Everything You Need to Know About Neuropathic Rosacea

Ask yourself what you really know about rosacea. Most people know the skin condition causes flushing and redness, pimples, and irritated skin. You may be less likely to know there are four specific subtypes:

  • Erythematoelangiectatic – Known as type 1, this form of rosacea involves redness in the area of the cheeks, chin, and forehead.
  • Ocular – This type of rosacea causes irritation and inflammation in the eyes. It can feel like you have an eyelash or speck of dirt in your eyes all the time.
  • Papulopustular – This is type 2 rosacea. The redness and flushing of type 1 are usually present, but you also find your skin developing pimples.
  • Phymatous – Phymatous is less common, but it's also one of the more embarrassing types of rosacea. Growths of thick skin appear on the nose and in other areas of the face. In some cases, it can look like warts.

There's One More Subtype

There's a fifth type of rosacea that's getting attention. Neurogenic rosacea has the symptoms of rosacea, but the red skin and flushing are accompanied by a burning sensation or pain. To get relief, people find that cold compresses on the face or inside the mouth help.

In a study of rosacea patients that was published in JAMA Dermatology, it was found that 4 out of 10 people had neurological symptoms with the other symptoms of rosacea. Half of the patients were found to also have a neurological disorder like complex regional pain syndrome, depression, or OCD. Another third had fibromyalgia, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis.

For those patients, typical rosacea treatments like antibiotics or Metrogel were not useful. Laser therapies and medications like beta blockers tended to be more helpful.

What Do You Do if You Think You Have Neurogenic Rosacea?

First, contact your doctor or dermatologist. Avoiding some of the triggers that irritate your rosacea can help. You might need to keep a food journal to pinpoint your triggers. For many people, acidic foods like tomatoes and red wine are problems.

Second, invest in a spray bottle that you keep filled with distilled water. That can help keep the skin cool and moistened. Cold compresses are helpful. Don't leave them on too long or you can damage your skin.

Third, make sure you're avoiding products that irritate your skin. Moisturizers with fragrances worsen rosacea. Parabens, alcohol, and some essential oils also irritate rosacea. Don't use a toner as most contain witch hazel or alcohol. Use a mild facial wash that doesn't contain things like ground apricot pits or other exfoliators.

If you need a good line of products for your rosacea, many have had excellent results using Rodan and Fields Soothe. It's not cheap, but it soothes the inflammation and redness. Talk to your dermatologist about other recommended rosacea skin care products. One thing is very true about this skin condition, there's no cure and what works for one may not work for you. You'll spend some time finding what works best at easing your flare-ups.