Red Skin Syndrome Vs. Rosacea. Are they Related to Demodex?

red skin syndrome

Maybe you think they are the same, but red skin syndrome and rosacea are two entirely different clinical conditions. This article will review each of them and their relationship with Demodex. Follow Ungex along with this comparative article.

Red Skin Syndrome (RSS) Definition, Causes And Treatment

Steroids typically have a therapeutic effect on dermatological issues. However, they may lead to side effects, the most notable of which is red skin syndrome (RSS).

Although it is not always the case, the use of topical steroids for a long time on a daily basis may lead to this complication.

Let’s look at how the red skin syndrome develops:

  • Steroids increasingly become less and less efficient.
  • People use higher doses to see the past results.
  • Eventually, the underlying skin complications may intensify and expand to other parts of the skin.
  • The skin feels burning, inflamed and painful in areas where topical corticosteroids have been applied. Furthermore, other parts with no prior symptoms may get affected. 

As RSS may mimic the undertreating issue, many patients and even doctors may assume it as a worsening of the initial condition rather than a new notable issue.

Stay tuned for more information about RSS side effects, risk factors, and Demodex linkage.

Red Skin Syndrome Symptoms

Manifestations typically start with a rash in the affected area and may expand to other parts as well. Common symptoms include redness, burning and stinging.

However, RSS symptoms may differ from one individual to another. It may happen as you apply the steroid or days and even weeks later.

Based on the onset time, we can categorise the signs as follows:

Symptoms In People Who Are Taking Steroids

  • Rash and redness at the affected site or even somewhere else
  • Redness, stinging, itching, and burning sensation
  • Eczema-like symptoms
  • Symptoms that do not get better with steroid

Symptoms In People Who Have Already Quit Steroids

Manifestations in those who have stopped applying steroids can be various based on the type of underlying problem. Individuals who have eczema or dermatitis usually encounter red, inflamed, and itchy skin. Burning sensation and tenderness are among other signs that may affect different parts of the skin.

People with acne experience pimple-like lumps, redness, and inflammation.

Other RSS symptoms include:

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

RSS Risk Factors

Individuals who have applied high doses of steroids for longer than one year are most at risk. RSS is more common in women than men. Using steroids in the facial and genital areas seems to be linked with a higher risk.

To avoid RSS, do not use steroids arbitrarily. If you are taking over-the-counter steroid remedies, keep them to a minimum and take the lowest dose.

Red Skin Syndrome Treatment

The primary treatment is stopping steroids under your doctor’s supervision. There are also some home remedies:

  • Oral analgesics to decrease pain
  • Topical oils such as Vaseline and jojoba oil
  • Antihistamines to decrease itching
  • Topical and oral antibiotics
  • Cold compress

Using 100% cotton clothes, underwear and beddings also help minimise irritation. Switching to soaps for sensitive skin instead of regular ones can help.

Red Skin Syndrome And Demodex Mites

Red skin syndrome results directly from overtreatment with steroids. Although there is no primary relationship between RSS and Demodex mites, the steroid may be considered a hidden link between the two. 

To be more specific, steroids can cause red skin syndrome. They also weaken the natural defence and pave the way for the overpopulation of Demodex mites. This may lead to chronic Demodicosis.

What Are Demodex Mites?

Demodex mites are tiny creatures that live in small numbers on mammalian skin, including that of humans.

They are microscopic arthropods that are invisible to the naked eye. Demodex has eight little feet to crawl on skin, mate, and go down deep into the skin.

They lay eggs in the follicles and sebaceous glands, where there are plenty of foods to feed larvae. 

Demodex can cause or exacerbate multiple dermatological problems if overlooked. Itching, redness, enlarged pores, blepharitis, rosacea, acne and hair loss are some of the issues that Demodex can develop.

A poor immune system plays a significant role in the Demodex overpopulation. Any agent that makes the body’s defences vulnerable helps Demodex increase. These factors include anxiety, immune deficiencies, immunosuppressive drugs, as well as corticosteroids.

Even topical steroids can weaken immunity over time and lead to the development of various dermatological issues. This is another reason that may convince you to stop using these compounds.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a frequent skin dermatosis still controversial in terms of definition, grouping and its connection with Demodex. In short, it’s like when you apply blush on your cheeks, nose and forehead. However, this red colour may affect other parts of the skin as well. But rosacea is usually more noticeable in the face centre. Broken blood vessels under the skin and pimple-like lumps full of pus are among other signs of rosacea.

However, facial redness and swelling are Rosacea hallmarks. As mentioned, this condition is different from red skin syndrome. While rosacea is concentrated in the centre, RSS leaves the skin around the nose and lips unaffected.


Rosacea Prevalence

Up to 10% of people are affected by different kinds of rosacea. However, subgroups such as pure vascular rosacea play a much more significant role.

Rosacea is more prevalent in women and seems more widespread in people with fair skin, particularly in Northeastern Europe.

The condition is also known as acne rosacea (due to the acne-like bulges) and is sometimes misdiagnosed with acne vulgaris, although it is not acne at all.

Rosacea Types And Symptoms

Although rosacea types and their meanings have changed over the last few decades, the most common patterns or groupings of signs are provided by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):

  • Papulopustular Rosacea

    Pus-filled whiteheads are typical in this rosacea type. These blemishes may affect the forehead, chin, cheeks, scalp, chest, and neck. Unfortunately, Papulopustular Rosacea may be mistaken for acne vulgaris, and its bumps usually take a long time to heal. Furthermore, flushing is also a common sign in this kind of rosacea.

  • Erythematous Telangiectasia

    Persistent red skin is a sign of this type of rosacea. Tiny blood vessels are visible under the skin and may become more pronounced over time. Frequent flare-ups and remission are usual. Without proper treatment, the redness may become permanent.

  • Ocular rosacea

    This type of rosacea causes dry, red, wet and bloodshot eyes. In addition, small cysts may form on the eyelid. Most of the symptoms affect the eyes; hence it is called ocular rosacea.

  • Rosemary Phymatous

    Rosemary Phymatous is more common in men than women and may manifest itself by Bulbous nose or rhinophyma. The skin may become uneven, thick and scarred in the affected area. Some individuals may experience discoloured patches on the skin.

    Steroid rosacea is another type of rosacea, which is associated with the long-term use of corticosteroids. With more severity in the centre, permanent and widespread redness of the face are among the signs.

    The complication is called rosacea because it causes facial redness just as real rosacea does. However, it appears to be different from red skin syndrome.

skin redness

Rosacea Causes

The precise root cause of rosacea is still undiscovered. However, a set of environmental and genetic factors seem to be important in the manifestation of the signs. In addition, recent studies have shown that rosacea is a continuum of an inflammatory response. Thus, it looks like inflammation existed even before any notable symptoms.

Spices, alcohol, hot weather, wind, microorganisms, stress and sunlight are known to be the triggers of rosacea. They provoke a cascade of inflammatory factors, following which compensatory reactions occur by natural immunity. Unfortunately, these may get out of control and cause rosacea manifestations.

The hereditary and environmental conditions that make one get rosacea include:

  • Facial abnormal blood vessels
  • Demodex mites
  • Light skin
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Inheritance

Rosacea Treatment

In general, there is no definitive treatment for rosacea. However, avoiding special foods and conditions that may trigger rosacea can be helpful. Furthermore, treating reversible underlying factors – such as Demodex parasites and Helicobacter pylori – may help you effectively overcome symptoms.

FDA-Approved Rosacea Therapies

  • Topical Antibiotics: Metronidazole
  • Non-antibiotics: Azelaic acid, Sodium sulfacetamide 10% and sulphur 5% combination, Sodium sulfacetamide 10% lotion
  • Oral Antibiotics: Doxycycline, USP (Oracea Capsules)

Demodex Mites And Rosacea 

The infestation of Demodex mites is increasingly regarded as one of the underlying etiology of rosacea. Furthermore, the Demodex population is significantly higher in infected people; thus, it seems to be highly correlated with rosacea. Demodex mite elimination can relieve rosacea symptoms substantially.

Ungex Helps You Get Rid Of Your Skin Redness

At Ungex, we can help you with any complications associated with Demodex mites.

Ungex Pty Ltd is an Australian company that produces all-herbal and natural anti-Demodex products. We can help you with Demodex symptoms by eliminating them from your skin. In addition, by targeting the mites in the immediate environment, Ungex can prevent cross-transfer.

The Demodex mite has turned out to be one of the important causes of rosacea, so Ungex products can help you get rid of your skin redness.

As mentioned, Demodex mites can proliferate after long-term use of steroids and lead to various dermatological issues. We have reports from our clients that prove Demodex outbreaks and their outcomes as a result of long-term use of steroids.


Red Skin Syndrome: Stages, Treatment, Healing, and More

The Pathogenic Role of Demodex Mites in Rosacea: A Potential Therapeutic Target Already in Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea?

Rosacea: A Review

Types of Rosacea

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