What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness, flushing, swelling, sensitivity and sometimes even acne-like bumps. It is usually long-term and appears most on the nose, forehead, cheeks and chin.
Who does it affect?
Rosacea can affect anyone but is most commonly found on Caucasian women in their 30s to 60s. It is thought to be hereditary in some cases.
What are the triggers?
There are many things that can trigger one’s rosacea, and these triggers can also vary from person to person. First and foremost, the number one trigger is sun exposure. After this, exercise, environmental conditions (such as heat, cold or wind), stress and alcohol are also very common triggers. Diet can also be a factor in rosacea flare ups, as well as certain skin products/skin actives and household products. Hormones (especially female) are thought to be involved also.
Can it be cured?
Unfortunately, rosacea is a chronic condition and currently has no direct and final cure. Post-menopausal women however do report a lessening in their flare ups and rosacea intensity.
So, what can be done?
- The first thing we would recommend is to start a skin diary, as this way you will be able to identify your most frequent and personal triggers.
A skin diary can be done in a few ways:
- Selfies! One way to clearly and visually keep track of your skin day to day is to start taking a photo of your face (make up free) either once or twice a day depending on your commitment level. Maybe create an album in your photos and add a selfie each day with a note of any specific or relevant triggers to that time (such as what you ate or drank, exercise, sun exposure, hormones, etc). This way you will be able to clearly see what flares up your rosacea and keep track of it over the weeks or months. You will also be able to see any changes or results from your interventions when comparing photos. This can be encouraging and motivating for your progress, as it can sometimes be difficult to remember where we came from and how it looked when we started!
- A log/notebook: if you prefer the classic pen and paper (or smart phone notes), you can simply write down each day any symptoms, triggers, changes and general observations. You could even come up with a rating scale of the intensity of your rosacea from 1-10 for example and give your skin a number each day (or twice a day). This way you will have a clear and concise record of how your skin is doing over time.
Using your skin diary, you can begin to remove or lessen the triggers you have identified and then watch as your skin responds over time. This is the most tailor-fit and intentional way to go about treating or getting started with your rosacea journey.
- The next most important factor in lessening the intensity of rosacea flare ups is SUNSCREEN. As with many different skin problems and conditions, sun exposure is a clear culprit and daily sunscreen use all year round is always recommended to keep these issues at bay. However, we do understand that finding the right sunscreen – that doesn’t cause breakouts, white cast or oiliness – can be difficult, so take the time to find the right sunscreen that works for you. Brands often have testers you can try at home that can help in the decision-making process and asking for recommendations from friends or experts can help narrow your search. We will do a whole blog series on sun skincare soon which will contain more detailed advice on sunscreens so keep an eye out!
- Speaking of skin products, if you are a rosacea sufferer it is important not to be continually changing your skin routine or trying out new and exciting lotions and potions, as this can worsen your symptoms. Be careful and do your research when it comes to new skincare actives (we will also do a blog series on this, don’t fret!) and always start slowly and gently when incorporating something new. Try to stick with products that are simple and calming and don’t change it up too often.
- The NHS has an easy to grasp info page on Rosacea with a good video link so check in with that for more info. Here is the link… https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rosacea/
- And finally, lasers and intense-pulsed light treatments help to reduce all aspect of Rosacea so please do check out the website page for info and contact us when you are interested in pursuing this treatment
By: Tabitha Christensen