What causes rosacea? Your skin redness questions answered

Rosacea and skin redness is uncomfortable and can knock your skin confidence. There are a number of things that can cause rosacea and rosacea flare-ups. Getting to the bottom of what could be causing your rosacea can be the first step in helping you to treat and manage your rosacea. In this guide, we’re answering all your skin redness questions! From what causes rosacea to the best treatment options and lifestyle changes you can look to to better manage your rosacea. 

In this guide:

  • What is rosacea?
  • Common symptoms of rosacea
  • What causes rosacea?
  • Causes of rosacea flare-up
  • How to best treat rosacea

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness or a blushing/flushed appearance, showing visible blood vessels in your face. It can appear like a rash on the face that may feel hot and tender or be accompanied by a stinging sensation.  Sometimes it is also accompanied by pustules and or bumps that look like acne, as well as flaky skin. It most commonly appears as redness on your cheeks, redness around your nose and sometimes on your chin and forehead, neck, ears or chest. 

Common symptoms of rosacea

Rosacea can look and feel different to everyone, but some common symptoms of rosacea are:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Stinging or burning sensation and skin sensitivity
  • Larger pores 
  • Swollen bulb-shaped nose 
  • Larger pores 
  • Broken blood vessels 

Symptoms can come and go - flaring up at certain times. It’s recommended to see a doctor if you are experiencing pain or have serious symptoms. Typically the customers we see at Caci have mild rosacea and redness which can be treated quite effectively.

So, what causes rosacea?

Unfortunately, the causes of rosacea are largely unknown but there are a few things that are believed to trigger and/or play a role in the appearance of rosacea.


Genes play a big factor and it is possible to inherit rosacea if it runs in families. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, it’s believed that people who get rosacea are typically fair-skinned, often have blonde hair and blue eyes and are often of Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry. If someone in your family has had rosacea, it’s likely you may have it or develop it too. You are also more likely to develop rosacea if you are female, over the age of 30 and a smoker. 

Environmental factors and chronic exposure to UV light

Rosacea can occur from sun damage affecting the blood vessels in your face or inflammation caused by environmental factors like pollution.


Yes, really. There is a type of tiny harmless mites called Demodex folliculorum that live on your skin and usually don’t cause any trouble. However, for people who have heightened sensitivity to the mites, it’s believed that this could cause rosacea.

Other areas of study for those looking for the cause of rosacea include looking at the immune system, gut and intestines and how the body processes particular kinds of protein. 

Causes of a rosacea flare-up

Rosacea can flare up from time to time due to a number of factors. Rosacea flare-up triggers include: 

  • Sun and wind exposure 
  • Spicy or hot food and drinks
  • Extreme temperatures such as hot showers or saunas
  • Red wine or other alcoholic beverages
  • Exercise
  • Emotional stress 
  • Some cosmetic, skin or hair products, particularly those high in alcohol or fragrances
  • Drugs or medicines that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications

One of the best ways to treat rosacea is to understand and aim to eliminate the events that cause rosacea flare-ups. This may include taking extra precautions when in the sun and wind, reducing your consumption of spicy foods and alcohol, switching to yoga and pilates instead of a HIIT class and looking at ways to better manage your stress. 

It's also worth going through your skincare and cosmetic products and eliminating those with harsh ingredients that may be contributing to facial irritation. Check the labels for harsh ingredients that may irritate your individual case, such as alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus oil.

How to best treat rosacea

You can treat rosacea, and manage rosacea symptoms, especially mild rosacea with a combination of good skincare and advanced skincare treatments. You may also want to speak to your doctor about prescription medication and look to optimise your nutrition for the best results. 

Reduce inflammation with LED Light Therapy

LED Light Therapy

LED Light Therapy is a non-invasive treatment great for rosacea as it works to manage inflammation, encourage healing and target bacteria. 

There are two different types of light used, depending on what is best suited to your skin.

Blue Light Therapy is great for treating blemish-prone skin as it specifically targets acne-causing bacteria.

  • Calms inflammation and irritation in the skin
  • Reduces breakouts and any inflammation caused by pustules and papules
  • A clearer, even skin tone

Red Light Therapy treats the outer layer of skin when it is applied to stimulate collagen proteins. Stimulating collagen is known to help reduce skin inflammation. It will also help with both scarring and ageing concerns such as wrinkles. 

  • Calms inflammation and irritation in the skin 
  • Skin will appear plumper, brighter, healthier
  • A more even skin tone 
  • Minimises fine lines

This treatment can be supported with a range of skin conditioning treatments to nourish and soothe the skin. 

Treat redness with Sonophoresis Skin Infusion

Sonophoresis Skin Infusion

Sonophoresis Skin Infusion works to treat redness, surface capillaries and hydrate for healthy-looking skin. It is a non-invasive treatment suitable for all skin types and is great for reducing redness, skin tone and texture.

This treatment uses sound waves (ultrasound) to gently infuse these products into your skin deep into the dermis of the skin to be more effective. During the treatment you will hear slight ticking sounds, these are micro-currents working to infuse the product, it feels like small vibrations on the skin.

Your skin will look radiant, hydrated and glowing immediately after treatment.

Photo Rejuvenation

Photo Rejuvenation

Photo Rejuvenation is one of our advanced skin conditioning treatments that is great for targeting concerns like the signs of premature ageing including pigmentation, age and sunspots on the face, chest and hands. It is also great for reducing redness that rosacea may cause, treating broken capillaries, red veins and minor vascular issues.

It works by a device that safely pulses high energy light beams through the skin surface, targeting skin pigmentation in underlying tissue and minor surface blood vessels whilst improving skin texture and overall complexion and encouraging the production of collagen. Once the pigment has been targeted, it comes to the surface of the skin, which then flakes away.

Other lifestyle changes to consider

Sun exposure will be one of your biggest triggers! SPF, SPF and more SPF. Reduce flare-ups by protecting the skin from the sun. We recommend a physical sunscreen like Skinsmiths Daily Antioxidant Defence SPF 30.

If you are having a painful rosacea flare up, a cooling mask or ice pack can help to alleviate the stinging and burning sensations and calm the inflammation. 

You can support rosacea internally by taking essential fatty acid supplements and probiotics to help create a good gut microbiome ( your skin, and everything else, is all connected and reliant on the health of your gut!) Eat clean, but enjoy some treats, and stay hydrated! Water is your friend.

Use products that are gentle and targeted to sensitive skin. Keeping the skin well hydrated is also important, as dehydration creates inflammation. Look for soothing, calming and hydrating products as well as more active ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, and niacinamide once your barrier is stronger. Some products we recommend are:

  • Murad Intense Recovery Cream: If you are on the drier side, this moisturiser is great for rosacea as it deeply moisturises as it relieves visible redness & encourages recovery.
  • Murad Revitalixir Recovery Serum: Containing niacinamide, this serum provides an instant pick-me-up to the skin as it helps smooth while boosting softness and hydration.
  • Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream: A great moisturiser and entry into retinol products if you haven’t already started using it. Retinol helps calm inflammation as well as supports collagen production and skin cell renewal which can help with breakouts and uneven skin texture caused by rosacea.
  • Skinsmiths Ultimate Renewal Serum: This serum contains hydrating ingredients like niacinamide that floods the skin with hydration and helps your skin to retain it too, leaving it plump and replenished. It also helps create and maintain a healthy skin barrier.

Find the right treatment for your Rosacea At Caci

Think you may suffer from redness or rosacea? We've had hundreds of rosacea clients who we have supported in their Skin Health journey.  At Caci, we work with you to get the best result so you feel confident in your skin.

Book a free consultation with one of our skin experts today to get personalised advice - no strings attached. Treat your skin right with Caci.