By: Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP, CH
Rosacea, a common but often misdiagnosed skin disorder, affects approximately 14 million Americans, but most aren’t even aware they have it. A recent Gallup Poll showed that 78% of Americans know nothing about rosacea, including its symptoms or any treatments for it. Yet, the incidence of rosacea is growing, with more cases developing every year. Don’t be one of the misinformed! Read on to learn more about rosacea and some of the options for treating it.
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic condition that is characterized mainly by red blotches of skin on the forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks. It appears as broken blood vessels on the face, and is often accompanied by thickened skin and facial bumps or pimples. Rosacea can also affect the eyes, causing irritation and watering. This is known as ocular rosacea.
Rosacea can strike individuals of all ages, but it is most common in the 30-60 age group. People who are fair-skinned have a higher incidence of rosacea, and it is definitely more common among women than men.
What Causes Rosacea?
Researchers don’t yet know for certain exactly what causes rosacea or how it develops. Some believe it could be an inherited condition, as it often runs in families. Others note that rosacea is more prevalent in people whose blood vessels dilate easily, causing blushing and red facial skin.
It is known that certain factors can aggravate rosacea, resulting in a “flare-up” of symptoms. All rosacea patients are not affected equally by these factors, but here are some general rosacea triggers: temperature extremes (hot and cold), hot baths or showers, strenuous exercise, exposure to the sun and wind, spicy foods and drinks, stress, alcohol, menopause, certain medications, and exposure to harsh chemicals found in some skin care products and cosmetics. Some rosacea-related papules and pustules might also be caused by bacteria, but no direct connection has been made linking bacteria to rosacea.
The Effects of Rosacea
Rosacea is not a dangerous or life-threatening condition, but it can be an annoyance and a source of embarrassment for many people. Studies have shown that up to 75% of rosacea patients state they struggle with low self-esteem and shame regarding their condition. The obvious visibility of rosacea can leave people feeling vulnerable and self-conscious. Fortunately, there are options available for folks with rosacea to treat the illness and manage the symptoms.
If you suspect you have rosacea, you should confirm the diagnosis with a dermatologist. Before your appointment, you may want to jot down any factors that seem to worsen your condition, such as extreme heat or certain foods that may irritate your skin.
The use of a natural sunscreen on a daily basis is helpful to many rosacea sufferers. Some also find that their appearance can be improved by using makeup with a base of green. This helps to balance out skin tone and hide the redness. Three helpful organic products that can relieve the symptoms of rosacea include Always Ageless;, Oxy-Balm; and Hydra-Tone;.
How is Rosacea Treated?
There is no cure for rosacea, but it can be successfully treated. A dermatologist can recommend steps to improve your skin and minimize the characteristic redness of rosacea. Be aware that it may take several weeks or even months of consistent treatment before you will see significant improvement. There are topical spray formulas available such as Hydra-Tone™ that are often utilized to treat rosacea. These can be applied to the skin 3-4 times a day. Some patients opt for laser or electro surgery, treatments that can greatly improve the appearance of many rosacea patients.
About the Author
Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP, CH is a Doctor of Naturopath, Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Practitioner and Clinical Herbalist in Houston, TX and Founder / CEO of Oasis Advanced Wellness. Under her leadership, Oasis Advanced Wellness is known and respected as one of the leading companies in providing safe and clean hi-tech natural health and wellness solutions. Because of the need for high-end natural and organic skin care products, Dr. Lanphier has developed Lanique Organics, an all-natural skin-care line which promotes natural health for the skin.