In an effort to shed light on different skin conditions, we’re taking you to #skinschool to talk about Rosacea. The condition presents as facial skin sensitivity, redness, flushing, a sensation of heat and small red bumps and is often mistaken for acne.
By Clinic Manager, Morag Cairns.
Rocasea is an inflammatory, chronic skin condition that can affect any ethnicity but predominantly those with fair skin, freckles, celtic and European backgrounds. Rosacea affects majority females in the age bracket of 30-50 years old.
There are four different sub-types of Rosacea-
1. Erythematotelangiectatic (ETR) – this is characterised by visible redness, flushing, broken capillaries, drier skin with little oil, skin that feels hot to touch and may have some swelling and discomfort.
2. Papulopustular (Acne Rosacea) – we can refer to this as a ‘wet’ Rosacea: skin may have little watery vesicles and breakouts alongside redness, flushing, feel hot and uncomfortable.
3. Rhinophima – this type mainly affects males, where the skin on the nose becomes thickened, and can have that bulbous appearance and broken capillaries (small veins). Usually present alongside type 1 and/or 2 above.
4. Occular Rosacea – present around the eyes area. This specific condition requires examination and treatment by an Ophthalmologist.
Firstly, the sad news is that Rosacea cannot be cured. The better news though is that we can help control it, making life more comfortable and manageable. We do this by calming the skin, identifying triggers, prescribing the correct skincare, looking at the root causes (factors such as is it intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) causes).
Intrinsic Factors can range from allergies such as dairy, fish, pollen. What is your immunity like? We know it’s hereditary, so did either of your parents sufferers of Rosacea? What is your ethnicity/background? Do you suffer with stress?
Extrinsic Factors can range from the climate, air conditioning, travel, chlorinated water, make-up, incorrect skincare use, medications and diet.
Triggers could include that glass of wine on Friday night after work, coffee, spicy foods, stress, hot showers. All these can contribute to flushing and dilating capillaries.
With any skin condition we always want to look at reducing and calming inflammation and redness before we can then move on to the step of healing and strengthening. The first thing we are going to look at is repairing the barrier function of the skin.
For our skin to be healthy and functioning well we need to look after the very top layer of the skin, also known as the Acid Mantle. This is made up of layers of oil (lipids) and water and plays an important part in protecting our skin from water loss, protects from us pathogens and bacteria getting in and creates a slightly acidic, happy environment for our cells to grow. It also slows the absorption of skincare ingredients so our cells don’t feel attacked and create an inflammatory response! I like to think of the top layer of our skin (Acid Mantle) as the roof on our house; our cells as the bricks; and the layers of oil and water as the mortar! Take away the roof then everything inside will become damaged and the foundations will crumble! A strong functioning Acid Mantle (Roof) = happy healthy cells, lipids and water (bricks and mortar)!
The first step is to get a professional diagnosis from your Dermal Clinician who can take then guide you on the journey to calming, repairing and strengthening your skin. An in-depth consultation will investigate internal and external and triggers of your Rosacea condition. Homecare, skincare, lifestyle and general stressors will all be taken into consideration when creating the best plan for you. Each plan is so individual: you may need to address over-use of products that may be too active for your skin (i.e. overly perfumed or just not suitable for your skin). Or, you may not be using anything at all! In that case we need to introduce a cleanser, calming serums and SPF. My absolute personal favourite for building a strong barrier function is Ultimate RX Vitamin B + HA Serum, containing Niacinamide (B3) and Panthenol (B5) to decrease inflammation, calm and protect. ULTIMATE RX PROBIOTIC MOISTURISER is also an excellent to soothe, calm and hydate Roseacea-skin. Once these factors have been discussed, then a suitable treatment plan can commence.
My favourite treatment for Rosacea skin is LED Light Therapy. It’s non-invasive (relaxing even!) and uses different colours (wavelengths) to target different depths and concerns of the skin. The red wavelength targets the deepest (basal layers) of the skin, stimulating cell renewal, collagen and elastin. This can be alternated with the yellow wavelength, which heals and diffuses redness in the skin. These treatments can be performed 1-2 times per week for a period of time for optimal results.
Some tips include –
To discuss your skin concerns, please be in touch. Contact us to arrange a virtual or in-clinic consultation.
All content on this website is created and published online for informational purposes. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
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