If extensive and prolonged blushing cheeks and redness across the mid face is causing
you some concern or maybe your skin is becoming irritated when trying to introduce
a more grown up skincare routine and you are noticing that you are developing
blemishes that are certainly different to the usual T-Zone or hormonal breakout then
chances are you have Rosacea.
April is Rosacea awareness month and I thought I would look at this condition that
both myself any so many of clients I see in my clinic suffer with and discuss how to
help improve this irritating and debilitation condition. With the weather changing I
know I will see an increase in Rosacea clients on my clinic couch and my aim in this
blog is to help you take control over it and prevent it becoming worse.
My skin started to change in my 30’s, I would develop a flushed redness across my
cheeks as soon as I took my first sip of red wine, similarly spicy food would instigate a
prolonged flush and introducing skincare that carried a low pH such as Vitamin C
became more and more difficult. As I aged even sunscreen became a problem for my
tingling, flushed cheeks.
If you’re reading this and can relate to these symptoms and causes then the good news
is I can help you navigate your way round, what often feels confusing, skincare
Different Types Of Rosacea.
More often than not this common condition affects those aged between 30-60. This
group affected with Rosacea is commonly those with lighter skin tones but thats not to
say darker skin tones can’t suffer with Rosacea – they absolutely can, it’s just the
melanin (colour) in the skin often masks the redness and this leads to a difficulty in
There are 4 main sub-types of Rosacea.
Type 1 – Erythematotelangiectatic Rosace – a mouthful to say but this type of early
Rosacea is characterised by a long lasting flush across the cheeks. The redness that
can be seen is down to dilated capillaries (telangiectasia)
Type 2 – Papulopustular Rosace – This is probably the most common type as there
seems to be an overlap with acne because as well as the redness and flushing you will
see papules (red spots) and pustules (white head spots) often seen across the cheeks,
nose and chin.
Type 3 – Phymatous Rosace – Men tend to suffer with this type of Rosacea and there
is a clear thickening across where the redness sits. If you have ever seen a thickened
nose with a bright red zone then (rhinophyma) then this is classic type 3 Rosacea.
Type 4 – Ocular Rosacea – Sore, red eyes, often blood shot and the skin around the
eyes can also feel gritty.
When I’m in a skin consultation more often than not is someone has Rosacea there is
often an overlap of all these subtypes, but regardless of what category you fall in there
is always have sensitive, irritated skin that stings when it doest like a product and this
is down to the disrupted barrier function.
Know Your Tiggers
To understand your skin and understand what triggers the ‘flare up’ will mean you
are forearmed. Cold weather, Summer days, central heating, air conditioning,
holidays abroad and skiing all have the potential to make matters worse. Because
these conditions pinch the moisture from your skin and if you have a poor barrier
function this is not ideal. Remember, if your skin is inflamed whether thats from skin
sensitivity, Rosacea or acne then your skin won’t keep the moisture in so its essential to
deal with the inflammation.
Food, if consuming alcohol and eating spicy foods cause a flush then it’s triggering a
histamine response and my advise is to go easy on these. Even coffee and hot drinks
can be a skin problem for some Rosacea sufferers.
If like me you enjoy a hot bath or a bit of hot yoga then I’m sorry to tell you this
pastime is not ideal for Rosacea skins. If you enjoy a spa day skip the sauna and relax
in the quiet room!
Skincare for Rosacea.
Keep it gently and uncomplicated. Don’t use fragrance in any of your product choices
and treat your skin like baby skin, soft movements when cleansing, definitely don’t
cleanse your face in a hot shower. If you’ve seen my video on sensitive skin then I
advocate a gentle non foaming cleanser and I’m not a huge fan of a double cleanse
because we don’t want to disrupt the skin. Avoid beauty toners they have no place in a
rosacea skin – or any skin for that matter. No essential oils and avoid chemical SPF’s
opt for a mineral one.
How to repair a disrupted skin barrier
Stop harsh cleansing and stop strong active skincare. Go back to basics. Choose a
moisturiser that has barrier boosting ingredients in it such as niacinamide and
Acids for Rosacea.
Stay clear of AHA;s and BHA’s and even if you have spots with your rosacea these will
be completely different than an acne blemish – the issue isn’t in the pore – so don’t fall
into the trap of reaching for the Salicylic Acid. Opt instead for an Azelaic Acid with
percentages between 5%-20%
Louise’s Final Note On Rosacea.
This is such a challenging condition to manage and can be really tricky navigating
your way through the skincare ingredients – get this bit wrong and its hard to get a
handle on the condition. If your skin is serenely inflamed then you may need to see
your GP for a prescription product, but having a long term strategy in place is
essential and once the Rosacea is managed then we can move on to tackle concerns
like anti ageing,
Louise white Bsc (hons)