in flare-ups.

In some instances, people with rosacea, can have their symptoms provoked or aggravated by exposure to ultraviolet light, high and low temperatures, stress, physical activity, alcohol, smoking, spicy food, and hot drinks.

What can we do?

It is important to visit your GP for an assessment, diagnosis, appropriate advice and treatment or onward referral to a dermatologist if required. Visiting a doctor will provide an impartial opinion about the severity of your symptoms, what kind of skin care/treatment may help you and reassurance about how common rosacea is.

Rosacea: Skin-care tips

Skin care products: Choose products that are mild, non-irritating, fragrance-free and alcohol-free.

Cleanse: Wash facial skin with a gentle cleanser or a soap substitute with lukewarm water and pat skin dry. Avoid vigorous washing and scrubbing as this can irritate the skin.

Moisturise:  Select a moisturiser which is fragrance free and “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free”. Apply moisturiser to facial skin regularly, to help prevent dryness and sensitivity.

UV protection: It has been suggested that ultraviolet rays can trigger a rosacea flare or aggravate symptoms. It is therefore advisable to avoid direct sunlight by seeking shade, wearing a hat with a wide brim, sunglasses, avoiding the mid-day sun and also using a broad-spectrum sunscreen, offering protection from both UVA/UVB, with a minimum SPF 30, before heading outdoors.

Shaving: Electric shavers may be more comfortable for men with rosacea. Avoid any shaving creams or lotions that burn or sting your skin.

Eye care: If your eyes are affected, consult with your doctor. For mild eye symptoms which may include dryness and/or gritty feeling in the eyes, eye care may help in managing these symptoms. These can include gently washing the eyes twice daily with warm water and using artificial tears.


Ireland AM, Virgin Media TV – Consultant Dermatologist, Prof Anne – Marie Tobin and Nicola Warren, who developed rosacea after the birth of her daughter, were on Ireland AM where they discussed the signs, symptoms and triggers for this common skin condition known as ‘The Curse of the Celts’. Watch the full interview

Irish Farmers Journal – Managing rosacea – the ‘curse of the Celts’. Rosacea, the skin condition that affects the face, can impact a person’s confidence but with proper treatment and good management, those unwelcome flare-ups can be reduced, writes Margaret Hawkins. Read article

Learn more on our rosacea information page or contact the ISF Ask-Nurse Helpline.