The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to educate the public on the impact of this chronic and widespread facial disorder now estimated to affect more than 16 million.
Among survey respondents who suffer from the facial redness of rosacea alone, 82% said the condition had a negative impact on their general outlook on life—and for those with moderate to severe redness, the figure rose to 90%. The earliest signs of rosacea are often overlooked because people assume they are temporary and will go away,
Although rosacea varies from one patient to another, the primary signs may include flushing (redness), persistent or nontransient erythema, papules (bumps) and pustules (pimples), or telangiectasia (visible blood vessels). Secondary features may include burning or stinging, plaques (raised patches on the skin), a dry appearance, edema (swelling), ocular manifestations and phymatous changes, in which the skin thickens.
Since rosacea may be more easily treated when diagnosed early, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist as soon as you first start noticing changes in your skin.
So what can you do to help treat your symptoms?
- Don’t overheat. Extremely hot temperatures often aggravate rosacea.
- Protect your face from wind and cold. Covering your face with a scarf helps protect your skin. Just make sure that the material touching your face is not made of wool or a fabric that feels rough to the touch. These fabrics can irritate the skin.
- Apply a sunscreen before going outside. Since sun exposure can cause rosacea to flare look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as these ingredients are the least irritating; have broad-spectrum protection; have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30; and contains silicone, aka dimethicone or cyclomethicone, which can help protect the skin and minimize stinging and redness.
- Take good care of your skin. Avoid rubbing, scrubbing or massaging the face.
- Be careful when using hair spray. Make sure the spray does not get on your face.
Keep your skin care routine simple. Using too many products may irritate the skin.
Cleansing 101: Gentle, gentle, gentle
When it comes to cleansing the skin, go for gentle and non irritating cleansers.Roscacea makes your skin more sensitive and likely to react to ingredients in both prescription medications and skin care products. Moisturizers containing lipids, such as ceramides, are usually well tolerated and improve the barrier that is often compromised in patients with this condition. In addition to ceramides, the humectants glycerin and hyaluronic acid are often added to moisturizers to hold moisture in the skin and hydrate it.
For additional rosacea control, look for calming products after you cleanse that contain high concentrations of antioxidants. Applying a barrier-repair emollient that contains lipids and humectants can soften the skin and prevent water loss from the skin. Avoid products that contain ingredients known to irritate skin with rosacea, including alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, salicylic acid, camphor, and sodium lauryl sulfate
Another common question I get from my clients and friends is what kind of exfoliator can I use on my sensitive skin?
That can be kind of tricky because if you have sensitive or suffer from Rosacea, you know how harsh most products can be. After a while, you give up, but still need to find a gentle exfoliator. Here is a great at home treatment you can do!!
- -Mash up the inside of an Avocado
-Mix in some raw sugar
-Blend in an essential oil that is best for sensitive skin: There are a number of essential oils that are helpful for as treatments for sensitive skin, including Lavender, Geranium, Neroli, Chamomile, Rosewood, and Rose.
-Mix together and gently exfoliate over your face and rinse with warm water.
-Finish off with a hydrating moisturizer.
-Its best to limit the amount of times you exfoliate each week. Once or twice is more than enough.
- So here are the key points- seek help asap, look for gentle non irritating products, hydrate and treat with calming ingredients, gently exfoliate, be careful in extreme temps and wear your SPF!