What I learned about Rosacea

Rosacea (roe-ZAY-she-uh) can be distressing, creating feelings of embarrassment and self-consciousness.  The signs include redness and visible blood vessels on your face.  Occasionally it’s mistaken for acne, since small, red, pus-filled bumps may show up too.  It can appear for months and then randomly go away, only to show up again later.  Sometimes it's gets bad enough where the skin around your nose enlarges; a condition called rhinophyma (rie-no-FIE-muh).

Anyone can experience rosacea but it’s most common in middle-aged light-skinned women who smoke and have had sun damage to their skin.  There’s no actual known cure for rosacea.  But, friend, if you struggle with it I want you to have hope because there’s various home treatments that may alleviate and lessen the symptoms.  Maybe you can even get it cleared up!

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

(listed from the Mayo Clinic)

  • Facial redness. Rosacea usually causes a persistent redness in the central part of your face. Small blood vessels on your nose and cheeks often swell and become visible.
  • Swollen, red bumps. Many people with rosacea also develop pimples on their face that resemble acne. These bumps sometimes contain pus. Your skin may feel hot and tender.
  • Eye problems. Many people with rosacea also experience dry, irritated, swollen eyes and red, swollen eyelids. This is known as ocular rosacea. In some people, the eye symptoms precede the skin symptoms.
  • Enlarged nose. Over time, rosacea can thicken the skin on the nose, causing the nose to appear bulbous (rhinophyma). This occurs more often in men than in women.

Important: If you experience persistent redness of your face, see your doctor or a skin specialist (dermatologist) for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

CAUSES

The possible causes of Rosacea may be a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. Many skin disorders have a root cause in allergies and immune deficiency, which may be a factor in Rosacea as well.

Some factors thought to trigger flare-ups include:

  • Excessive sugar consumption and processed foods
  • Hot drinks and spicy foods
  • Red wine and other alcoholic beverages
  • Temperature extremes
  • Sunlight or wind
  • Emotions (stress-induced)
  • Intense exercise
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications
  • Various cosmetic products

THERAPIES

There are some topical and oral medications your doctor may prescribe to help control the symptoms.  Also, laser therapy and other light-based therapies may help reduce the redness of enlarged blood vessels. Repeat treatments may be needed periodically to maintain the improved appearance of your skin.

Here's a list of self-care practices you can do at home that may help alleviate the annoyingness of rosacea:

  • Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Include lots of lightly cooked vegetables, (especially dark leafy greens) along with a moderate amount of fresh fruits.
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of filtered water with a dash of sea salt or squeeze of lemon added.
  • Herbs that may reduce inflammation include nettle, echinacea, wild cherry bark, white willow bark, mullein, and garlic. Find them at a health food store as tea, tinctures, or pill form.
  • Pay attention to foods and environmental factors that tend to cause flare-ups for you and avoid those triggers (keeping a daily journal can help).
  • Protect your face from sunburn and cold, windy weather.
  • Treat your skin gently. Don't rub or touch your face too much.
  • Use all-natural, pure skincare. Avoid any chemical-based skincare products on your skin, as these may exacerbate the problem.
  • Gentle daily facial massage may help reduce swelling and inflammation. Use a circular motion with your fingers starting on the central part of the face and work toward the ears.

This is by no means an all-conclusive article on Rosacea, work with a healthcare practitioner for deeper healing.  If you struggle with this condition, I'd like to hear what treatments have helped you!

 

 

 Mayo Clinic (Sept 6, 2019). Rosacea. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/symptoms-causes/syc-20353815

Weatherby M.D., Dicken.  Signs and Symptoms Analysis from a Functional Perspective. Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc. 2004. Print.

Burka Wild, Donna. The Skin, Tongue, and Nails Speak. Loveland, CO: Unique Perspective Press, 2012. Print.

Haas M.D., Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. New York: Ten Speed Press, 2006. Print.

May 10, 2021 — Hanna Hendrickson

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