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What is Rosacea?

What is Rosacea?

If you know, you know. This chronic inflammatory skin condition is no joke and for those of us who have it, it's a lifelong journey to manage it. Rosacea is an incurable skin disorder that commonly targets areas of the face with redness, which may sometimes be associated with skin irritation and even pimple-like bumps. For some, it can appear as minor facial flushing due to a "trigger" like alcohol consumption or physical activity. For others, this flushing can become more severe and, for a small population, transition into an aggressive condition that specifically afflicts the nose and even the eyes. 

Regardless of which end of the spectrum one is on, rosacea can take a big hit to one's self-esteem, especially when first learning how to care for it. If you've been recently diagnosed with rosacea, know that you're not alone. This is a condition that is more common than you may think! Anyone can get rosacea, regardless of skin tone, gender or age. That being said, some are more susceptible to it like middle-aged, fair-skinned women or those with a history of rosacea in their family. If you're experiencing similar concerns that are often categorized as rosacea symptoms, we strongly advise visiting a board-certified dermatologist for a thorough examination.

The truth is, rosacea can often go misdiagnosed as it shares similar symptoms as other skin conditions; or undiagnosed as the exact cause is still unknown. Because of this, every person struggling with rosacea is dealing with their own, unique battle. What may work for some, like oral antibiotics, topical prescriptions and laser treatments, may not work for others. 

There are different "types" of rosacea and it's important to figure out which one(s) you have. While some dermatologists have thrown out the notion of categorizing this condition, it can still serve as a helpful tool as you develop a routine to treat your specific symptoms.

Type 1 / Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea / Vascular Rosacea

This subtype is all about facial redness and can even include visible blood vessels. These episodes or "flare-ups" may also be accompanied by burning or stinging. It's important to treat the redness as it can spread to other areas of the face, especially as you age. 

Type 2 / Papulopustular Rosacea / Inflammatory Rosacea

This subtype focuses less on the facial flushing and more on the pustules that appear. These pustules often look like whiteheads but may also show as red bumps. In other words, what may look like a pimple may very well not be a pimple and the ingredients you use to treat it will also differ. 

Type 3 / Phymatous Rosacea / Rhinophyma

This rare subtype causes the skin to harden and thicken, usually around the nose area. These severe symptoms can disfigure the nose by enlarging it and are often accompanied by hard, wart-like bumps.

Type 4 / Ocular Rosacea 

This subtype afflicts the eyes and eyelids with a burning or chafing sensation along with a bloodshot appearance. This can also cause watery eyes. If you have one of the above types of rosacea, chances are you may also have some degree of ocular rosacea. 

Once you have a better understanding of which rosacea type(s) you're dealing with, the next step would be to determine what causes your flare-ups. Remember when we said everyone is dealing with their own battle? Every body behaves differently! 

Some common triggers of a rosacea flare-up include:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
  • Too much sugar
  • Physical activity and cardiovascular exercises
  • Extreme hot/cold climates
  • Sun exposure
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Poor digestion and gut issues
  • Hot foods/drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Menopause
  • Prescription medications
  • Fragrance in skincare
  • Abrasive physical exfoliants or high-strength chemical exfoliants

And so much more...

So, you've spoken to a dermatologist or medical physician, determined you have rosacea (and which type!) and uncovered the triggers that are linked to your flare-ups... Great work. That was half the battle! Now, comes the trial period and let us tell you, this may take a while. It's important to set realistic expectations—This is not a sprint but a marathon. But if you think we're throwing you into this blindly, then you're sorely mistaken. We've rounded up the top ingredients to include in your routine and which skin treatments we think are worth looking into.

Skincare Routine

Since rosacea is an inflammatory condition, you'll want to opt for sensitive skin picks. Ingredients like aloe vera, oat kernel extract and allantoin are excellent at soothing irritated complexions. Using products that work to correct the pH balance of the skin will also help to normalize and regulate the skin, reducing flare-ups. Nearly half of rosacea sufferers also deal with dryness, so you'll want to avoid anything that could potentially strip the skin of too much of its natural oils. Opt for a sulfate-free and alcohol-free face wash like our Platinum Cleanser. It has soothing and moisturizing ingredients that will leave you with the smoothest skin without over stripping it. 

Lastly, consider skincare products with components that mimic the current makeup of your complexion. Skin-identical ingredients like glycerin and squalene are excellent natural moisturizers that are proven to keep your skin cells healthy and happy. Whenever we're faced with a flare-up, whether it be rosacea or an impaired barrier, we always reach for Stem Cell Serum from our Platinum Collection. It is paraben-free, alcohol-free and infused with all the skin-soothing ingredients mentioned above. 

If there's one piece of advice you take away from this blog, let it be that the simpler your routine, the better! Determine your tried-and-true cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen (this is an absolute must!), and treatment product, and with consistent use, you'll notice a more even complexion. Rosacea, who? 

Skincare Treatments

Lasers and treatments—oh my. There are so many options on the market, where do you even begin? First and foremost, it is important to take the time to research a reputable clinic and find an aesthetician or dermatologist that understands sensitive skin (and, more specifically, rosacea!). Not all treatments are made equal or will serve your specific skin needs. 

Some treatments that are often used as a form of skin therapy for rosacea patients include:

  1. IPL or Intense pulsed light therapy is a tried-and-true treatment for those with reoccurring redness. Unlike a laser, it is gentler on the skin with long-term results. 

  2. A gentle facial that is customized to your skin's tolerance level can assist in the overall health of your skin. An experienced aesthetician will know to avoid the use of intense chemical exfoliants on the skin.

  3. Electrodesiccation is a laser treatment that deeply targets veins or dilated blood vessels visible on the surface of the skin. This is generally performed by a dermatologist. 

For our local Glow Getters seeking a team of experts to help treat their rosacea, look no further. Our friends over at MD Beauty Clinic are known for their expertise. With more than 10,000 people receiving treatments there, they're known as one of the largest non-surgical practices in North America. And not only are their treatments customizable, but their team is incredibly attentive and always takes the time to understand your skin needs first. Contact them here to book a free consultation, today.

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