Rosacea – The Low Down

www.freedigitalimages.netRosacea is a common, but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face and whilst it doesn’t cause scaring it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing.

What causes rosacea?
The medical profession doesn’t fully understand Rosacea, but many believe it is to do with in the blood vessels in the skin of the face, which dilate too easily, and a reaction to microscopic mites commonly found on the face. Rosacea tends to be reoccurring so there will be times when the symptoms are really bad, but at other times it is less of an issue.

Who gets Rosacea?
It tends to be more common in women than in men, and in those with a fair skin who flush easily and whilst there does seem to be a link of Rosacea in families, there’s no concrete evidence that it is heredity.

What are the symptoms of Rosacea?
Symptoms often start with the flushing of the skin where it turns red for a short amount of time. Other sings comes out as time passes and include:

  • burning
  • stinging
  • long lasting, deep redness of the skin
  • small red bumps (papules) and spots
  • blood vessels on the skin becoming visible – this is called telangiectasia
  • eyes can be effected and if this happens contact your GP

How is Rosacea diagnosed?
GPs are very good at recognising Rosacea simply by looking at the skin, but there are no specific tests.

Can Rosacea be avoided?
Sufferers find it very hard to stop outbreaks but they find avoiding any known triggers reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms. Some of the most common triggers include:

  • high levels of stress
  • strenuous exercise
  • sunlight
  • very hot drinks
  • extreme weather conditions (hot and cold)
  • hot drinks
  • alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods

Are there any long-term effects of Rosacea?
Rosacea doesn’t cause scaring but it can:

  • Lead to embarrassment, anxiety, or depression, and a disrupted social life.
  • Cause swelling of the face (lymphoedema), especially around the eyes.
  • Make the nose red and bulbous (rhinophyma) because of the overgrowth of the sebaceous glands.
  • Cause red, itchy, sore eyes and eyelids and experience a gritty feeling and sensitivity to light. A small number of sufferers have more serious eye problems, such as rosacea keratitis that can affect vision so this needs to be seen by a GP or specialist.

Can Rosacea be cured?
There is no magic cure for this condition but long-term treatments, used as early as possible, can help control symptoms and
clear the symptoms.

The skincare techniques below may help control your rosacea symptoms.

  • Clean skin morning and evening with a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. The Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser is a soothing, pH-balanced gel/cream helps calm and cool the redness, heat and discomfort of rosacea.
  • Rinse the skin with lukewarm water and allow it to dry before applying medication or make-up.
  • Try to find products for sensitive skin that are hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.
  • Using a gentle moisturiser can soothe sore skin.
  • Use water-based make-up and skin products.
  • Avoid products that contain ingredients such as fragrances, alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, eucalyptus oil, camphor, clove oil, peppermint, sodium lauryl sulphate and lanolin.
  • Once you have found products that work with your skin, try to stick to them and only introduce something new slowly.
  • Men may find an electric razor, rather than a blade, helps reduce skin irritation.
  • Sometimes you can use specially designed “camouflage” make-up and the charity Changing Faces offers a free skin camouflage service, to help with the use of these creams.

What if it just doesn’t get better?
If you are worried talk to your GP who can offer more help or send you to see a dermatologist for further advice.

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