5 Common Myths About Rosacea

If you suffer from Rosacea, a skin condition where parts of your skin turns a bright red like a sunburn, you’ll undoubtedly be looking into treatments, cures, and what to do to manage it. Unfortunately, depending on where you go as a source of information, it is easy to wind up misinformed in ways that can actually lead to the condition becoming worse. There are a lot of myths about what rosacea is and what causes it. Here are the five most common.

Myth #1 — Specific Foods or Drinks Cause Rosacea

Let’s get this out of the way quickly: no food or drink directly causes rosacea. There has never been any study or research to establish a firm link between any food or drink and rosacea. The most up to date science currently seems to agree that it is mostly caused by genetics or bacteria, so ignore any tips or advice that tries to convince you it is about your diet.

The truth is that it is more likely the condition of the food or drink is what can cause a flare up of rosacea symptoms. For example, heat is a known factor in causing a flare up, so you should avoid anything hot, like coffee, so the heat and steam does not make your condition worse. If you still want to get your caffeine fix, try alternatives such as iced coffee.

Myth #2 — You Should Frequently Clean Your Face

Another common myth is that your hygiene is a major factor in causing rosacea or making the symptoms worse, so you should clean your face frequently with scrubs and strong soaps. Again, however, there is almost no real evidence to support that hygiene is a factor at all.

In fact, the main problem and symptom for people with rosacea is that their skin is red and inflamed. Scrubbing your face with an abrasive cloth or brush, or using soaps with strong chemicals, or using hot water will make your skin more red and inflamed. What you want to do is soothe and calm the skin that is affected by rosacea: use cool water, anti-inflammatory skin products, and keep your skin hydrated to strengthen your skin’s own natural defenses.

Myth #3 — Rosacea Is a Type of Acne

While the visible symptoms of acne and rosacea are similar — including red, inflamed and maybe bumpy skin — they are not similar at all. Acne is caused when your pores get clogged with dirt, debris and oils until they get inflamed or infected, and can be treated (except in certain circumstances) with proper skincare routines and products.

Rosacea on the other hand is thought to be caused by genetics or possible environmental factors. While there is a lot not yet known about what exactly rosacea is and what causes it, current medical science links it with abnormalities in your immune system.

Myth #4 — Rosacea Is Infectious

To settle any fears you might have, you can not catch rosacea from someone else as it is not a infectious condition. The strongest links to potential causes have to do with genetics, the person’s specific skin, and maybe environmental issues.


This myth comes from the fact that antibiotics can help treat the symptoms of the condition, leading to a mistaken assumption that it is a bacterial condition that can be spread to other people. However, the positive effects of antibiotics have to do with it helping reduce inflammation and cannot cure it.

Myth #5 — There is a cure for Rosacea

Unfortunately, despite anything you might read that says otherwise, there is no permanent cure for Rosacea. There are various treatments that can help reduce the symptoms when you have a flare up, but that is as much as you can get right now. Be very careful in what treatments you try on your own, as you may get advice based on wrong information. Always ask your doctor or dermatologist for advice on proper treatments.

About the Author

Born and raised in Ottawa Ontario, Dr Crippen has attended three Canadian Universities and obtained four educational titles including his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). After receiving his M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 2001, Dr. Crippen then completed his specialty training at the University of Manitoba over the next two years.  He has worked extensively in public and private medicine since 2003, but in response to rising demand, Dr Crippen has devoted his practice exclusively to both medical & cosmetic skin care procedures/treatments at his clinic.

A Fellow of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, and a diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery in Cosmetic Procedures, Dr. Crippen has trained with physicians who are at the forefront of laser & aesthetic medicine. He has made many educational visits to medical laser clinics throughout North America and Europe.