Reddened Skin and Rosacea

April is International Rosacea Month, so if you suspect you have rosacea, have a read about how we can help you control this difficult condition.

One of the most common complaints I hear from clients is that their skin is getting redder as they get older. When we look at the skin under the surface, you can see the extent of vascular damage. Redness can occur due to sun damage or just a genetic predisposition to a ‘ruddy’ complexion but there is an inflammatory condition called Rosacea that affects approximately 1 in 20 Australians.

Despite being a common skin condition, very little is known about the cause of Rosacea. Theories range from the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria to mites, but as yet, there is nothing conclusive. What we do know is the devastating effect this condition can have on a person’s self-esteem.

Starting with facial flushing, rosacea usually progresses to persistent redness, thickening of the skin, visible capillaries and then to painful inflammation and raised red bumps. It is embarrassing and very difficult to hide.

Any of the following warning signs is a signal to seek help before the condition becomes increasingly severe:

  • Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead
  • Small visible blood vessels on the face
  • Bumps or pimples on the face
  • Watery or irritated eyes.

If you think you have rosacea, then be proactive and get help. The condition gets progressively worse and with no cure available, effective management is essential.

Start with avoiding known triggers like alcohol, spicy foods, saunas and weather extremes.

Seek advice on choosing the most appropriate skincare for your rosacea. Get your skincare wrong and you will make the condition worse, but get it right and you can control it.

Avoid toners, perfumes and irritating products. Use anti-inflammatory, immune boosting ingredients and incorporate Vitamin A. Retinoids like Retin-A are usually too irritating for rosaceous skin but using a retinaldehyde is a great option for reducing redness and improving the skins integrity.

Most people with rosacea are Caucasian and have fair skin.  As UV damage is a known trigger for the disease, protect with a physical, rather than a chemical sunscreen like zinc, which is also very calming for the skin. Women should switch to a pure mineral make-up.

The good news is there are fantastic treatments available for rapid improvement in redness and dilated capillaries. Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light therapies work by heating up and collapsing the vessels down. Although most clients see a significant improvement in their symptoms following one session, several sessions are usually needed to complete the treatment and maintenance may be required.

Quite often, we see clients who have left their condition too long before seeking treatment and it is difficult to gain control. Left untreated, rosacea can severely damage the skin, leading to dilation of facial capillaries, extreme sensitivity, and thickening of the skin causing a condition called rhinophyma (enlargement of the nose). So if you suspect you may have Rosacea, please contact the clinics for a consultation with one of our nurses. We look forward to looking after you.