What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a non-contagious skin inflammation that exclusively affects the face. The small surface blood vessels (capillaries) of the skin become enlarged, making it look permanently flushed or red and sometimes pimples and pustules develop. Thankfully, unlike acne, Rosacea doesn’t scar.
There are four different subtypes for rosacea and Zoe explains sufferers often have a combination of subtype 1 (facial redness with visible capillaries) and subtype 2 (redness with bumps).
- Facial Redness (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea) (ETR)
Flushing and persistent redness is the common denominator. People will notice more visible small blood vessels or more rarely; stinging, burning, swelling or skin roughness.
- Acne rosacea (Papulopustular)
Persistent redness is visible in addition to bumps in the form of pustules. Middle-aged women tend to be the typical sufferer of this type.
- Phymatous Rosacea (enlargement of the nose)
This form is quite rare and usually affects males. Includes thickening of the skin and enlargement of the nose from excess tissue.
- Ocular Rosacea (irritation of the eye)
Can involve watery or bloodshot eyes with irritation and burning or stinging. The eyelids may also become swollen, and styes are common.
What causes rosacea?
“It’s difficult to prevent rosacea from occurring, however there are underlying causes and common triggers (outside of a genetic predisposition) that you should be aware of.”
These include “low stomach acid and low pancreatic enzymes, heliobacter pylori in the stomach, poor digestion, hormonal imbalances and possible overgrowth of the skin mite (demodex folliculorum).”
What triggers rosacea?
Certain factors can flare up and exacerbate rosacea for some. Zoe explains “this include excessively warm environments (hot bath, sauna, overheating), weather (sun, strong winds, high humidity, cold), alcohol, hot drinks, stress or anxiety, certain foods (dairy, chocolate, spicy foods).”
How do you prevent rosacea?
According to Zoe making lifestyle change can help prevent or reduce chronic redness. This includes “limit high intake of alcohol and coffee (or other acidic foods), increase intake of fresh foods such as cucumber, apples, lettuce, celery, bananas and melons, stop smoking, minimise excessive stress by adopting relaxation techniques and adjust your diet to improve overall digestive health.”
How do you manage rosacea?
“It’s difficult to prevent rosacea from occurring, however you can incorporate topical solutions for red, sensitised or inflamed skin that work to de-stress and strengthen the skin.”
Below is Zoe’s break down of the best products for those suffering from Rosacea, including those with sensitive skin.
B Vitamins - (B3 & B5) assist in reducing redness, inflammation and sensitivity. B3 (niacinamide assists to strengthen the skins barrier function and the skins immune defence. Skinstitut Enzymatic Micro Peel & Multi-Active Mist are both loaded with B vitamins.
Vitamin C – is a powerful antioxidant vitamin that helps to strengthen the skin and capillary walls, useful when vascularity is prominent. Multi-Active Mist contains a gentle form of Vitamin C that is suitable for rosacea prone skins.
Canadian Willowherb – boasts a powerful anti-inflammatory action. This plant extract possesses anti-bacterial and antioxidant activity plus also assists to reduce redness and heat within the skin. You can find Canadian willowherb in Skinstitut Laser Aid & Moisture Defence Normal Skin.
Cucumber seed oil – nourishes and hydrates the epidermis while providing and soothing action for the skin. Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser & Laser Aid use cucumber seed oil.
What to do if you think you have rosacea?
With rosacea it’s best to identify early warning signs and take steps to avoid the aggressors and work on strengthening the skin where possible. You should also take steps to reduce exposure to known triggers and limit the progression. Managing this skin condition as best you can will reduce the chances of long term redness from permanently dilated vessels.
Zoe also suggests you don’t drink high volumes of alcohol, use saunas or steam rooms, pick or squeeze papules as there is nothing to extract and this will cause trauma to the skin and don’t delay seeking advice from a skin care professional or your doctor.
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