Learning About Rosacea

   April is rosacea awareness month!  We are excited to be able to focus on this particular skin condition; we want to inform our audience about what rosacea is and what options there are for people who struggle with it. In honor of this, scrub me® has compiled a small list of questions we commonly hear about rosacea and answered them in detail for you.  Even though rosacea is a life long condition there are ways you can adjust your routine and lifestyle to live comfortably.

1. What is rosacea?

Redness and irritation in the cheeks is a common symptom of rosacea.  On the left you see a rosacea flare up.  On the right you see calm, regulated skin.

Redness and irritation in the cheeks is a common symptom of rosacea.  On the left you see a rosacea flare up.  On the right you see calm, regulated skin.

This is a chronic skin disorder that mainly affects the facial skin.  Symptoms of rosacea include: skin redness or extreme facial flushing, small red bumps, sensitivity and dryness, skin changing or thickening around the nose, and watery eyes.  People affected by this skin condition may experience one to all of these symptoms.

scrub me secret:  You are not alone if you struggle with this condition! Rosacea is estimated to affect well over 16 million Americans. 

 

2. What is rosacea caused by and is it contagious?

Smoking or living an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to more rosacea flare ups and cause your condition to worsen.

Smoking or living an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to more rosacea flare ups and cause your condition to worsen.

In the many years that doctors and experts have been researching rosacea, there is still no known cause for this disorder.  It is most common in people with fair skin types but has also been found in many other skin types.  Some believe rosacea could be linked to genetics but that has also not shown to be a consistent theory.  Lifestyle definitely affects how severe rosacea is and also plays a big factor in flare ups.  The good thing is that rosacea is not contagious and cannot spread to another person who does not have it.

scrub me secret: rosacea is often seen occurring after age 30.  while it is also seen in children and younger people, we see it more often later in life.  this may be due to living a lifestyle that causes a lot or irritation or inflammation.

 

3. What can cause a flare up?

Excessive sun is something that isn't good for anyones skin.  If you have rosacea, the sun can end up doing more damage to your skin compared to someone without.  The sun can not only damage the fibers in your skin but it also brings a lot of heat to the surface, causing a flare up. Other things that heat up the skin can also irritate rosacea; hot baths and showers, saunas, steam rooms, and even hot yoga are activities you should be avoiding.  Internal heat is another cause of rosacea flare up.  Consuming spicy foods and drinking alcohol can make our cheeks flush even if we don't struggle with rosacea.  This goes to show how much internal heat is created in our body when we consume certain foods or alcohol.  Other triggers such as heavy lifting, exercise or even stress can cause our bodies to heat up and provoke rosacea.  

scrub me secret:  according to a study done by the National Rosacea Society, out of 1066 rosacea patients 79% found emotional stress to be their #1 trigger of rosacea.

 

4.  How can a manage my rosacea daily?

Wash face with luke warm or cool water to reduce redness.

Wash face with luke warm or cool water to reduce redness.

Since rosacea is activated by irritation or inflammation you will want to try your best to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.  Avoiding certain foods and drinks we just discussed is important in maintaining rosacea.  There are also certain foods you can eat that are said to aid in managing this disorder.  Leafy greens and other foods that are high in fiber allow good bacteria to out number the bad bacteria in our digestive systems.  This is can cause less acid production and inflammation in the body.  Treating your body on the outside is also important.  This is done by using proper skin care and avoiding those activities that cause heat to the skin.  When showering and cleansing skin, you want to use luke warm water instead of hot.  Make sure to use non-irritating and anti-inflammatory skin care when cleansing and treating skin (we will cover that more in a minute).  Always use sun protection and wear a hat or try and keep your face covered while in the sun.  Indoor cardio and exercise is recommended so you can more easily control the temperature and stay out of the sun.  Let's be honest, it's really hard to live a completely anti-inflammatory lifestyle.  Paying close attention to your rosacea triggers are important and doing your best to keep inflammation to a minimum is what's most important.

 

5.  What skin care should people with rosacea use?

Our toning bar is 2 in 1!  Cleanse and tone at the same time and balance rosacea.

Our toning bar is 2 in 1!  Cleanse and tone at the same time and balance rosacea.

Sensitive and soothing products are key in managing rosacea.  While we want to calm redness and help sensitivities we also want to address texture.  Small bumps or scaly skin is common in skin affected by rosacea and can be frustrating to get rid of.  Keeping skin balanced with alcohol free toners and pH balanced cleaners is the first step. This will help fade any bumps that are being caused by irritating products.  Nourishing skin after cleansing and toning using an all sensitive moisturizer is key.  This way the skin can easily absorb the hydrator and will feel softer.  Exfoliating is tough when it comes to having rosacea, but it's something that needs to be done in order to help refine the texture and turn over the cells.  We don't recommend exfoliating very often, once or twice a week is fine or you can even wait for your monthly facial.  When dealing with rosacea we want to use very gentle, non-irritating exfoliants.  At home, a gentle facial cleansing brush or a scrub with very fine exfoliants is okay to use.  Since scrub me® doesn't offer facial scrubs just yet, you can try making your own at home using oatmeal or coffee and a little bit of coconut oil.  During a facial, your esthetician may choose to use a low dosage of a retinol or a fruit enzyme to exfoliate skin and smooth texture.  If you are nervous to exfoliate at home because of sensitivity, talk with your esthetician and see what your best options are.  Always, always use SPF!  Sun exposure without proper sunscreen can undo all your hard work you've put into managing your rosacea.

scrub me secret: our toning bar can act as a cleanser and toner that is sensitive enough to treat rosacea.  the lime essential oil takes the place of a harsh astringent and cucumber extract soothes skin.

 

6.  What treatment options are available if I have rosacea?

Monthly facials and treatments at the spa to maintain skin are enough for some to be comfortable with their rosacea.  Your esthetician can even offer you sensitive skin peels or retinol treatments that will help rosacea over time.  Others may suffer from more severe forms of rosacea and will need to consult their dermatologist.  Your dermatologist can decide if it would be beneficial to prescribe a topical cream or gel or an oral antibiotic.  Most topical gels and creams are also antibiotics, these are meant to treat inflammation, bumps and redness.  These treatments only work for certain types of rosacea that have more severe bumps and redness.  Always consult your doctor or dermatologist before deciding on a prescription to help clear rosacea.  If you do find a oral or topical prescription that works for you, let your esthetician know so they know what products to avoid during treatment. 

scrub me secret:  if you are someone who is struggling with an extreme form of rosacea that causes skin on the nose to grow and become bumpy, there are still treatment options.  Doctors and dermatologists offer cryotherapy, laser therapy and even surgical skin grafting.  While these procedures may be aggressive they can help remove the extra skin and texture.  Consult you physician.

Here is an example of a before and after treatment.

Here is an example of a before and after treatment.

 

We hope we answered some of your most pressing questions about rosacea and touched upon informative topics.  From our experience in the skin care industry we have found that maintaining rosacea is key to living comfortably with it.  Using proper skin care and keeping a regimen up is the best thing you can do to keep your skin healthy.  Paying attention to internal triggers and avoiding activities that cause extreme heat will help to keep you from flaring up.  If you can get your flare ups under control then it will be easier to manage and you won't end up damaging your skin.  Always feel free to consult your esthetician, dermatologist, or even scrub me®, with any questions or concerns you may have.  No question is a silly question when it comes to managing rosacea.  Happy Rosacea Awareness Month!! 

**our statistics and scrub me secrets from this blog were cited from the National Rosacea Society website**