Rosacea is a common rash, found on the central part of the face, a tendency to flush
easily is followed by persistent redness on the cheeks, chin, forehead and nose, and by crops of small inflamed red bumps and pus spots. The face becomes flushed and red and typically feels itchy and burning. In some cases the rash becomes permanent, leaving the skin red. When the nose is affected, particularly in older men, the skin becomes thickened, swollen and purple, a condition called rhinophyma.
The skin of the face feels sensitive, and can burn or sting. Flushing (the face becomes bright red) adds to the embarrassment caused by the rash. Up to one in ten people may have rosacea. Although it can appear for the first time at any age, it more commonly appears between the ages of 30 and 55, with women more often affected than men. It can run in families.
The cause of rosacea is not fully understood, but many think that the defect lies in the blood vessels in the skin of the face, which dilate too easily. Rosacea is more common in women than in men, and in those with a fair skin who flush easily (this is definitely me as I have always flushed easily and still do!). Many things seem to make rosacea worse, but probably do not cause it in the first place, they include alcohol, too much exercise, both high and low temperatures, hot spicy foods, stress, and sunlight. Things that stir up one person’s rosacea may well have no effect at all on the rosacea of someone else.
I got diagonosed 4 years ago with Rosacea and I know all to well how it effects me when I have a flare up and how it doesn’t just affect my skin with how it looks but how it effects my self-confidence and self-esteem. You get funny looks or people say have you got a cold or think you must be a drinker as your cheeks are flushed and your nose is red and mockled looking. I especially hate this time of year as you are constantly going from cold temperature to hot temperatures whether its Christmas shopping in those hot shops or running in and out of your house or work. My cheeks tingle and feel irritated and itchy. My nose I want to scratch and rub but it is too sore sometimes to touch. I apply non-irritating skin-care products, and protect my skin from sun exposure using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. At least being a woman I can hide some of the redness with cosmetics, green makeup or green-tinted foundations can be used to counter redness and followed by a skin-tone foundation with natural yellow tones, avoiding those with pink or orange hues.
Here are a few tips that might help as unfortunately there is no cure for rosacea, but it can usually be effectively controlled if you are aware of several external influences that may aggravate the skin.
• Protect your skin from the sun by using a sun block on your face every day (at least SPF15) even on shady days.
• Do not rub or scrub your face as this can make rosacea worse.
• Consider the lifestyle factors that can stir up rosacea. Learn which worsen your rosacea and avoid them. A written record of your flare-ups may help here.
• Cosmetics can often cover up rosacea effectively. Certain skin care products – Avoid using wrinkle creams, cleansers containing alcohol, exfoliating/abrasive cleansers.
• If your eyes are giving problems, do not ignore these – consult your doctor.
• Temperature extremes – Heat is a major cause of flare ups, so avoid hot baths and showers, dress in cool, lightweight clothing (avoid woollens completely).
• Hot drinks – Tea and coffee particularly, but any hot drink can bring on flushing.
• Spicy foods – Avoid Chillies, curries, pickles, mustard and horseradish.
• Alcohol – Even a few sips can affect some people.
Over the coming weeks I will write some more tips about dealing with this skin condition and how my skin reacts which hopefully will help other suffers. Also have a look at our website www.pureandgentle.com for some ideas and products that may help with Rosacea.