Rosacea: The Facts, The Myths, The Treatments

Rosacea...a ruddy, reddish complexion that in some cases can be mistaken with an alcohol problem and can often be very embarrassing for the sufferers.

 

Unfortunately, many people have never heard of rosacea and so many of those who suffer from it assume the red face and flushed cheeks and nose are merely signs of ageing...not true! We are here to dispel the myths and let you know all the ins, outs, ups and downs with this tricky skin condition.

 

Rosacea can be treated effectively in most people but there are no quick fixes and there is no cure, only methods to keep it under control.

 

HOW TO SPOT THE SIGNS

  • Facial redness, covering the nose and cheeks.
  • Acne-like spots.
  • Red flash on face (like a butterfly shape over the nose and cheeks)
  • Broken veins.
  • Swollen and tender skin.
  • Extreme sensitivity to changing temperatures.
  • Flushing and blushing.

 

RED AND SORE

If you leave rosacea undiagnosed, the symptoms can get progressively worse, leading to more complications including enlargement of the nose and severely broken veins, sometimes permanent redness. This can be very painful, sore, swollen and tender, so much so that sometimes the skin can't handle water.

 

WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?

If you feel that your face is burning, stinging, itching, tender, raw, sore or in pain regularly, please go and see your doctor. You may be advised to take painkillers but a doctor may also prefer to categorise the rosacea into mild, moderate or severe cases. Having said that it is possible to have a mild case with bad flare ups.

Treatment will depend upon the symptoms. Some prescribed antibiotics have a positive effect on the inflammation but will do nothing (or little) to help with the flushing.

 

WHO IS AFFECTED?

It is not clear what causes rosacea but we do know that certain people are more likely to get it: if one or both parents had it, if their skin is a typical Celtic colouring, or if they are prone to blushing. It can affect both sexes, yet more women are reported to have the condition but it occurs mainly after the age of 30.

 

ARE BLUSHING AND FLUSHING THE SAME?

Many sufferers of rosacea report that flushing is the worst symptom of the condition and it can drive many people to stay indoors. The words blush and flush often get confused but their meanings are the same, with the same redness on the face, neck, ears and even upper chest, accompanied by a feeling of intense heat in those areas. Of course this can occur with embarrassment too!

 

AVOID TRIGGERS

There are many factors that may set off rosacea, including some foods so it is always a good idea to keep a diary so that you can pinpoint what triggers it for you. Here is a list of some of the more common triggers:

  • Stress
  • Extremes of temperature
  • Spicy food
  • Alcohol can exacerbate symptoms
  • Hot drinks
  • Foods, including tomatoes, cheese (except cottage), spinach, yogurt, plums, raisins, vinegar, yeast-containing foods, chocolate and marinated foods.

 

TOPICAL ANTIBIOTICS AND NATURAL SOOTHERS

It is possible to treat rosacea topically with gels, creams or lotions and these methods can be as effective as oral antibiotics. Evening Primrose Oil is another good treatment that helps the body fight inflammation, ginger can be used to reduce redness, Calendula cream is very soothing for inflammatory conditions and Milk Thistle is a great herd to use in the fight against rosacea as it purifies and protects the liver, which is believed to contribute to the cause of rosacea.

 

IS MY FLUSHING JUST THE MENOPAUSE?

    Hot flushes in menopausal women affect not only the face but the whole body too and they are set off by the hypothalamus gland in the brain. This glad is similar to an internal thermostat.

    The hormone oestrogen is responsible for stabilising the hypothalamus and it is the reduction of this hormone during the menopause that triggers hot flushes. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help control this type of flushing. 

     

     

    Adapted from DailyMail.co.uk