Rosacea is a stubborn, chronic, and pervasive skin disorder that is not only frustrating but also extremely tricky to treat. It is thought to afflict at least 30% to 50% of the US population (estimated at over 14 million Americans). Despite its prevalence, physicians and even dermatologists often misdiagnose Rosacea, and most people do not even know the disorder exists.
MeMe at Beautify Your Skin has spent years in the treatment room visually experiencing the effects and combinations of this condition. She is confident in helping her clients get to a place where their skin conditions are under control, comfortable and manageable. There isn't one product to fix all but a combination of things that can help reduce the flare ups.
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According to a survey commissioned by the National Rosacea Society, 78% of respondents did not know what Rosacea was and, it follows, how to identify it.
In simple terms, Rosacea is a very distinctive skin problem of the face identified at first by a characteristic pattern of redness, which often appears in a butterfly pattern over the nose and cheeks. In the beginning this "blushing" can be intermittent, but eventually, it almost always increases in severity, sensitivity, and can be accompanied by rashes, enlarged pores, blemishes, and noticeable surfaced capillaries.
For years, this skin condition was simply referred to as "Acne Rosacea." Unfortunately, pustules (pimples) and papules (red, raised bumps) are often present, which makes Rosacea look like acne. Rosacea is rarely, if ever, accompanied by blackheads and many sufferers deal with persistent dryness (flaking) over the affected areas. These polar opposite symptoms can be extremely confusing because the dry, flaky skin responds minimally to moisturizers and the bumps and whiteheads do not respond to typical acne treatments. Further complicating matters, when doctors misdiagnose Rosacea, the medications prescribed usually make matters worse. Fortunately, due to a new classification system of four Rosacea subtypes, more physicians are becoming familiar with how to recognize and properly diagnose Rosacea (source: www.rosacea.org).
Keep in mind that when Rosacea first develops, it may appear, disappear, and then reappear a short time later. This series of visible problems and spontaneous remissions also make a precise diagnosis difficult. Despite its mysterious nature, the condition rarely reverses itself and almost always becomes worse without treatment. Rosacea most often starts with skin that stays persistently red and does not return to its normal color. Other symptoms, such as enlarged blood vessels, flaky patches, oily skin, skin sensitivity, and breakouts, become more and more visible. As Rosacea progresses, pimples appear on the face in the form of small, solid red and pus-filled bumps
What causes Rosacea?
After much research and conjecture, we still do not know. It has long been suspected that some kind of microbe (likely Demodex folliculorum) under the skin is responsible for the symptoms but there are other theories about a generalized vascular inflammatory disorder. What we do know is there are many triggers that can make the condition flare up. Being able to identify what your triggers are can help in maintaining the flare ups.
Some lifestyle modifications that may help minimize your flare-ups
- Avoid rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging the face, which can irritate the skin. Gently apply all soaps, moisturizers, sunscreens and other products.
- Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, and alcoholic beverages.
- Protect your skin from the sun by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and wear protective clothing: long-sleeve shirts, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Try not to become overheated. Avoid hot baths and showers. Try to exercise where it is cool.
- Be sure to protect your skin from extreme cold, which can irritate the skin and cause a flare-up.
- Do not use cosmetics, soaps, moisturizers and other facial products that might contain ingredients, such as alcohol and fragrances, which irritate the skin.
- Be careful not to get hair spray on your face.
Since what triggers Rosacea in one patient may not trigger it in another, dermatologists recommend that Rosacea sufferers keep a diary of flushing episodes and note associated foods, products, activities, medications or other triggering factors.
Some Ingredients to Avoid
Keep in mind that not everyone reacts the same to any of these elements. The following is a good general list to consider: alcohols citrus juices and oils (such as grapefruit or orange); fragrances of any kind menthol peppermint.
Most Common Rosacea Triggers
While the list of potential rosacea triggers in various individuals may be endless, a survey of 1,066 rosacea patients found that the most common factors included the following:
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