If you’re prone to skin sensitivity, redness of the face, excessive blushing and recurring pimples you may be suffering
from rosacea, a common non-contagious skin disorder which according to The National Rosacea Society is estimated
to affect approximately 16 million Americans.
Here at Envision Acne and Skin Care Center, we’re frequently asked if acne and rosacea are the same and what steps can be taken to help control this common skin condition.
What is Rosacea?
In summary, rosacea is a chronic skin hypersensitivity of the face which can be confused with other types of acne and hyperpigmentation. While the exact cause of rosacea is not known, more and more research indicates that it is related to a compromised immune activity. The skin barrier is deficient which sensitizes the skin to active ingredients and irritants.
There are numerous signs associated with rosacea ranging from:
- visible broken blood vessels also known as spider veins and telangiectasia
- frequently occurring breakouts
- excessive oiliness of the skin
- uneven lumpy texture
- areas of dryness
- increased sensitivity
- being prone to facial flushing and in some instances a burning or stinging sensation.
Some studies have been undertaken to assess if rosacea is linked to possible issues with connective tissue under the skin, damaged blood vessels or the presence of mites called Dermodex folliculorum which reside on all of us living in hair follicles, however the exact cause still remains unidentified.
In some cases the eye area can be affected, making the eyes and eyelids very sore and if not treated can potentially lead to blurred vision, increased sensitivity and dilated blood vessels. The term used to describe this specific tipe of rosacea is known as ‘ocular rosacea’.
In this type of rosacea blackheads and closed comedones are not generally present, it shows up in a form of solid papules and pustules (whiteheads and areas of elevated skin). Despite these inflamed leasons being present rosacea is not considered to be acne, as it does not occur due to an overproduction of oil (sebum) in the skin.
Rosacea is most commonly found on the forehead, cheeks and chin, however it can spread to the chest and back and lead to a thickening of the skin especially on the nose area, which is referred to as Rhinophyma if not addressed.
If you’re concerned about a skin condition that you’re unable to get under control, we’d always advise that you visit a licensed aesthetician who will refer you to a Doctor or Dermatologist for a diagnosis if required, before committing to customized skincare treatment program.
Who does Rosacea affect?
Rosacea as a general rule usually presents in individuals who are middle aged, fair skinned and who may have family members who have suffered from it in the past. However, as with any skin condition, it can also be present in people who do not fit into this category. Scientists have carried out research to establish if the immune system, certain medications, digestive issues, damage or problems with blood vessels and connective tissues in the skin or the internal inflammation might be responsible for rosacea. These studies are currently still ongoing.
What triggers Rosacea?
Factors which have the potential to trigger or aggravate rosacea are;
Medications and prescription drugs such as vasodilators used for blood pressure which are known to widen blood vessels can potentially cause facial flushing, in those prone to rosacea. The long-term use of topical steroids has also been believed by some to aggravate symptoms if not closely monitored by your medical practitioner. If you are suffering from rosacea and are currently on any form of medication, it would be advisable to have your Doctor or Pharmacist review your prescriptions.
The diet we consume has the ability to aggravate or calm internal inflammation. There has been a lot of research conducted on foods and the impact they can have on our overall health. Whenever possible we would follow an anti-inflammatory, nutrient rich diet to help support topical treatments, avoiding certain foods such as: alcohol, foods high in sugar, caffeine, spicy foods and those which trigger the release of histamine such as; citrus fruits, cheese, bananas, vinegar, soy sauce, yogurt and avocados to name a few. A comprehensive list can be found on Rosacea.org
When exposing your skin to the sun’s harmful UV rays and extreme temperatures it’s vital to ensure that your skin is sufficiently protected using acne safe sunscreens,hydrators and moisturizers, lip balms and mineral makeup to avoid it becoming damaged and irritated.
In some client’s we see at our Manalapan, New Jersey based Acne and Skin Care Center rosacea has been made worse by using cosmetics and skin care products. As some of these brands contain high levels of synthetic fragrances and chemicals, they have the ability to create a barrier on the skin, preventing it from breathing and also irritate hypersensitive skins, leading to blocked pores and hyperpigmentation.
While there is no known permanent cure for rosacea, a variety of treatments and products can be used to help reduce the excessive redness, skin sensitivity, and inflamed acne breakouts. Medication is sometimes prescribed by Doctors and Dermatologists to target secondary symptoms such as excessive oiliness, dryness, burning/stinging sensations and pimples. Laser skin rejuvenation is also recommended by some medical practitioners to target broken blood vessels, while others prefer to focus on the use of skin calming topical products such as healing and purifying masks, salicylic antibacterial toners or calming hydra gels and anti-inflammatory lotions all of which can be purchased from our PoreInfusion range of acne safe products.
Our 5 top tips to support your skin
As we’ve mentioned previously there is no known cure for rosacea, however by making modifications to your current lifestyle and incorporating some key changes to your daily routine, you will be able to effectively support your treatment program.
As Hippocrates once said ‘let food be thy medicine’. Anti-inflammatory herbal teas, a nutrient-dense diet rich in organic and chemical free produce, intake of essential fatty acids and minerals to help balance hormones and the consumption of probiotics (live yeasts and bacteria) to keep your digestive system in top shape, will all have a direct impact on your skin and are essential skin food fundamentals we’d advocate.
Stress can be a contributor to rosacea, which is why we’d always recommend regular exercise and the incorporation of mindfulness techniques such as meditation into your weekly activities, especially with the increased demands that the modern world places upon us. Exercise in moderation is key as high impact routines can cause excessive sweating and a fluctuation in body temperature, in addition to the use of saunas, steam rooms which should be avoided.
Cosmetics & Skin Care Products
Whenever possible opt for cosmetics and skin care products which are fragrance-free and have been developed for sensitive and acne-prone skins. Mineral makeupallows the skin to breathe and can potentially help to reduce the chances of developing allergic reactions due to the natural ingredients used in the products.
LED Light Therapy
Light therapy has over the years grown in popularity due to the amazing benefits it has on the skin. Not only can it help to speed up the healing process, reduce inflammation and kill any bacteria present in pores, it can also help to balance hyper-pigmentation and improve skin texture, making it an excellent addition to your professional skin care program.
If you’d like to find out more about our acne and skin care services, PoreInfusion range of acne safe skincare products, or have a question which we may be able to help you with please don’t hesitate to email us directly, or call the team to book an appointment at our New Jersey-based Acne and Skin Care Center.
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Do you need expert skin care advice from a licensed aesthetician/acne specialist? Schedule your appointment for a consultation today to get personalized advice on products and treatments that are right for you © 2012-2017 Nikolett Ivanyi, Envision Acne Center; For more information go to www.envisionacnecenter.com