Rosacea is a chronic condition characterised by facial redness and sometimes pimples. Rosacea affects all ages but it primarily affects Caucasians and has been nicknamed the ‘curse of the Celts’. It affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women and onset is generally between 30 and 60 although it’s not uncommon in younger skins.
Rosacea begins as redness on the face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. Sufferer’s experience itching, burning and stinging when inflamed and a dry, tight feeling is normal. In some cases, additional symptoms, such as semi-permanent redness, dilation of blood vessels on the face, small red bumps and pimples, and in some advanced cases, an enlarged red nose may develop commonly known as ‘whiskey nose’.
Certain triggers that cause flushing and blushing play a part in the development of rosacea. Exposure to temperature extremes can cause the face to become flushed as well as exercise, heat from sunlight, severe sunburn, stress, anxiety, cold wind, and moving to a warm or hot environment from a cold one such as heated homes and offices during the winter. There are also some food and drinks that can trigger flushing, including alcohol, food and beverages containing caffeine (especially hot tea and coffee much to every Irish persons disappointment), foods high in histamines(red wine, aged cheeses, yogurt, beer, cured pork products such as bacon, etc.) and spicy food.
Most people with rosacea have only mild redness and are never formally diagnosed or treated. There is no single, specific test for rosacea. In many cases a simple skin analysis by a trained therapist is enough for diagnosis. Trigger avoidance can help reduce the onset of rosacea but alone will not normally cause remission. I recommend that a journal be kept to help identify and reduce food and beverages that appear to trigger rosacea. Because sunlight is a common trigger, avoiding excessive exposure to sun is widely recommended and daily use of a sunscreen. Like sunlight, emotional stress can also serve as a trigger for rosacea.
So what is our plan to treat this condition?
Reduce the inflammation in the skin
Gently exfoliate the skin to reduce the skins tendency to form pimples
Soothe and hydrate the skin
Strengthen the capillary walls to prevent dilation
Protect the skin from the sun and heat
Avoid known triggers
There are a couple of treatments I recommend for Rosacea. The best results I’ve achieved with my clients have been from a combination of the following clinical treatments:
IPL (Intense pulsed light machines) offer one of the best treatments for rosacea, in particular the redness of the skin. They use light to penetrate the epidermis (top layers of the skin) to target the capillaries in the dermis layer of the skin. The light is absorbed by oxy-hemoglobin which heat up, causing the capillary walls to heat up, damaging them, causing them to be absorbed by the body’s natural defence mechanism. A course of 6 treatments is recommended, with treatments spaced 3 weeks apart, this may eliminate the redness altogether, though additional maintenance treatments will likely be necessary to remove newly formed capillaries.
At Mediskin you can avail of IPL treatments for €120 per session.
A course of 6 treatments is €600
Certain peels need to be avoided as high percentages of benzoyl peroxide (found in acne products) have been known to act as triggers for rosacea. Exfoliation is very important for rosacea suffers to help reduce the formation of pimples. A mild exfoliation using enzymes is more suitable than harsh abrasive exfoliants. I recommend Image skincare’s Signature Facelift 30% Blend of Vitamin C/ Enzymes. This treatments helps to reduce inflammation, gently exfoliates the skin while also helping to strengthen capillary walls.
4 treatments carried out biweekly is the course of treatments recommended for the best results. At Mediskin you can avail of a bespoke skin peel from €79.Prices vary according to the strength of peel used.A course of 6 peels are available for €395
The topical use of certain products will also help to treat this condition. We need to remember its 25% what your therapist can do for your skin, 75% of the time your skin needs to be maintained by YOU, using the correct products!
Image skincare’s Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum, Total Skin Lightening serum and Prevention+ Hydrating SPF30 are my top three products to maintain Rosacea.
|Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum
|Iluma Intense Lightening Serum
|Prevention+ Hydrating SPF 30
More to come on these products later!!
What you need to recognize about triggers is that they point you in the right direction: Triggers tell you that rosacea is a whole-body disease and not just a skin disease.
If you are one of the unlucky people who have rosacea, you have probably searched for a solution to your problem, while treatments definitely help to reduce the rosacea we need to address the underlying cause of the disease. While trying to treat rosacea as a skin problem we also need to think of it as a whole-body problem or, more specifically, a gut problem. The old saying that “beauty is more than skin deep” has never been truer than when you are dealing with rosacea. Skin diseases are reflections of overall health. It is well-known that people who eat a non-Western diet have fewer skin diseases including rosacea, acne, eczema and others. This is because non-Western diets focus on more fruits and vegetables and fewer sugars, grains, and processed foods.
There is a healthy path to clearer skin and, while it may take more effort on your part than simply buying a cream or lotion, the results will be dramatic and long-lasting.
There is actually a very close relationship between the health of your digestive tract and the health of your skin. Constipation has also been known to be associated with rosacea. I am ITEC certified in Diet and Nutrition and while studying I became more and more interested in the importance of a healthy colon and the benefits of keeping the body and colon hydrated. I trained with the HAB colon hydromat system and since then my passion for colonic irrigation has become almost an obsession. Having suffered with IBS for most of my life, colonic irrigation has played a major part in keeping my digestive system at its optimum. While working in Australia I treated a rosacea patient with constipation by performing a course of Colonic Irrigation and saw a complete removal of his symptoms. This case alone shows the relationship between gut health and rosacea.
Other studies on diet and rosacea have also been performed and I have researched this extensively as more and more of my clients are presenting with rosacea each week. A vegetarian alkaline diet was shown to dramatically reduce the symptoms of rosacea over two months. A whole-body approach to rosacea recognises that what you put into your mouth matters and what you eat can affect your health and the look of your skin.
The basic balance in your body is called the acid/alkaline balance. You might have heard of pH balance, but not known what it is exactly. Every food that we eat has a certain pH: it is either a low pH (1 —7) and considered an acid, or it is a high pH (7-14) and considered a base. Water is right in the middle, it is not either an acid or a base. Your body likes to mimic water and keep its own pH close to neutral as possible. When your body is in an acidic state, instead of the natural alkaline state, it doesn’t function well. This means that the body’s basic mechanisms such as detoxification, elimination, and repair all don’t function as they should. When these mechanisms fail, the result is disease, this means that rosacea once again flairs up. This acid problem is made worse by many of the activities we engage in: eating poorly, not sleeping well, not exercising, and feeling stressed… all of these push to an acidic state.
The best way to reverse this is to eat a diet that is more alkaline. While you do not have to eat a purely vegetarian diet, you do want to include a large number of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Much like giving a car the right fuel, our bodies thrive when we give it what it needs. Eating an alkaline diet means that in as little as a few weeks, your skin should start looking better and you will feel much better.
Here are the basics to an alkaline diet:
Eat more fruits and vegetables, they should outweigh all the other food that you eat.
Avoid acid-forming foods such as grains, sugar and many meats. Meat is the most allowable because it can be easily balanced by a large amount of vegetables or fruit.
Drink plenty of fresh clean water.
Make sure you are getting enough of the essential nutrients your body needs.
Avoid cooked fats, trans fats, and fried foods.
Here are the most common acid and alkaline foods:
Acid-forming foods: alcoholic drinks, breads, cake, coffee, cereals, crackers, grains, vinegar, eggs, oils or foods cooked in oils, meat, seafood and fish, nuts, seeds, pastas, salt, sugar, tofu
Alkaline-forming foods: fresh fruit, vegetable, salad green, sprouts, potatoes, citrus fruits.
When following this diet, you don’t want to completely avoid all acid-forming foods, but you want to balance them with as many alkaline-forming foods as possible. A good rule of thumb is to have a meal of 80 percent alkaline-forming foods and 20 percent acid-forming foods.Don’t just stop at changing your diet, there are other ways to keep your body in an alkaline state.
The following can also boost your anti-rosacea diet:
Avoid coffee, tea, trans fats, alcohol, cigarettes, fried foods
Avoid artificial sweeteners, some have been blamed on causing rosacea
Despite what you may think, you don’t have to live with rosacea, as your body becomes healthier, so too, will your skin!!!