Different subtypes, causes, treatments; it can be a bit overwhelming at the start.
That’s certainly how I felt at first, so you’re definitely not alone! It is one of the reasons I started Finca Skin Organics. In this blog, I want to give you a brief introduction to subtype 2 acne rosacea.
Papulopustular rosacea is sometimes known as acne rosacea. It can also be called subtype 2 rosacea, PPR rosacea, or inflammatory rosacea.
This subtype of rosacea can often be mistaken for acne. This is because it causes acne-like breakouts; think of red spots and pimples which come and go. People with this subtype often also notice burning and stinging. The key difference to acne is that there aren’t generally blackheads or whiteheads when rosacea is the culprit.
Subtype 2 rosacea can happen alongside the symptoms of redness and flushing that are associated with subtype 1 ETR. Subtype 2 occurs mostly in middle-aged people and tends to affect women more than men.
A lot of people call subtype 2 “acne rosacea”. This isn’t a great nickname as it can lead people to believe that the two are in some way related.
To clear things up, there is no known connection between acne and rosacea. This has led to a lot of confusion in the past and wrong self-diagnosis. If either condition is mistaken for the other and incorrectly treated, symptoms can actually get worse.
What are the main symptoms of PPR/subtype 2 acne rosacea?
Subtype 2 rosacea is generally an oily condition. Unlike subtype 1, it’s always associated with some bumps or texture. Subtype 1 usually comes with dry skin, redness, and blushing.
The most common signs and symptoms:
- Papules and pustules (spots and pimples)
- Temporary or persistent redness primarily on the central areas of the face
- Burning/stinging sensation
- Visible broken blood vessels (spider veins aka telangiectasia)
- Raised, scaly red patches on the skin
- Oily skin
- Sensitive skin
- Skin may burn and sting
What causes subtype 2 rosacea?Even now, researchers still aren’t fully sure of exactly what causes rosacea - subtype 2 or otherwise. Experts have come to the conclusion that it can be caused by a number of different things. It could be down to:
- Environmental triggers
- Issues with facial blood vessels
- The nervous and/or immune system
- The presence of demodex mites.
The best way to avoid your subtype 2 rosacea from flaring up is knowing your own triggers and avoiding them when possible. Of course, you can’t avoid these things all the time. We’re only human!
Figuring out what triggers you can be done by keeping a rosacea diary. This means monitoring your foods and activities and making links when you experience flare-ups.
Common environmental triggers:
- Sun exposure
- Emotional stress
- Hot weather
- Strenuous exercise
- Alcohol consumption
- Hot baths
- Cold weather
- Spicy foods
- Certain skin-care products
Besides food, drinks, exercise, etc. there are also skincare ingredients that won’t do your rosacea any favours!
Skincare ingredients to avoid:
- witch hazel
- exfoliating agents
- certain essential oils, including peppermint and eucalyptus
How can I manage my symptoms?
For subtype 2, it has three grades or subtypes of its own - mild, moderate and severe.
Mild cases (grade 1):
Usually, comes in the form of a few pimples/pustules and some redness. At this stage, sometimes a topical therapy like a cream or gel will be enough. In other cases, an oral antibiotic alongside the topical therapy is given. Once in remission, often the oral antibiotic is stopped completely or dosage lowered.
Moderate cases (grade 2):
Characterised by several pustules and quite a bit of redness. When treating moderate cases of subtype 2 rosacea, stronger therapies are recommended. This can be both topical and oral treatments including antibiotics. This can be the case until remission and sometimes even longer to keep the inflammation down.
Severe subtype 2 rosacea can be known as grade 3:
This is when there are lots of pimples/pustules alongside the persistent redness. This can be really painful. The same treatment options for mild and moderate cases are given. Doctors might also recommend skincare routines to help reduce the pain. Alternative therapies and medications could also be recommended.
Topical therapies might include:
- Azelaic acid (gel or cream)
- Metronidazole (gel or cream)
- Natural alternatives with ingredients such as Tea Tree oil, Oregano oil, or Licorice root.
Our Calming Serum 2 has been developed specifically to soothe the symptoms of subtype 2. This localised, lightweight serum aims to relieve facial redness, swelling, excess oil, and bumps and contains both Tea Tree oil and Oregano oil.
After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin improved significantly*.
When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone. It’s always best to talk to your dermatologist first and work out your treatment plan together.
Remembering that there are lots of others in a similar situation might bring some comfort. There are also a lot of online communities you can join to meet others with rosacea.
With love from Ireland,
*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.