Skin Concerns

Red Skin Syndrome And Rosacea, Are They The Same?

rosacea and red skin syndrome difference
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Although both involve red skin, red skin syndrome and rosacea are two completely separate clinical concerns. In this article, we examine each of these conditions as well as their association with Demodex.

What Is Red Skin Syndrome (RSS)?

Steroids usually have a good effect on skin conditions; however, they may be associated with side effects, the most prominent of which is red skin syndrome (RSS).

Although there are exceptions, long-term (more than a year), the use of topical steroids on a daily basis can lead to this complication.

Typically, the process that leads to red skin syndrome is as follows:

  • Steroids will gradually become less and less effective.
  • Individuals apply higher doses to get the previous results.
  • Eventually, the previous skin complications may intensify and spread to other parts of the body.
  • The skin feels burning, red and sore in areas where you have applied topical corticosteroids as well as other parts with no prior symptoms. 

Given that symptoms may mimic the undertreating complication, many patients and even physicians may interpret it as an exacerbation of the previous condition rather than a new underlying cause.

Continue reading to learn more about the side effects, people at risk, and how they relate to Demodex.

Red Skin Syndrome Manifestations

Symptoms typically begin with a rash in the treated area and may spread to other parts of the skin. Redness, burning and stinging are among common symptoms.

However, manifestations may vary from person to person. It may happen at the same time as taking the steroid or a few days or weeks after stopping it.

Based on the time of onset, we can divide the symptoms as follows:

Symptoms In People Who Are Taking Steroids

  • Rash and redness at the site (it may even be elsewhere)
  • Redness, severe itching, burning and stinging
  • Symptoms that do not improve with steroid use
  • Eczema-like symptoms

Symptoms In People Who Have Stopped Taking Steroids

Symptoms in people who have stopped taking steroids can vary depending on the type of underlying issue. People with previous eczema or dermatitis usually experience red, inflamed, itchy skin. Burning sensation and tenderness are other symptoms. These symptoms can affect large areas of the skin.

In contrast, people with acne experience papulopustular, which includes pimple-like bumps, redness, and swelling.

Other symptoms include:

Scaling skin, sunburn-like appearance, blisters, edema, nerve pain, dry eyes, hair loss, changes in appetite and sleep, fatigue and depression, and swollen lymph nodes.

Who Is At Risk?

People who take high doses of steroids for the long term are usually at risk. Red skin syndrome is more common in women than men. Also, facial and genital areas are more risk-prone areas.

To prevent this syndrome, do not use steroids arbitrarily. If you are taking over-the-counter medications, keep them to a minimum and choose the lowest dose.

Red Skin Syndrome Treatment

There is no specific cure except stopping steroids under the supervision of your physician. However, some home remedies may help:

  • Oral analgesics to reduce pain
  • Antihistamines to reduce itching
  • Topical antibiotics
  • Cold compress
  • Epsom salt bath
  • Topical oils such as Vaseline and jojoba oil

In addition, it is necessary to use 100% cotton clothes and cotton bedding items to minimise irritation. Also, you need to use soap for sensitive skin instead of a regular one. The same goes for shampoos and other hygiene products.

Is Red Skin Syndrome Related To Demodex Mites?

What is evident is that the syndrome arises directly as a result of overtreatment with steroids. 

In general, we can say there is no direct connection between red skin syndrome and Demodex mites. However, The link between these two is steroids. To be more precise, just as steroids can cause red skin syndrome, they can weaken the immune system and pave the way for Demodex mites to grow.

What Are Demodex Mites?

For the uninitiated, Demodex mites are microscopic beings that live naturally in small numbers on people’s skins. They are tiny arthropods that you can not see with the naked eye.  Demodex mites have small octopuses that they use to crawl on the skin, mate, and move between the skin surface.

They penetrate deep into the skin, via the pores through which the hair grows out, and lay eggs. Demodex can cause various problems if it reproduces too much, such as itching, redness of the skin, rosacea, enlarged pores, blepharitis, acne and hair loss. There are many reasons why the Demodex population may explode. A poor immune system plays a significant role. Any factor that weakens the body’s natural defences helps Demodex proliferate too much. These include stress, primary and acquired immune deficiencies, the use of immunosuppressive drugs, as well as corticosteroids.

Even topical steroids can reduce the body’s natural defences over time, causing Demodex and other skin microorganisms to grow, leading to skin and hair problems. This is another reason that may encourage you to avoid using steroids as much as possible.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin dermatosis that is still debatable in terms of meaning, classification and association with Demodex. To put it bluntly, it’s like when you apply blush on your cheeks, nose and forehead. Of course, this redness may affect other areas as well, such as the neck, chest, ears and back. However, rosacea is usually more prominent in the centre of the face.

In addition to redness, after a while, broken blood vessels are observed under the skin, as well as pimple-like bumps that are full of pus.

We can say redness and inflammation are among Rosacea hallmarks. However, as mentioned, this condition is entirely different from red skin syndrome, which leaves the skin around the nose and lips unaffected. In contrast, rosacea is concentrated in the centre.

Prevalence Of Rosacea

If we include all types of rosacea, up to 10% of people are affected. However, some subgroups, such as pure vascular rosacea, play a much larger role.

Rosacea is more common in women than men and seems more prevalent in people with fair skin, especially in Northeastern Europe.

The condition is also known as acne rosacea (due to acne-like bumps) and is sometimes confused with acne vulgaris. However, this skin concern is not acne at all.

Types Of Rosacea And Their Symptoms

Although rosacea classifications and definitions have changed a few times over the last few decades, the grouping provided by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is as follows:

Erythematous Telangiectasia

In this type of rosacea, the skin is persistently red. Tiny blood vessels beneath the skin are apparent and may become more prominent over time. Although periods of relapse and remission are usual, without treatment, the redness may become permanent due to the worsening of the condition

Papulopustular Rosacea

Purulent whiteheads are common in this class. These pus-filled blemishes may affect the chin, forehead, cheeks and chest, scalp and neck. This type of rosacea may be confused with acne vulgaris. These pimples usually take a long time to go away. Furthermore, facial flushing is also common.

Rosemary Phymatous

Bulbous nose, or rhinophyma, which is more common in men, is the result of this type of rosacea. Uneven, thick and scarred skin, which sometimes is discoloured, are among the symptoms.

Ocular rosacea

This type of rosacea affects the eyes more than other types. Dry, red, wet and bloodshot eyes are among the Ocular rosacea symptoms. In addition, small cysts may develop on the eyelid.

There is another type of rosacea called steroid rosacea, which is caused by the long-term use of corticosteroids. The symptoms include permanent and widespread redness of the facial skin, which becomes more severe in the centre of the face. 

This type of redness is called rosacea because of its resemblance to real rosacea and appears to be different from red skin syndrome.

The Causes Of Rosacea

The exact cause of this dermatological concern is still unknown. Nevertheless, a set of environmental and genetic factors seem to be influential. Recent studies have revealed rosacea is a continuum of an inflammatory response. It seems the inflammation may already have been present even before the onset of symptoms.

Factors that trigger rosacea (such as spices, alcohol, hot weather, wind, microorganisms, stress and sunlight) induce a cascade of inflammatory factors. Following this, compensatory reactions occur by the immune system that gets out of control and causes rosacea symptoms.

The environmental and hereditary causes that underlie this complication include:

  • Abnormal blood vessels in the face
  • Light skin
  • Demodex follicle parasite
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Inheritance

Rosacea Treatment

No definitive treatment has been discovered so far. Avoiding stimulants can be helpful. However, eliminating reversible underlying factors – such as Demodex mites and Helicobacter pylori – can be effective in overcoming the symptoms.

FDA-Approved Topical And Oral Therapies For Rosacea

  • Topical Antibiotics 

Metronidazole 0.25%, 0.75%, 1% cream, gel, lotion (e.g., MetroCream, MetroGel)

  • Non-antibiotics

Azelaic acid 15% gel (Azelex)

Sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulphur 5% combination, lotion, cream, pledgets, short-contact preparation, cleanser (Sulfacet) 

Sodium sulfacetamide 10% lotion

  • Oral Antibiotics

Doxycycline, USP (Oracea Capsules) 40 mg once daily (30-mg immediate-release and 10-mg delayed-release beads)

Rosacea And Demodex Mite

Demodex Mites are nowadays being considered as one of the underlying causes of rosacea. This microorganism seems to be highly in correlation with rosacea as its number is significantly higher in infected people. The elimination of Demodex mites has been shown to have a significant impact on relieving rosacea symptoms

PROCUTiN Helps You To Fix Your Skin Redness

In any complications that deal with Demodex, you can count on PROCUTiN to relieve symptoms. 

PROCUTiN is an Australian-made product made from all-herbal and natural ingredients. PROCUTiN can help subside the symptoms caused by Demodex by removing them from the skin. In addition, by eliminating Demodex mites from peripheral surfaces, PROCUTiN can prevent cross-transfer of this microscopic parasite.

The Demodex mite is known to cause rosacea, so PROCUTiN can help you get rid of your skin redness.

Demodex mites can over-multiply due to long-term use of steroids and lead to various dermatological problems. We have received reports from our customers that show Demodex outbreaks and their consequences following the long-term use of steroids.

An unhealthy lifestyle, weak or suppressed immunity, and poor personal hygiene, make Demodex mites and similar harmful microbes grow and cause concerns for the skin and hair, such as rosacea. Remarkably, individuals suffering from rosacea usually have a high population of Demodex mites on their skin.

The problems caused by the overgrown Demodex population are not confined to rosacea but also connected to:

For more information about these nasty mites, click here.

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