Living With Rosacea

Published: 13th July 2010
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How many times have you seen an elderly gentleman with red cheeks and nose and assumed that he drank too much? Well before we pre-judge these people read my following report on rosacea and see just how common this condition really is.

So what is Rosacea?

One in 20 of us has rosacea and don't even know it! Often we assume that we just have sensitive skin or even acne. However if you do suffer from rosacea then acne products can aggravate the rosacea even more. Some of the symptoms of rosacea would include; mild to constant flushing, skin feeling hot and itchy and spot-type breakouts. Generally the skin on your nose, chin and forehead are mostly affected by rosacea.

What causes Rosacea?

Rosacea is an abnormality of facial blood vessels and its most likely cause is genetic, with 40 per cent of sufferers saying someone else in their family has it too. Symptoms usually start in the 30's to 50's, and although hormones do not actually cause rosacea, if you are genetically prone to it, hormone changes such as; the menopause, pregnancy etc... can aggravate the rosacea.

Things to Avoid An Attack of Rosacea

During an attack, too much blood is pumped through your capillaries, causing them to stretch and lose their elasticity. They are then unable to work properly, so become overloaded and the skin goes red. The lymphatic system can't take away all this extra fluid and it builds up in the surrounding tissue, causing inflammation and swelling.

If you are prone to rosacea the skin can easily be stimulated by some of the following; hot liquids such as tea and coffee, spicy foods, alcohol, histamine producing foods such as tomatoes, combinations of food and drink. If you do suffer from rosacea it is generally a good idea to keep a food and drink diary so you can keep a record of what brings on an attack and then you will know what food and drink to avoid. Other factors that can affect an attack of rosacea are; stress or stressful situations, extreme changes in temperature (avoid saunas, steam rooms), intense exercise and smoking as it depletes the vitamin C in your body causing weaker capillaries.

Stages Of Rosacea

Pre-rosacea skin will flare up, but quickly calm down again.

Mild rosacea sufferers experience sudden sensitivity to products they may have used for ages, and during a flare-up which will last around 30 minutes, their skin may burn and itch. Once you have reached stage two, your skin is pretty much permanently red and flushing is more frequent. You'll also have inflamed pimples, which is why people think they have acne, but don't squeeze them as what's underneath is actually lymph fluid so it would be like squeezing a blister. The final stage of rosacea is so inflamed and swollen that the contours of your face can look disfigured i.e. the red nose.

How To Improve The Appearance Of Rosacea

The first thing to do is to identify the triggers that bring on an attack of rosacea. If your rosacea is in its early stages, then I would recommend that you see an experienced skin therapist. They will suggest a good skin therapy treatment and advise on products that will help with the rosacea. Many skin therapists are recommending products from the Dermalogica range as they are especially kind to skin problems such as rosacea. However, if you are in the later stages of rosacea I would suggest that you contact your doctor for treatment.

Tips On Treating Rosacea

Some of the skin care products to avoid if you suffer from rosacea would be; face scrubs, skin peels, alcohol, fragrance, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus. Basically all astringents and oil based creams which feel greasy.

The best way to look after your skin is to create a barrier between it and the outside world, so that pollutants can't get in. You need to keep your skin well moisturized to prevent water loss and to protect your skin from the sun. I especially love the Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream as it keeps my skin nicely hydrated and helps to prevent breakouts! Another great product from Dermalogica is Dermalogica Barrier Repair.

Alternative Therapies

Since stress is a plays a large part in the flare up of a rosacea attack then any therapies that you can do to help reduce stress will be extremely beneficial. Some of the activities and therapies that you could try include such things as; Yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation and reflexology.

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