What Really is Rosacea

What Really is Rosacea

Firstly, What is it?

What really is rosacea? It is a long-term skin disorder that causes the facial skin tissue to redden, predominantly on the cheeks, nose and also on the forehead and chin. Inflammation of the underlying tissues (including the blood vessels) also occurs and in the early stages, skin redness may appear as periodic blushing attacks. However, as the condition progresses, sufferers may see angry below the surface spots and sometimes surface water filled pustules can develop. Also, blood vessels can become more pronounced, which then lead to show as thread veins on the surface of the skin.

Rosacea tends to run in families and as a result, many people mistakenly believe that their ruddy complexion is simply a family characteristic that they must learn to live with. The degree of reddening and the length of an episode tend to increase as our hormonal status alters in life.

In at least 10 percent of cases, Rosacea can cause acne-like eruptions with pustules and lumps, and in 1 percent, can cause eye problems such as redness, dryness, itching, burning, excess tears and the feeling of having sand in the eye. The eyelids may become inflamed, swollen and sensitive to light.

Is it a Rare Condition?

Rosacea is a very common skin condition that in some form affects a reported 4 million men and women in the UK and Ireland due to our fair skin complexions but is almost 3 times more common in women aged 30 to 55. However, men often suffer with more severe symptoms. The long-term effects of Rosacea can make people’s lives a misery but there are products and treatments out there to relieve symptoms and help raise you skin tolerance to triggers.

What Triggers it?

One of the main triggers of Rosacea is UV radiation, which many of us don’t think we are at risk of, considering the fact we live in the rainy British Isles. However, 90 percent of UV rays can penetrate through cloud cover and this little-known fact means that we are one of the worst nations for protecting our skin on a daily basis from damaging UV rays. If you have sun sensitive skin then this prolonged exposure in the first third of life is a key cause in the development of Rosacea.

There are key changes to the physical structure of the skin and the blood vessels in the area affected:

◆Inflammation with the increased release of various chemicals which are inflammatory.

◆Enzymes which increase the breakdown of the collagen matrix resulting in empty spaces, which into which new blood vessels can develop.

◆Damage to blood vessels (capillaropathy) leading to the fusion and loss of function of blood vessels which become permanently dilated and visible.

◆The increase in activity and increased skin sensitivity to key skin growth factors like vasoendothelial growth factors (VEGF) which increase inflammation and promote increased vascularisation of the area.

◆Increased response to Tumour Necrosis Factor 1 alpha which also increases inflammation and may also be indicated in phyma development.

How do You Treat it?

Treatment Goals:

◆Controlling Inflammation at the Rosacea episode development stage and also in the post-trigger phase, both from internal and external triggers.

◆Accompanied by protecting and supporting vascular (veins/capillaries) function in contraction and dilation.

◆Restricting excessive production of new vascular (veins/capillaries) preventing the veiny face.

◆To successfully treat Rosacea you need to reduce the sensitivity to triggers as well as reduce existing symptoms.

Rosacea is a common skin condition that people need no longer suffer from. Whilst it is not life-threatening, the disorder is debilitating as sufferers have to make changes to their lifestyle, for example, by avoiding going out in sunny weather, avoiding alcohol or by steering clear of strenuous exercise, all of which can cause flare-ups.

After reading this you will now know how to answer the “what really is rosacea?” question. But for further information or treatments, we recommend you visit your nearest Accredited Treatment Centre and speaking to a skin specialist.

Stages of Rosacea

In the initial stages of Rosacea, occasional attacks of intense flushing occur around the nose, cheeks, chin and ears. This tends to occur in embarrassing or anxious situations or when drinking alcohol or eating hot or spicy foods.

Mild Rosacea

The flushing attacks tend to worsen becoming more prolonged, covering a wider area of skin. They are accompanied by the skin feeling hot and uncomfortable until eventually the skin on the forehead, cheeks and nose become persistently red.

Moderate Rosacea

In addition to redness, small raised bumps and small white blisters filled with pus start to develop on the skin. These spots look rather like acne and are the reason why Rosacea has been described as ‘adult acne’ or ‘acne Rosacea’. Small blood vessels in the skin become permanently enlarged, appearing as tiny spidery red lines under the surface (telangiectasia)

Severe Rosacea

Occasionally, Rosacea causes the nose to enlarge and redden, a condition called rhinophyma. This often starts at the tip of the nose, but may spread to the rest of the nose as well. The skin on the nose may thicken, becoming coarse and irregular. Rhinophyma is thought to be twelve times more common in men than in women. Other symptoms of Rosacea can include irritation of the eyelids, blood-shot eyes and swelling of the face, this can occur at any stage of Rosacea.

To learn about the types of Rosacea in more detail, please read our article by clicking here.

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