What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and pimples over the areas of the face. It mainly affects the forehead, lower half of the nose and chin. Rosacea most commonly affects women and fair-skinned people and tends to start between the age of 30 and 60. When rosacea occurs, tiny blood vessels in the facial area dilate (enlarges) and become more noticeable through the skin. These blood vessels emerge as tiny red lines known as telangiectasias.
Initially when rosacea develops, it begins with a tendency to blush or flush easily – it appears, disappears and then reappears. The skin, however, does not return to its normal color and the enlarged blood vessels accompanied with pimples emerge. This condition is frequently mistaken for acne - it resembles teenage acne. It often leads to social and psychological problems such as depression and low self esteem. If left untreated, this condition will only worsen.
What Causes Rosacea?
The exact cause of rosacea is not known. It is believed that rosacea may be caused by hereditary or environmental factors. Another theory holds that rosacea may be a vascular disorder as it is linked with symptoms of flushing, redness and visible blood vessels. It may also be associated with the nervous system because rosacea is often triggered when patients are under stress. Many also believe that an immune system that has malfunctioned may cause rosacea.
The diagnosis of rosacea can be based on clinical examination by a dermatologist. A skin biopsy may have to be performed in order to differentiate the type of rosacea that the patient may have. If the eye is affected, an ophthalmological examination is required.
The symptoms and signs of rosacea may include:
- Frequent redness, flushing or ruddiness of the face
- Dilated blood vessels or small bumps runs down the center of the face
- Thick skin on the chin, cheeks and forehead
- Swollen nose
- Blushing or flushing in hot weather, when you are under emotional stress or after exercise
- Vision problems such as red, dry, itchy eyes
Help for Rosacea
Although rosacea cannot be cured, with the proper treatment and elimination of certain triggers from your lifestyle this condition can be controlled. Treatment options such as oral antibiotics and topical creams are commonly prescribed to reduce inflammation and redness. Topical cortisone preparations for short-term use may also be prescribed as topical topical vitamin C therapy and cosmetic surgery.
Often the harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients that are contained in today’s skincare products do more damage to your skin than you may realize. Herbal remedies, on the other hand have carefully selected natural ingredients to improve the appearance of the skin and prevent future break outs. Two well known herbs such as Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil) and Lavender Essential Oil have wonderful healing powers attributed to their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-septic actions.
Other herbs such as Arctium lappa and Bulbine frutescence have been used widely to treat skin conditions including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. In addition, Apparatus linearis (Rooibos) an indigenous shrub that hails from South Africa is known worldwide for its anti-oxidant and healing properties as well as its soothing and healing effect on the skin.
More Information on Rosacea
Tips to cope with rosacea
- Follow these tips to help you manage flare-ups of rosacea.
- Avoid any triggers that may increase the onset of rosacea
- Keep a diary that will help identify and reduce triggers
- Wear an extra sensitive sunscreen with an SPF 15 daily
- Avoid situations that create excessive heat such as hot tubs or extreme exercise
- Reduce your intake of hot beverages and alcoholic drinks – it is safer to only drink cold non-alcoholic drinks
- Use fragrance and alcohol free skin care products (Dove, Neutrogena or DDF Rosacea Relief serum)
- Avoid foods such as tomatoes, eggplant, spinach or spicy, hot dishes that may cause a flare-up
- Carry make-up such as a general coverage foundation with you to conceal redness, bumps or pimples
- Stop smoking as smoke aggravates rosacea