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Différence entre rougeurs, rosacée et couperose.

Redness, rosacea, couperose: what's the difference?

Redness, rosacea and couperose all have a common manifestation: red skin. This similarity often leads to confusion between these different skin conditions. So, what is the difference between redness, rosacea and couperose? This article provides some answers.

Published January 22, 2024, by Sandrine, Head of Scientific Communication — 6 min read

What are the differences between redness, rosacea, and couperose?

The redness, the rosacea and the couperose all manifest themselves through the presence of redness on the face. Despite this similarity, there are fundamental differences:

  • One is physiological, the other is pathological.

    Redness is a physiological condition during which the face, or other parts of the body, take on a more or less intense red colour. This phenomenon indicates a significant blood flow, when the blood capillaries that irrigate the skin excessively dilate at the level of the dermis. They are generally observed on hypersensitive skin, due to an altered skin barrier and hyper-reactivity of sensory fibres, whereas they would not necessarily have manifested on normal skin.

    Unlike redness which is physiological, rosacea is a disease chronic of the skin that can manifest in 4 different forms: vascular, ocular, papulopustular or hypertrophic. The presence of redness on the face, due to an exaggerated reaction of the blood vessels, is the common point among the 4 forms, but other symptoms may appear.

    Rosacea is the most common form of rosacea . It is characterised by temporary redness (erythema) or permanent redness (erythrosis) associated with the development on the skin's surface of small, fine, red or purple blood vessels that become visible to the naked eye (telangiectasias).

    Thus, redness is a skin manifestation of physiological origin, while rosacea is a skin disease. Couperose, on the other hand, is a form of rosacea.

  • Different manifestations.

    Redness manifests itself as a red skin. For normal skin, the redness subsides within a few minutes, whereas for sensitive skin, it can persist for several days to a few weeks.

    In the case of rosacea and couperose, we observe not only temporary redness but also permanent redness (erythrosis). These erythroses are also accompanied bysmall, fine blood vessels, red or purple in colour,visible to the naked eye. There is also a form of rosacea, papulopustular rosacea, characterised by the appearance of skin lesions, usually inflamed papules and/or pustules and sometimes painful on the skin surface in addition to the redness. These lesions are very often mistaken for acne.

    extra-cutaneous signs associated with rosacea such as hot flushes , ocular involvement (ocular rosacea).

    Please note : ocular rosacea can sometimes precede skin involvement. It presents as conjunctivitis, eye irritation, eyelid inflammation (blepharitis), watery red eye (conjunctival hyperemia), burning sensation, dryness with a feeling of a foreign body in the eyes, and light sensitivity (photophobia).

    Redness, being physiological, generally manifests as a redder skin tone. On the other hand, rosacea, being a disease, presents other symptoms that complicate the daily lives of those affected..

What are the ways to alleviate them?

  • Reducing redness:

    Use cosmetics that contain healing agents, soothing agents, anti-inflammatory agents and vasoconstrictors (beta-glucan, hemp oil, azelaic acid, niacinamide, Centella asiatica, allantoin, bisabolol, calendula macerate, etc...).

    Redness is typically observed in hypersensitive skin with a compromised skin barrier. Therefore, opt for treatments that strengthen the skin barrier, ensuring protection against external aggressions.

    In order to diminish/cover up redness, you can use a green-coloured complexion corrector.

    There are aesthetic treatments available such as vascular laser, Flash lamps, or even Kleresca photo-modulation. Do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist if the redness persists.

  • Reducing rosacea and thread veins:

    Rosacea is a skin disease, thus a consultation with a dermatologist is essential. Depending on your type of rosacea, the dermatologist will prescribe a suitable treatment.

    In the case of couperose, which is the most common form of rosacea, a gel containing brimonidine is to be applied locally.

    In parallel, the doctor can utilise physical treatments such as the laser (the KTP laser, pulsed dye lasers and the Nd Yag laser). The laser allows todiminish the redness and thevisible telangiectasias of rosacea. It appears that the laser may help to reduce the recurrence of the disease.


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