Updated: May 2
Have you asked yourself if what you are seeing could be rosacea?
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disorder – a disease of vassal motor instability. It is characterized by chronic redness of the face, especially the nose and cheeks. The condition is usually constant, but it can come and go or flare up at times. Some areas of skin affected by it, especially the nose, can become thickened over time. It can be associated with mild discomfort, but the cosmetic issue tends to be more distressing than the discomfort.
Some people notice that the symptoms are more severe in response to triggers, such as spicy food, sun exposure or stress among other triggers. The condition can flare up, with partial or complete improvement between flare-ups. It is a myth that rosacea is linked to bacteria.
This is not a disease of sensitivity as some may belief. You can have very sensitive skin and not have rosacea. You can have rosacea and not be sensitive. It’s a disease of reactivity. And there are different subtypes of rosacea.
How does rosacea work?
Typically blood vessels are designed to expand and contract but are compromised with rosacea and have lost the ability to maintain their integrity. Therefore, the most common characteristic of rosacea is redness or flushing and blushing and the appearance of dilated capillaries. Some refer to it as “broken capillaries," but the official term is telangiectasia.
A primary underlying factor could be an inflammatory protein called cathelicidin (antimicrobial peptide). This protein is actually a good protein. It plays a role in wound healing. For example, if you cut or wound yourself or break a bone, it will play a significant role in wound healing. But, if you produce it for no reason at all, if there is no target organism, if there is no wound, then it’s setting up the inflammatory conditions that have to do with rosacea. This protein is believed to be the primary causative factor. Sun exposure also plays a factor.
How to best deal with rosacea?
Sadly, there is no cure for rosacea yet, but the good news is that its appearance can be managed.
In order to manage rosacea, there are a couple of things we can do.
Firstly, the more anti-inflammatories used, the better off it can be in addressing all of the characteristics in the appearance of rosacea.
Secondly glycolic acid. Studies have been conducted around this where dermatologists took a group of patients and put them on a considerably high percentage of glycolic acid home care. Two weeks later they started doing glycolic acid peels, and in every single case, there was a lessening in the appearance of telangiectasia more commonly known as dilated capillaries or spider veins. They noticed a lessening in the overall appearance of redness. They were able to halt the secondary lesions that look like acne and they were able to halt the progression of the disease.
Glycolic acid is also a potent anti-inflammatory. It also helps to reverse the appearance of a lot of sun damage. Rosacea can be partially based on sun damage. The more that you can reverse that, the skin will function differently. It thins and compacts the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin), which is what we want.
(If you want to learn more about compact stratum corneum head over to the blog “Live More Ageless” https://www.skinfitrox.com/post/live-more-age-less).
People with rosacea tend to have barrier function difficulties. So, the way their skin adapts to different conditions is altered and glycolic acid can help with that. It can also thicken the dermis. When we have issues with the dermis, which is about 80% collagen it can help make that less of a factor. And glycolic acid retextures the skin, so it makes it much smoother.
Thirdly salicylic acid helps with rosacea. It is anti-inflammatory, it also helps with acne (a common companion to rosacea), and it helps to brighten the skin.
And lastly, azelaic acid. This is often sold by prescription for rosacea, it’s also sold by prescription for acne. And it is also an excellent resurfacing and anti-inflammatory agent for the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and pore size. And people with rosacea have concerns with pore size. They have concerns with texture, it retextures the skin. It is also a pigment lifting agent. So, when people have rosacea, they can also have brown spots, they can have fine lines and wrinkles. It addresses all of that.
And most importantly is to protect the skin with sunscreen.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling rosacea, and something that works for one person might not work for another. Some people require a more specialized regiment “cocktail” of sorts to finally see improvement for good.
If you are in search of upgrading your skincare routine and feel lost in the world of options available in how to lessen the appearance of rosacea or any other skin concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out for a thorough consultation where a precise recommendation can be made so that you can love your skin. With the appropriate homecare, you can achieve skin you love.
Remember, maintaining your skin is a lifelong commitment. Taking care of your skin is just like taking care of your body–it is part of a lifestyle.