Rosacea, What is it and What to Do About it

Above is before (Left) and after (right) 90 days use of Lycopene CPP Cream

First, if you are concerned about having rosacea you are in some famous company - Ex-President Bill Clinton, Diana, the Princess of Wales, and the actor W.C. Fields have all suffered with rosacea skin.

Trying to Treat rocaceaRosacea is a skin disease that causes persistent redness over the areas of the face and nose that normally blush: mainly the forehead, the chin, and the lower half of the nose. The tiny blood vessels in these areas enlarge (dilate) and become more visible through the skin, appearing like tiny red lines (telangiectasias). Pimples that look like teenage acne can occur. Rosacea occurs most often between the ages of 30 and 60, especially in people with fair skin. It affects both sexes. Although it tends to occur more in women than in men, it is often worse in men. In most people the symptoms come and go, although it tends to worsen with time. Rosacea can be treated but not cured. 

There are three basic types of rosacea:

Subtype one, known as erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR), is associated with facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels.

Subtype two, papulopustular (or acne) rosacea, is associated with acne-like breakouts and often affects middle-aged women.

Subtype three, known as rhinophyma, is a rare form that is associated with thickening of the skin of your nose. It usually affects men and is often accompanied by another subtype of rosacea.

Subtype four, is ocular rosacea, and its symptoms are centered on the eye area.

Rosacea occurs in various forms

There are many treatment options for rosacea including the short term use of antibiotics and steroid based topically applied creams but, as stated above, these treatment options will only temporarily reduce symptoms and cannot be used for extended periods of time as their long term use has many undesired side effects.

Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, many researchers believe this is an inflammatory disease of the blood vessels with associated flushing, redness, dilation of the small blood vessels of the face, and swelling. According to some researchers there is an associated nervous system component since rosacea is often triggered and worsened by emotional distress in some patients.

One theory is that rosacea may be caused by a microscopic parasitic mite (Dermodex follicullorum). As disgusting as it might sound this mite is a normal inhabitant of human skin where it eats and thrives on dead skin cells we normally shed every day. It appears that people with rosacea appear to have a higher population of these mites than people without rosacea.

Another theory is that a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria found in the GI tract and associated with formation of duodenal ulcers may also play a role in patients with rosacea.

Rosacea affects 1 in every 20 Americans with 14 million people being affected by this disorder. A recent survey of the American people revealed that 78% knew nothing about rosacea, its symptoms of what to do about it. As previously said rosacea is more common in fair-skinned individuals but recent studies are revealing a growing number of cases in the Middle-East, South Asia, and China.This has increased the speculation that skin color may have nothing to do with the incidence of this disorder.

The symptoms of rosacea are flushing and easy blushing of the skin. This is frequently the first sign of rosacea and some consider it a pre-rosacea condition. This flushing can last as long as 5 minutes and can extend from the face down the neck and into the chest. Additional symptoms include facial skin hyper-reactivity and sensitivity, persistent redness, spots, papules, and pustules that can sometimes be confused with adult acne. Unlike acne, there are no blackheads associated with rosacea. In addition small blood vessels of the face, nose, cheeks, and chin dilate and become visible (vascular rosacea).

More uncommon symptoms of rosacea include Rhinophyma, a thickening of the facial skin especially of the nose which is more common in males and ocular rosacea. The symptoms of ocular rosacea include burning and itching of the eyes.
It should be noted that up to 40% of people with rosacea have a close relative who also suffers from this disorder. To date, scientists have not been able to identify a gene abnormality associated with this skin condition.

Are you at risk for rosacea? There are some factors that will make you more likely to develop rosacea than others. Rosacea often develops in people between the ages of 30 and 50. It is also more common in people who are fair-skinned and have blond hair and blue eyes.

There are also genetic links to rosacea. You are more likely to develop rosacea if you have a family history of the condition or if you have Celtic or Scandinavian ancestors. Women are also more likely to develop the condition than men. However, men who develop the condition often have more severe symptoms.

As mentioned previously there are certain triggers that can aggravate and worsen your rosacea.

  • Hot foods
  • Hot drinks
       •  Caffeine
  • Spicy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Sunlight
  • Humidity