Rosacea is a condition that is quite misunderstood and lesser known than any other skin condition. Rosacea translates to "made of roses" in Latin which sounds oh-so-pretty but in fact, it's quite troublesome. Being that April is Rosacea Awareness Month, let’s discover what rosacea is, the causes, and how to treat it!
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition which alters your blood vessels that contribute to more than just redness. Signs and symptoms include itchiness, burning and stinging, bumps and pimples, and even eye irritation. So, how do you know if you have rosacea? The National Rosacea Society has classified rosacea into four types so let’s discuss!
So now we know what rosacea is and the symptoms, but how is it caused and what is done to alleviate the symptoms?
Well firstly, scientists are not 100% sure the true causes of rosacea but they do know genetics play a role. However, scientists are unaware of the particular gene that is passed down, if any! Tricky one, huh?
Another potential cause of rosacea is food allergies. Common food allergens include high-glycemic carbohydrates such as white bread, sugar, and pasta. Dairy, gluten, and yeast are also high on the allergen list. Despite sugar as being a culprit, artificial sweeteners also cause noticeable inflammation within the body. The best thing to do if you suspect food allergies is to do an elimination diet. Get into pre-teen journal mode! Eliminate one inflammatory food for two weeks, write down the food eliminated and your symptoms prior to the elimination, during, and after. If you see an improvement, that food may just be a trigger! But just remember, this isn’t considered a “diet”, rather a lifestyle change. You may see a change in your skin which translates to a healthier body!
And the third potential cause of rosacea, which may give you some heebie-jeebies, are facial mites. BUT, calm your nerves as these harmless little buggers, called Demodex mites, live cozily in your hair follicles. However, studies have proven that these mites occur in a greater number in those with rosacea and increase your inflammatory response. This response is linked to the potential bacteria associated with these mites. Treatment with antibiotics was found very effective at eliminating the inflammatory-causing bacteria.
As there is no cure for rosacea, other ways to manage the symptoms and prevent flair ups include: gentle, non-stripping skincare free of harsh chemicals and alcohols, introducing your body to probiotics which will balance your gut bacteria for a healthy tummy and skin, and avoid direct sun exposure.
Rosacea can come and go and may mimic other skin conditions so it’s important to seek professional diagnosis from a dermatologist. Following proper treatment and a home skin care regimen can truly alleviate distressing symptoms. Feel free to contact me if you feel you have rosacea and I can guide you in the proper direction for managing your symptoms!