Reddening of the face is not an uncommon phenomenon especially when you’re exposed to either extremely chilly winds or very hot sun rays. However, if this happens to you a little more than usual and is accompanied by swelling and pain, you may be suffering from rosacea. So, how to treat rosacea?.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition and is commonly characterized by reddening of the face, nose, and cheeks. It mostly affects people with fair skin and is more likely to occur with age. In most circumstances, it is mistaken for eczema, natural ruddiness, acne, or a skin allergy.
Types of Rosacea
There are four subtypes of rosacea and they each have their own distinct symptoms. It’s not uncommon to have more than one subtype. These subtypes include:
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea or ETR is the common subtype and it’s characterized by facial redness, visible blood vessels, and flushing. Flushing often occurs for plonged periods due to environmental factors such as temperature or application of topical agents.
This is also known as acne rosacea. It is characterized by breakouts that are acne-like and it occurs mostly on middle-aged women. It can be differentiated from acne which occurs on younger people and is found on other parts of the body apart from the face.
It’s known as . It is a rare kind of rosacea and is characterized by the thickening of the skin of the nose. It mostly affects men and is usually accompanied by another type of rosacea.
Ocular rosacea occurs in the eye area. It is characterized by a burning and itching sensation in the eye. Ocular rosacea is often the first sign of the development of rosacea. However, it may be misdiagnosed unless it occurs with the other symptoms of rosacea.
Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea
The common symptom for all the subtypes of rosacea is small, pus-filled, red bumps on the skin. The four types each have their own symptoms and they occur during flare-ups.
The flare-ups occur in cycles, in that, the symptoms appear for weeks or even months at a time, disappear, then return to start the cycle all over again. The symptoms of different rosacea types are as follows:
- Redness and flushness at the middle of the face
- Broken and visible blood vessels
- Dry, scaly, and rough skin
- Sensitive skin
- Burning and stinging skin
Papulopustular (Acne) Rosacea
- Breakouts that appear acne-like and red skin
- Broken and visible blood vessels
- Raised patches on the skin
- Sensitive skin
- Oily skin
- Thick skin on the nose
- Thick skin on the ears, cheeks, forehead, and chin
- Bumps on the skin
- Large pores
- Broken and visible blood vessels
- Cysts on the eyes
- Watery and bloodshot eyes
- Gritty feeling in the eyes
- Burning or stinging of the eyes
- Dry and itchy eyes
- Broken blood vessels on the eyelids
- Eyes become sensitive to light
- Diminished vision
If in doubt about whether you have rosacea, you can have a dermatologist examine you to affirm whether it is indeed rosacea or another skin condition.
What Causes Rosacea?
The cause of rosacea is unknown but a combination of environmental and hereditary factors aggravates the symptoms. The factors include:
Drinking hot beverages
A hot cup of coffee or tea will dilate your blood vessels and cause flushing.
Eating spicy foods
Spices trigger pain in the receptors that cause you to feel warm.
Drinking alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic drinks cause the blood vessels to widen which leads to flushing.
Exposure to environments with extreme temperatures
The hot sun not only dilates blood vessels and causes flushing but also irritates the skin. Cold weather, on the other hand, clogs skin pores.
When you experience strong emotions
Strong emotions like stress, anger or embarrassment trigger the release of chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol which may cause abnormal reactions in the skin such flare-ups.
Some medications like hypertension drugs causes the blood vessels to dilate causing the skin to flush.
Doing exerting tasks or exercising vigorously
Exercise increases body temperature and may cause flushing and itchy skin.
Taking hot baths and saunas
Hot water dilates blood vessels which reddens the skin.
Eating foods with cinnamaldehyde
Cinnamaldehyde causes a warming sensation in the body. Foods that have this compound include chocolate, tomatoes, and citrus fruits
Risk Factors of Rosacea
Certain people are more susceptible to suffering from rosacea than others. The risk factors that make them more likely to get rosacea include:
- Being female
- Being over the age of 30
- Being fair-skinned e.g. people of northern European ancestry
- Being a smoker
- Having a family history of rosacea
How to Treat Rosacea
There is no cure for rosacea but treatment helps in alleviating its signs and symptoms. The treatment options include taking medication and medical procedures, making lifestyle changes, and using natural remedies.
Medication and Medical Procedures
These include both topical and oral drugs that are prescribed by a doctor. Medical procedures are also sometimes done by doctors to alleviate symptoms.
They are applied on the skin once or twice a day and they are meant to reduce redness and inflammation. They are often prescribed together with oral drugs for better results. Examples of topical medication are benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, metronidazole, and azelaic acid.
Oral antibiotics like tetracycline and minocycline are taken to reduce inflammations and they kick in faster than topical medication.
Blephamide – This is a steroid eye drop that is at times prescribed to treat ocular rosacea.
Doxycycline – This is also sometimes prescribed to patients of ocular rosacea as it reduces itching, light sensitivity, dryness, and blurred vision.
Laser treatment can be used to shrink visible blood vessels on the skin. The procedure may be slightly painful but bearable and the side effects that include bruising, swelling, and tenderness disappear within a few weeks.
For patients with thickened skin, excess tissue may develop on the nose and cheeks. A scalpel can be used to remove this excess tissue. A carbon dioxide laser can also be used to shrink the excess tissue.
Lifestyle changes involve avoiding factors that make symptoms worse. Since rosacea is a condition that you have to live with, taking these measures will help you have an easier time dealing with it.
- Avoid direct sunlight by wearing sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15
- Avoid alcoholic beverages
- Use cleaners and products that are gentle on your skin
- Avoid skincare products that have alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, and exfoliating agents
- Avoid spicy foods
- During winters, protect your face using a scarf or ski mask
- Avoid touching or rubbing your face
- Apply moisturizer on sore skin
- Meditate, exercise deep breathing, and use aromatherapy to reduce stress and emotions that cause flare-ups
How to Treat Rosacea Naturally
There are ways to reduce rosacea symptoms naturally and some of these remedies are readily available in your home.
Green tea has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in reducing redness and inflammation that characterizes rosacea. Make a regular cup of green tea and refrigerate it for 45 minutes. Once you’ve done this, dip a piece of cloth into the tea and massage it on the areas with rosacea. If you do this regularly enough, you’ll soon start seeing positive results.
All-natural Rosacea formula
The H-Rosacea Formula contains carefully selected natural herbs that work together and target different rosacea symptoms. You need to use only a few drops of the product and you can start expecting to see results within a week. “Side effects” of the product are softer and younger-looking skin.
- Take care of rosacea symptoms naturally!
- Treat Rosacea that appears on the nose, cheeks, and forehead
- All-natural & gentle on skin. No irritation/scarring
Aloe vera has been used successfully in treating a number of skin conditions because of its healing properties. Extract the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf and apply it to the affected areas. Then, rinse it off with cold water.
Essential oils like thyme, rose, lavender, tea tree oil, and jasmine are well-known for how wonderful they are for the skin. They not only give you beautiful skin but have anti-inflammatory and healing properties as well.
Get a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil and add 2or 3 drops of essential oil to it. Apply it over the affected area before going to bed and wait for it to work its magic!
Honey is a wonderful humectant, that is, it helps the skin retain moisture. This property makes it effective in reducing the redness of the skin. Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water and observe its results. Always use 100% pure honey,
Turmeric is an effective anti-inflammatory herb. It is especially helpful if you have rosacea symptoms that cause you pain. Make a turmeric paste with turmeric powder and water and apply it to the affected area as a poultice.
Oatmeal has been used for a long time to relieve rosacea symptoms. It strengthens the skin, reduces itching and water loss which makes the symptoms worse. You can scoop a few tablespoons, mix it with water, and apply directly to your skin.
Lastly, suffering from rosacea can take a toll on your psychological health because of the effort it takes to manage it and self-esteem issues. Find a support system by connecting with people online or on message boards who suffer from rosacea as well. It will make the journey a little less daunting and lonely.
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