Rosacea: What is it and how can it be treated?
Rosacea is a common rash, usually found on the central part of the face, on a middle-aged person. A tendency to flush easily is followed by persistent redness and crops of small inflamed red bumps and pus spots.
The cause isn’t certain, but many believe the defect lies in the blood vessels in the skin, which dilate too easily. Rosacea is more common in women and those with fair skin. Many things seem to irritate rosacea, but probably do not cause it. They include alcohol, excessive exercise, high and low temperatures, spicy foods, stress, and sunlight.
The idea that rosacea is due to germs in the skin, or in the bowel, has not been proved. Rosacea is not catching. Rosacea seems to run in some families but there is still no evidence it’s hereditary.
Rosacea starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily. The skin can feel sensitive, and then burn or sting. After a while, the central areas of the face become a deeper shade of red and end up staying this colour all the time. Small red bumps (papules) and pus spots flare up – but they come and go. Small dilated blood vessels appear, looking like thin red streaks.
In some cases, sufferers have swelling on the face, particularly around the eyes. The nose may appear big, red and bulbous due to the overgrowth of the sebaceous glands – but this is more common in male sufferers.
Rosacea differs from acne, because the skin is not particularly oily, and there are no blackheads or scarring. No treatment is guaranteed to stop rosacea. But it is possible to control symptoms and clear spots.
Here’s what to do:
Spicy food, alcohol, extreme heat or cold, stress, and even certain skincare products may trigger a flare-up. Keep a journal of what you do just before your rosacea symptoms show themselves - and learn the triggers to avoid.
Moisturisers create a barrier to lock out irritants and help keep symptoms at bay. But choose the right one. The fewer the ingredients the better. Keep it simple and oil-free.
Skip the facials
These treatments irritate the skin, so avoid facials, chemical peels and microdermabrasion, which can be too harsh and make rosacea worse.
Keep make-up light
The urge will be to cover up rosacea, but piling on the make-up will only irritate the skin. Avoid anything heavily fragranced, and if possible go for powders rather than liquids, which will only clog pores.
Stay sun safe
A top trigger for rosacea can be sun exposure. So apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and stay in the shade as much as possible. Choose sunscreens with physical blockers such as zinc oxide or titanium. Ensure sunscreens are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
Calm down flares
Cool showers and green tea extract can help to soothe the skin and tackle flares before they get worse. Our Good Night! cream contains green tea as well as a blend of essential oils which may help. If all else fails, work with a dermatologist to discover what might work for your skin.