Do you think you have rosacea?

Baby faceIf you do, you need to start treating that baby face with kid gloves with lots of nurturing, soothing, and skin strengthening treatments.  The focus should be life style changes and avoiding triggers that aggravate a rosacea condition. In this post we list triggers you should be mindful of to keep rosacea prone skin calmer and less reactive,

Rosacea is a disease of the skin that results in redness, dilated capillaries, extreme sensitivity and it’s sometimes accompanied with red inflamed blemishes.  These blemishes look like acne but they are more red and don’t usually come to a head.  Plus, you don’t often find rosacea type blemishes in conjunction with blackheads or white heads.  Rosacea blemishes need to be treated differently than acne blemishes so avoid acne medications that may be too harsh for your skin.  Clients with oily skin and rosacea also tend to be flaky.  They need exfoliation but should avoid strong acids and physical scrubs.  An enzyme based exfoliant is often a good solution.

Rosacea usually becomes visible in your 30’s or 40’s and can progressively get worse with age if left untreated.   Rosacea starts in the center of the face (cheeks and nose) and gradually moves outward over time as the disease progresses.  Sometimes Rosacea feels hot, burny or itchy.  Rosacea progresses more rapidly with the onset of menopause.  Estrogen is a natural anti-inflammatory, which suppresses rosacea symptoms.  So when estrogen levels drop, rosacea increases. There is no known cure for Rosacea but there are many effective treatments that you can do which offer calming results. Start off by learning what triggers your rosacea and avoid these triggers.

AVOID TRIGGERS TO HELP WITH ROSACEA

Learn to circumvent the triggers and you can avoid the harsh consequences.  Things like extreme temperature changes, stress, irritating chemicals and certain foods and beverages must be avoided. Here is a list of common triggers:

  • Extreme Climate Conditions
    • Sun Exposure
    • Strong Winds
    • Extreme Cold
    • Hot Weather
    • Humidity
    • Dry Heat
  • Lifestyle Stressors
    • Emotional Stress
    • Aerobic Exercise
    • Hot baths or showers
    • Spicy foods
    • Some Medications
    • Some Medical Conditions
  • Dietary Stresses
    • Alcohol consumption (especially red wine and beer)
    • Caffeinated Beverages (coffee, soda)
    • Certain Fruits (sometimes citrus but this is very individual)
    • Dairy Products (milk, cheese, sour cream)
    • Hot foods and drinks (that make you flush)
    • Spicy foods (hot sauce, red peppers)

*note:  Some of my clients swear by an alkalizing diet. They say it works wonders for rosacea symptoms.  This diet basically consists of reducing acidifying foods (foods that change your internal pH to become more acid.)  Foods that should be avoided include meat, processed grains and sugars and stimulants like coffee and tea and alcohol.  At the same time you want to increase alkalizing foods i.e. fruits, vegetable and sprouted grains. The premise is that rosacea is the result of too much acid in the body.  By the way, soft drinks are by far the most acidifying thing we consume.

PRODUCTS & TREATMENTS THAT CAN BE TRIGGERS

  • Soap (drying and irritating)
  • Granular Exfoliating Cleansers (too rough on the skin)
  • Washing with hot water (again heat is a trigger)
  • Wash Cloths (again too rough on the skin)
  • Toners with volatile alcohols (dehydrated skin becomes more sensitive)
  • Occlusive Ingredients (petrolatum, mineral oil trap heat in the skin)
  • Physical Scrubs (too abrasive)
  • Microdermabrasion (way too abrasive)
  • Brushes (including mechanical brushes like Clarisonic)
  • Witch Hazel (the drug store type is 90% alcohol, the herb alone is fine)
  • Fragrance (known irritant)
  • Strong Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic Acid)
  • Benzoyl Peroxide (very harsh and caustic)
  • Chemical Sunscreens (work by turning UV into heat)
  • Using too many products at the same time (sensitive skin can react)

 

I feel the increase in the number clients with rosacea has to do with our skin reacting to the constant barrage of irritating chemicals that we encounter everywhere in our environment. From paints on our walls to fibers used in carpeting to chemicals in our foods, our skin is reacting to these constant stresses and there seems to be no escape.  Those of you with descendants from Northern Europe, that have delicate fair skin, are most susceptible.  Thicker skin types, for example those from Mediterranean countries,  have more of a protective barrier in your skin which means you have stronger, more resilient skin.  This protects you from rosacea triggers that would otherwise play havoc with your complexion.

If you think you have Rosacea because your skin is sensitive, flushes easily or gets red from products, climate conditions, certain foods and stress, you may want to see a dermatologist for topical anti-biotics (Metrogel), oral antibiotics (tetracycline) or laser treatments.  Another option is to see an esthetician who can monitor your symptoms an provide gentle, skin strengthening treatments based on LED (light emitting diodes).  We have had great success with these treatments as long as the client has made a commitment to life style changes.  Your esthetician can also recommend products that are good for your skin type.  If you want more information about how to customize your skin are regime for rosacea prone skin check out our blog post:

HOMECARE FOR SENSITIVE or ROSACEA-PRONE SKIN

Also, I want to let you know I am really excited about our soon to be released  Tranquility Serum.  This sensitive skin serum is perfect for rosacea prone skin because it contains some powerful anti-redness ingredients (including sea whip), its mildly antiseptic and has great skin strengthening properties.  It should be available at Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ spa or online at http://www.elizabethrenee.com sometime in April, 2013.  In testing this new serum we have found it to give phenomenal results.  we like it so much that during the month of April we invite you to stop by our spa for a complimentary trial size of Tranquility Serum to get first hand experience of how great ingredients can improve your skin.

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