The incurable Rosacea
I bet your thinking "is that the one that makes your face look red?" Yes. Thats the one! However a red face is only the start of it, and although the condition is extremely common, not many people know much about it. So let me give you little lesson on the basics.
Rosacea is much more than just red face. It most commonly appears as redness and flushing on the face, sensitive skin, visible blood vessels and pimples. But each person who suffers will vary massively in presentation and severity.
Unlucky for us this condition does not discriminate. It can affect anyone and everyone. Any age, any sex, any race can become victim of the condition... however recent years have shown that women of paler skin types between the ages of 30-60 years seems to be its target audience. But that doesn't mean men can't develop it, in fact in, the rare cases when men do develop the condition it is almost always a much more severe case.
Keeping that in mind, the severity varies so much from person to person that rosacea was actually subdivided into 4 different sub groups to make it easier for everyone to differentiate.
TYPE 1 - Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.Visually it looks like flushing to the face, visible blood vessels and dryness; it can also cause the skin feel extra sensitive. This is what we generally consider to be the mildest form that we see, however as a result of this many people often go undiagnosed from lack of awareness.
TYPE 2 - Papulopustular rosacea. This type is extremely common in appearance with acne, so much so it can sometimes be mistaken for if not assessed correctly. It often causes stinging/burning skin, redness and flushing to the face, visible blood vessels and acne like breakouts. Middle aged women suffering with the condition tend to fall most commonly into this subtype.
TYPE 3 - Phymatous rosacea. This type is one you may have seen before, and thought "why the hell is their nose so red and lumpy?". Well the answer to that is likely phymatous rosacea. It causes the skin on the face (generally the nose, cheeks and chin) to thicken up and leave the skin with a bumpy texture. This type is more rare, and probably the most visually obvious in terms of side effects.
TYPE 4 - Ocular rosacea. Strangely enough you can actually get rosacea in your eyes. It will often look like redness/swelling of the eye, watery and blood shot, and can often cause blurry vision, dry/itching eyes and visible blood vessels on the eyelid. Visually it looks very similar to a sty, and can commonly be misinterpreted to be that.
Now, i'm sure you are wondering by now "what causes rosacea?" and "why does it happen?". Unfortunately at this stage in the industry there is very limited studies around WHY the condition is developed.. however its likely due to; a poor immune system (allowing our skin barriers defence system to be down), abnormalities in our blood vessels, if it runs within your family and environmental factors such as excessive exposure to chemicals. By no means does this mean that you will definitely develop condition if these things apply to you, but it may put you at a higher risk.
Rosacea has proved to be incurable at this point, but it is absolutely essential to KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS when trying to managing it. What this means is there are certain triggers such as; perfumes, essential oils, alcohol intake & substances used on the skin, spicy foods, physical exercise, menopause, stress, temperature changes, chemicals, medications, emulsifiers etc. that may contribute to a flare up of your symptoms. I highly recommend writing down anything thats ever caused you to flare up, and avoid them as best you can, reducing the amount of flare ups you will have.
So how do you treat it? Can you do anything? Absolutely. Obviously every persons case is going to be different, so coming into the clinic to have your treatments/skin prescription tailored to you is essential but generally things like LED Light Therapy, IPL and skin needling sessions are ideal treatment options, as it promotes healing and stimulates growth factors which lessen the appearance of redness and vessels beneath the skin, whilst also boosting collagen production!
Our HERO skincare products for all of our Rosacea sufferer's are:
*Cleansing Milk with DMS
Our very own SJM Rescue Oil
High Classic Moisturiser in the Morning
*Oleogel R (medicated rosacea gel) at Night
Cover & Conceal (green stick concealer to cover and neutralize redness)
*Deco Foundation (treatment foundation to provide clean, healing coverage as makeup can often aggravate this condition)
** denotes basic essentials **
Internally we recommend a broad spectrum probiotic to help balance and improve healthy gut flora PLUS our Beauty Plus Oil which contains a high dose of premium cold pressed essential fatty acids internally. Just drink a tablespoon a day, super easy! Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency is an extremely common problem in most people with today's modern diet but moreso in inflammatory conditions such as Rosacea.
If this sounds like something a friend, family member or yourself could be dealing with but you're not sure.
Please don't hesitate to email, call or pop into the clinic for some advice. We will be more than happy to chat to you about it further :)
By Brigitte Gwynne - SJM Skin Therapist