10 Things to know about Rosacea
Quick Note: rosacea is pronounced “ro-ZAY-sha”, just FYI
1. Rosacea is a common skin disorder affecting about 16 million Americans have it.
2. All skin types & colors may get rosacea, but it is most common in fair-skinned individuals of Celtic or Scandinavian heritage between 30-50 years of age. They often have a family history of rosacea or severe acne and flush or blush easily.
3. This is a chronic disorder that has flare-ups and remissions. A given flare-up may last weeks to months before fading into remission. While rosacea typically does not permanently go away, it may worsen without treatment.
4. There are 4 subtypes of rosacea. The most common ones are: Subtype #1, facial redness & flushing caused by blood vessels that swell and become visible beneath the skin, and Subtype #2, which are acne-like breakouts.
5. The face is where rosacea is primarily seen, especially on the cheeks, nose, forehead or chin.
6. The exact cause of rosacea is still being studied, but heredity, environment and/or immune system response issues are currently being studied as possible causes.
7. A study found that 96% of rosacea sufferers reduced their flare ups by avoiding their personal triggers. Common triggers for rosacea are sun exposure, stress, overheating, extreme temperatures, spicy food, wind, alcohol, exercise and certain skin care products.
8. As mentioned in the previous point, exercise may cause a flare-up. To reduce the risk of a rosacea flare-up while working out, try to work out in a cool place (if outside, avoid the hottest parts of the day), using a cooling towel or cool spritz during the activity, and cooling down with cold water soon after your workout. Some patients have also found that taking an antihistamine before heavy exercise may help (not recommended for everyday use, but rather for certain longer workouts like a race).
9. Piggy-backing on the last point, rosacea triggers vary by person. For example, about 14% of rosacea patients surveyed reported that peppermint causes a flare-up of their rosacea, but peppermint had no noticeable effect on the other 86%. If you have rosacea, you may wish to keep track of ingredients that lead to a flare-up. The National Rosacea Society has a Rosacea Diary (http://www.rosacea.org/patients/materials/diary/index.php) that may help you keep track of them.
10. While all skin types should really spot test new products, this is especially important for people with rosacea. If an ingredient is a trigger for you, better to find that out in a spot test rather than all over your face!
For More Information on Rosacea:
National Rosacea Society http://www.rosacea.org/
Mayo Clinic – Rosacea http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/basics/definition/con-20014478