Rosacea is one of the biggest skin concerns in the UK affecting around 20% of the population. It is a chronic skin condition that is characterised by facial flushing, redness, visible red veins, bumps and spots. The first signs are often facial flushing which comes and goes on what seems like random occasions.
Unfortunately, the main cause of rosacea is unknown with some doctors’ theories including small intestine bacterial growth, an immune response to natural skin mites, UV exposure and genetics. We do know that it is caused by something irritating the skin leading to chronic inflammation. Some people also get a low-grade infection to the area which can also cause acne-type spots on the skin.
It is found to be most common in fair-skinned people between the ages of 30 and 50 and it is more common in women but is found to be more aggressive and stubborn in men.
Usually, if skin is sensitive or damaged it won’t cope with daily skin aggresses including sun, wind and these elements will often cause a reaction within the skin. The protective barrier of the skin becomes impaired and is then unable to protect itself. In response to this, the body will send blood to the area as a defence mechanism, bringing oxygen transported via the red blood cells and immunity transported via the white blood cells to repair the skin. However, this will also bring heat, flushing, redness and inflammation. If the skin starts to flush regularly then over time the blood vessels just under the skin will dilate and become more prominent.
Can Rosacea be treated?
Rosacea can be treated by taking good care of your skin and having professional in-clinic treatments tailored to your skin concern. Treatment is something that will take time and commitment on an ongoing basis in order to help control the outbreaks and flare-ups. This, in turn, will minimise symptoms and help to achieve healthier-looking skin. Everyone is different so we recommend that you get a personalised treatment plan.
What does Rosacea look like?
Signs of Rosacea can include:
- Skin that flushes a lot with no warning or reason.
- Visible thread veins on the surface of the skin. These can be all over the face but are mainly targeted around the nose and cheeks.
- Some people can start to develop spots, or what can look like inflamed acne.
- Dryness. Which can often be confusing when coupled with spots as you would normally associate spots with an oilier complexion. This is often due to the impaired barrier function losing the water or moisture from the skin.
- Up to half of people with rosacea also experience eye problems such as redness, swelling and intermittent puffiness.
Can Rosacea be caused by stress?
There are many triggers to rosacea and everyone’s will be different, however, stress is a big factor. When we have a lot of stress and anxiety it can lead to an increase in inflammation in the skin which will trigger rosacea flare-ups. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system which is the same system from which rosacea sufferers usually have an underlying imbalance.
Finding an outlet or activity that relieves stress levels can help if done often. Some common activities include exercise, meditation, painting and possibly talking to other people who are going through the same.
Which foods trigger rosacea?
Many different foods will trigger the skin so it’s worth keeping a personal food diary to assess what your triggers may be and it may be something you wouldn’t even think! Some of the more common triggers are alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, refined sugar, dairy, chocolate and tomatoes.
Can Rosacea be cured?
Rosacea, at the minute, cannot be fully cured, however, it can definitely be well controlled and any symptoms alleviated through at-home skincare or in-clinic treatments. A lot of people find that there are periods of time when their symptoms improve and they can stop treatment temporarily.
Come and join me in my next blog where I will be discussing all of the different treatment options and solutions we offer for sensitive and rosacea skin types at Aeternum Aesthetics.