A very common skin condition that I see with a lot of my clients is Rosacea. More than 16 million people are living with Rosacea in the United States. Rosacea is something that I myself experience, so I can relate to my clients who are suffering from this skin condition. Like most people, I thought I had acne and sensitive skin. My skin was very red on my cheeks and I had little bumps that would just be on the cheek area. I tried acne topical medications to help clear up the bumps that I had. All that did was make my skin more dry and irritated. This is the reason that I wanted to make sure that I researched and found out everything I possibly could about Rosacea, so that I could help my clients better understand this skin condition. I wanted to find out who gets Rosacea, what are the causes of Rosacea, what types of Rosacea are there, what triggers Rosacea and what can help to fade the redness you are experiencing.
Most people who have Rosacea are:
- Between 30 and 50 years of age
- Fair skinned, often have blonde hair and blue eyes
- From Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry
- Likely to have someone in their family who also has Rosacea
It can be mistaken for acne and other skin conditions. It is very important to make sure that you are using the correct products and you are aware of the different types of foods that can cause you to have a Rosacea flare up.
What are the causes of Rosacea? This is still something that Scientists are trying to find out, but some things that they are associating it with are:
- Family Genetics. If anyone in your family has ever been diagnosed with Rosacea, then it could be in your family genes.
- The immune system could play a role. Scientists have found that most people with acne-like Rosacea react to a bacteria called bacillus oleronius. This reaction causes their immune system to overreact. Scientists still do not know if this can be a cause of Rosacea.
- A mite that lives on everyone’s skin, called demodex, might play a role. This mite likes to live on the nose and cheeks, which is the common place for Rosacea to appear.
This is still something that Scientists are researching, but there is no real known cause for Rosacea.
Some key symptoms of Rosacea are, facial redness with swollen red bumps. Typically, this is going to occur on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. It may also produce small, red, pus filled bumps. These symptoms may vary from time to time. Flare ups often occur in cycles. You can experience symptoms for weeks or months at a time, the symptoms will go away and then return. When experiencing a Rosacea flare up, you will notice that your skin is more red and easily irritated.
There are four different types of Rosacea that can cause more than just redness.
- Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels. People with this type of Rosacea often have sensitive skin. Their skin can become very dry and flaky.
- Papulopustular Rosacea: Redness, swelling and acne- like breakouts. This subtype of Rosacea is often confused with acne.
- Phymatous Rosacea: Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture
- Ocular Rosacea: Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen
Most of the clients who I see, have Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea and Papulopustular Rosacea. These are usually the most common types of Rosacea that can be easily treated, as well as helping you come up with a plan to keep your Rosacea flare ups from occurring more frequently.
The most common problem that I see with my clients who are experiencing Papulopustular Rosacea is that they use a topical acne medication to try and clear up their skin, but it causes the skin to become dry and sometimes can become very irritated, causing more redness to occur. That is why it is so very important to receive a consultation to see what type of Rosacea that you have and what products and treatments will benefit your skin the most. Many skin care products are too aggressive for Rosacea and they can cause the skin to worsen. Getting some great skin care products will be very beneficial is helping control your Rosacea.
Although, there is no cure for Rosacea, there are things that can help minimize your symptoms and help to reduce the frequency of flare ups.
Learn what triggers your Rosacea. Many everyday things can cause Rosacea to flare up, such as, red wine, spicy foods, sun exposure, intense exercise, hot or cold temperatures, hot baths, wind and stress. Rosacea varies from person to person. So something that triggers one persons Rosacea might not affect yours. Keeping a journal can help reduce your Rosacea flare ups. This will allow you to concentrate on what your triggers are.
Here are some great tips to help fade the redness of your skin:
- Wear sunscreen. Use a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher as well as a wide brimmed hat to protect your face. This is so important as the sun will cause the redness to become more prevalent.
- Vigorous exercise will cause your skin to become more red. Using cold cloths on your face can help to calm the skin and control the redness.
- Use gentle skin care products. Avoid cleansers and creams that have alcohol, fragrances and other harsh ingredients.
- Avoid exfoliants that have a scrubbing effect in them because this can be too aggressive for your skin and cause more redness and irritation.
- Don’t use a washcloth to wash your face, as this can be too aggressive for your skin. Using your hands will be much more gentle.
- Use a moisturizer. This will help your skin from becoming too dry and irritated.
- A green tinted primer to go under your foundation will conceal redness and broken capillaries.
Rosacea can sometimes be an embarrassing and very self conscious skin condition with the persistent redness that you can’t seem to conceal. It can often times lead to frustration of not knowing what your triggers are and how to control it. With the appropriate care and plan for your Rosacea it can definitely be something that can be manageable and once you find out what your triggers are then you will know what the best solution is for you and your skin. My job as an Esthetician is to help educate my clients on their skin and give them the proper tools to use to make sure that their Rosacea is controlled and that they can feel comfortable and confident in their skin.