It’s Rosacea Awareness Month and we wanted to write about this upsetting condition that affects 415 million people worldwide*. There are different levels of the condition, which affects many women over 30. It makes the skin feel hot, tender, sensitive and irritated, and unfortunately lots of factors that affect it, such as stress, the weather and water on skin, can feel out of the control of the sufferer.
We thought we’d explain what rosacea is, how it affects people and also how we can treat it at Skin Philosophy.
What is Rosacea?
If you don’t have the condition, imagine the most embarrassing moment of your life, and how hot your face felt…And times it by ten. Rosacea causes flushing of the skin of the face, so you’ll get redness but also bumps such as pustules and papules. In very extreme cases, one can suffer with blurred vision, swelling and a burning sensation.
What Causes Rosacea?
It’s pretty frustrating that science has put a bloody man on the moon, but it is still difficult to definitively treat Rosacea. It’s a tricky condition caused by a variety of factors that can be different for each individual case, so it can be a case of trial and error.
It is complex and chronic, caused by an impaired barrier function, gut imbalances, dysregulation of the immune system, micro-organisms in the skin and environmental triggers.
We know – it’s a lot! Let’s explore a couple of those. Those ‘micro-organisms’ are demodex mites, which live on many adults’ skin, feeding off oily sebum. When the skin changes due to age, stress or illness, the population of the mites increases. When they die, these mites release bacteria into the skin, which trigger an immune reaction: redness and inflammation of the skin.
If you think about the ‘heat’ that is felt from the skin, you can link this to dietary factors. Smoking, drinking and eating hot foods such as those with a lot of chilli can aggravate rosacea.
What Can I Do To Keep it Under Control?
Rosacea is a bit like acne whereby the more you stress, the worse it gets, but even just being told not to stress is stressful! But incorporating daily meditation has been proven to help combat stress and is definitely worth a try.
Looking at diet and balancing out gut health (seeing a nutritionist to be tested for any allergies), repopulating the gut with good bacteria, incorporating cruciferous vegetables and probiotics will help. Keeping a food diary to notice any patterns between certain foods and flare-ups.
If certain exercises cause excessive flushing, then avoid these, especially when symptoms are severe. Focus on walking, yoga, pilates and avoid swimming pools for the chlorine and water, which can feel painful.
Avoid saunas, steam rooms and hot baths.
Sun exposure is one of the biggest aggravators, so try and stay in the shade and wear a wide brimmed hat, as well as a great quality SPF.
Finally, limit alcohol consumption. Try and cut it out for a few weeks if possible, to see if you notice the difference.
How We Treat You at Skin Philosophy
We take this condition very seriously, because we know how it affects a person’s confidence and comfort. We stock skincare that contains Benzoyl Peroxide, vitamin C and Sulphur, such as ZO Skin Health, which are ingredients proven to fight rosacea. And we look at your skin and your lifestyle habits without judgement, and as an integrated whole because we know that there are so many factors causing flare-ups.
IPL is a skin regenerating treatment, a little like laser, that has fantastic results in battling rosacea as well as giving your skin a fantastic glow at the same time. Clients come in time and time again to get this ‘red carpet treatment’, which has little-to-no downtime (a little redness for a short time after treatment) and we call it the gift that just keeps giving! It helps target broken capillaries, it’s bacteriacidal and it speeds up the skin’s ability to regenerate. It’s not painful, more like a brief sensation of an elastic band being pinged across the skin.
We find mandelic acid to be a fantastic ingredient in treating redness and rosacea, so whilst the idea of peels may seem counter-intuitive to the inflammatory nature of rosacea, the right peel applied by the right aesthetician can be very effective.
As you may have noticed from our previous posts, we have a strong focus on lymphatic drainage, so our lymphatic drainage suit (it is not too warm at all and does not cover the whole body like some do) is a great addition to enhancing treatments.
Contact us for More Information
We do what we do because we want to educate people about their skin, and we want to give people optimal skin health. If this condition is troubling you then please do not hesitate to email and book in for a consultation.