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Rosacea Care Tips and tricks for dealing with your rosacea prone skin.

What is Rosacea?

If you ask anyone who has it they will tell you it is a miserable pain.  Rosacea may appear as a flush of dilated capillaries or massive breakout.  It can flare up for seemingly no reason.  It is a condition that the more you know about it, the better equipped you can be to deal with it.

The National Rosacea Foundation defines Rosacea as:  “a chronic, acne-like condition of the facial skin that may affect as many as 14 million Americans.  It typically first appears when people reach their 30s and 40s as a flushing or subtle redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that comes and goes.  If left untreated, Rosacea tends to worsen over time.  As the conditions progresses, the redness becomes more persistent, bumps and pimples called papules and pustules appear and small, dilated blood vessels may become visible.  In some cases the eyes also may be affected, causing them to feel gritty, and appear watery, irritated and bloodshot.  In advanced cases, the nose may become red and swollen from excess tissue - the conditions that gave the late comedian W.C. Fields his trademark bulbous nose."

Managing Rosacea

All forms of stimulants seem to make Rosacea worse.  Skins suffering from this condition are functioning in an over-active state. We need to focus on calming them down as it takes very little to make this worse.  The latest information indicates the cause may well be the Dermodex mite. Dr. Peter Pugliese has done extensive research on this condition and his studies and clinical trials show a reversal in the condition when the mite is eliminated.

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Environmental stimulants:  Temperature can be a culprit. This would include very hot or cold weather, (or rooms), as well as exposure to the irritating effects of the wind. High humidity seems to also make problematic skin break out more. Some of the clients with the worst problems seem to be of Scandinavian decent who lived an outdoor lifestyle.

Sun exposure triggers both heat and UVA /UVB damage.  For Rosacea clients this can include dilatation of the capillaries and increased breakouts.  Clients should wear wide-brimmed sun hats and a good SPF30 product. 

cool-drink.jpgInternal Stimulants: Anything with caffeine, sugar, spices, salts or iodine has been observed to be an aggravator to this skin condition. Alcoholic beverages increase body heat and aggravate. The same is true for any hot beverages.  Keep sodas, coffee and those spicy dishes to a minimum.  There is no substitute for lots of cool water.  In hot weather or when working in a hot environment, suck or chew on ice chips to keep body temperature down.  Draping a cool towel across the back of the neck can be very soothing and heat reducing. 

Certain drugs seem to also elevate body temperature as can our natural hormones.  Being aware can be one of your best assets.

External Chemical stimulants: Your hot-tub may feel wonderful but the heat it generates and the chemicals necessary to keep it clean may cause your Rosacea to be intensified.  Also be aware of chlorine in swimming pools if that makes your skin problems worse.  Other external chemical stimulants could come from your work environment.  Avoid touching your face if you come in contact with inks, carbon, grease or other “chemicals”. 

chemical-jars.jpgThe products you use on your skin also fall into the “chemical” category.  Just because something is a chemical doesn’t make it bad. A chemical is simply the term used when two molcules are fastened together.  Water is a chemical, air is a chemical.  We just need to find the right products for you with chemicals that your skin tolerates well.  Some people like to use very harsh stripping agents to help control Rosacea.  While it works for some, it makes many other skins worse.  It is best to avoid the following as you are apt to experience a flare up: astringents, alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, and glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid.

In place of a toner we recommend Soothing Mist as it will instantly soothe redness, tingling or other signs of irritation. It can be reapplied during the day to calm and soothe the skin. Try keeping it in the refrigerator as a great cool-down for those tough moments. Another great helper for irritation or stinging skin is Instant Calm. This green tea complex relieves tingling, stinging or other discomfort on contact. Redness is reduced within minutes. Not only is it great for rosacea but also on sunburns, insect bites or other skin irritations.

Since Rosacea skins are sun-sensitive it is important to incorporate topical Vitamin C daily. Vitamin C enhances sun protection and helps to prevent the signs of aging.

Be sure to apply your SPF product daily.

Home Care to Prevent a Flare up

  • Oily skins prefer Panthenol cleanser for daily cleaning
  • Apply Hydrating Moisturizer Cream (night.)   
  • Spritz with Soothing Mist as needed.  
  • Avoid consuming alcohol, hot beverages and/or spicy foods. Eat a diet full of raw vegetables and grains. Avoid saturated and animal fats which have been shown to promote inflammation.  
  • Avoid direct sunlight, humidity, and high or very low temperatures. Avoid saunas, steam baths and hot tubs.    
  • Avoid skin care and/or makeup products that contain alcohol or topical steroid creams.  
  • Employ true mineral makeup products (read ingredient labels to avoid triggers like talc.)  
  • Avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing of the face. Use only very gentle cleansers with lukewarm water. Gently pat face dry.    
  • Avoid foods containing histamines or those that release histamines in the body which may trigger a flare-up. These may include: tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, cheese, chocolate, chicken liver, bananas, raisins, figs, avocadoes, and sour cream. Niacin rich foods including liver and yeast can also cause flare-ups. Bread does not seem to be a trigger.

Professional Skin Treatments

If you are fortunate enough to live near a good Esthetician, professional skin treatments can help.  Be sure the technician is focusing on calming and healing treatments.  Extractions should not be done on Rosacea.  Avoid skin peels, microdermabrasion or other extremely stimulating procedures if your skin is in a flared-up state. 

There are also dietary considerations that may be helpful. There are no guarantees with dietary suggestions as each person has a unique internal chemistry. Rather there are generalities based on clinical observations.

  1. Flaxseed oil: The red itchy patches associated with rosacea often respond to essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil which have an anti-inflammatory action and properties to soothe the skin.
  2. Vitamin B12: This is important in managing rosacea in the way that it promotes cell growth, reproduction and repair. Food sources include beef, lamb, yogurt. Tuna, oysters, crab and clams.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Are useful to reduce inflammation and regulate nutrients in cells. They stimulate the concentration of blood vessels which will aid in lessening erythema. Food sources include: salmon, trout and tuna.
  4. Vitamin C: has healing properties and enhances sun protection when used in conjunction with SPF products. Food sources include: bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, cabbages (all colors) and potatoes.
  5. Zinc: is soothing and healing. Topically, as in zinc oxide, it is a sun protection enhancer. Food sources include barley, chicken, wheat, crab, oysters, lamb, beef and turkey.

While Rosacea can be miserable to deal with, there are products such as ours that can be very helpful to the process.  If you have further questions, please Contact Us and we will be happy to reply.

 PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOME CARE:

Here is the regime that I have seen work for my rosacea clients over the past decade:

  1. Use a gentle cleanser: for normal to oily skins use:ENW Ultra Gentle Gel cleanser.  For Normal to dry skins use: ENW Ultra Gentle Lotion Cleanser.
  2. Skip the toner!
  3. Apply a small amount of ENW R-Relief to reduce skin temperature