April is National Rosacea Awareness Month. So I will be taking you on a deep dive to help you understand rosacea, what it looks like, its common triggers, and how to treat rosacea.
Rosacea is sometimes confused with acne because it often shows on the skin as inflammation and redness on the nose, forehead, cheekbones, or chin. Rosacea appears red and blotchy because it is a vascular skin condition, meaning it involves the blood circulation in your skin.
Rosacea is a hereditary condition and is predominant in a person of light skin and western European descent.
There are 4 subtypes of rosacea:
#1 Erythema-Telangiectatic: is characterized by redness and flushing on the nose, cheeks, chin, or forehead.The skin might have a dry or rough texture. The redness may come and go
#2 Papulopustular: Has large acne-like papules and pustules with surrounding redness.
#3 Ocular: Effects the eyes and eyelids. Styes and thickening and reddening of the eyelid skin, and redness of the eyes are common.
#4 Phymatous: Caused by swelling in the nose and growth of cartilage in the nose.
The tricky thing about rosacea is that no one knows what causes it, but there are some interesting theories:
In some rosacea cases, there are a large number of Demodex mites (tiny mites that live near the follicle, often referred to as eyelash mites.) They implant themselves into the walls of the hair follicle and make the skin swollen and red.
The latest research states that the bacteria from Demodex mites cause rosacea. For more information regarding this study, check out this article.
It is more about what NOT to do than what to do when it comes to treating rosacea/acne-rosacea. Avoiding these common rosacea triggers is the place to start:
Now, I know that you need some of these triggers to live. I just want you to be mindful of these triggers and avoid them when you can.
Having rosacea can only be confirmed by a physician, preferably a dermatologist. However, as an esthetician, I can offer treatments to help soothe erythema-telangiectatic (subtype 1). I have a treatment and home care regimen for rosacea that works incredibly well for those with papulopustular rosacea (subtype 2).
The basics for caring for rosacea skin include:
1.Using a gentle, non-stripping cleanser such as Ultra Gentle Cleanser that contains soothing green tea.
2.Use a non-alcoholic toner such as Calming facial toner that contains ingredients with soothing, hydrating and moisturizing properties.
3.AHA exfoliates such as Salicylic Acid should be used with caution because they help rosacea as long as you're not having a flare-up.
4. Use an anti-red serum such as Hydrabalance because they help reduce redness and soothes rosacea flushing.
5. A hydrating moisturizer is critical, like clearderma.
6. Lastly, you can't forget your sunscreen. Using a sunscreen such as SPF 28 contains zinc oxide, which helps to bounce sun rays away from the skin, preventing extra heat in the skin. Your sunscreen should be fragrance-free, lightweight, and non-comedogenic.
At this time, there is no cure for rosacea, but the key is to keep your rosacea from progressing is to be proactive by treating it now and avoiding rosacea flare-ups.
If you'd like more information about rosacea, please check out the National Rosacea Society.