You're Making Me Blush - Conquering Rosacea

Wendy Lewis

by Wendy Lewis | August 17, 2010 @ 09:00AM

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Your face flushes unexpectedly, the broken blood vessels on your cheeks and around the tip of your nose get red and swollen, you get flare-ups of bumps or spots and sometimes a stinging or burning. It may last for hours or days and start up without warning...The bad news is that it sounds like you could have rosacea, a chronic skin condition that has no cure. The good news is that Rosacea can be treated, and should be. If you don't get treatment, it will usually get worse. Rosacea generally starts later in life than acne, typically in the 30s and 40s, and affects the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. No cause has been definitively linked with Rosacea, which makes it difficult to de-mystify. It is considered a vascular disorder and can be brought on by menopause, high blood pressure, stress, or fever. Like most other skin afflictions, it is more common in women than in men. According to Albert Kligman, M.D., Ph.D., "at least 25 percent of women in their thirties and forties have Rosacea." Statistics indicate that Rosacea now ranks as the fifth most common diagnosis made by dermatologists, and is still considered widely under-diagnosed. According to the National Rosacea Society , people most prone to Rosacea are of Irish, English, or Scottish descent, or origins from northern or eastern Europe.

There is a definite distinction between Rosacea and garden variety sensitive skin. All rosacea patients might be categorized as having skin that is sensitive to certain things, but not all sensitive skins have rosacea. Similarly, Rosacea is not the same as acne, which is characterized by a different set of symptoms all together. The key to controlling Rosacea is not to self-treat. You need to be sensible about what you put on your face in terms of skincare and makeup, but you also need guidance from a Consultant Dermatologist. There are several medications that can keep your Rosacea under wraps, and long term maintenance treatment is often suggested. The most commonly prescribed are antibiotics like Tetracycline, Erythromycin, Doxycycline, and Minocycline, as well as topical treatments like Metrogel, Metrocream, Metrolotion, and Noritate. Good cleansing with a soapless cleanser is essential to prevent fungal infections that can occur because Rosacea medications are killing bacteria, which creates new space for fungi to grow. Medicis recently introduced the first prescription only soothing cleanser especially for rosacea sufferers, Plexion.

Conquering Rosacea usually means avoiding anything and everything that may bring on a flare-up, which varies from person to person. This doesn't necessitate that you get thee to a nunnery and call it a day. You can stand some excitement, but in moderation. Some things are under your control like staying out of the sun, while other triggers like hot flashes, embarrassment and anxiety are more problematic. To help you isolate the factors, keep a daily diary of what activities, foods, or substances you come in contact with that trigger a flare-up.

Operation Avoidance

Lifestyle: · Sun exposure (Public Enemy #1) · Cold and wind · Saunas, hot tubs, steamy showers · Getting overheated · Coughing or straining · Loofahs, sponges, washcloths, abrasives · Topical cortisone of greater than 1% · Smoking

Skin care Ingredients: · Alcohol · Fragrance · Menthol · Witch hazel · Peppermint oil · Detergents · Acids

Diet: · Very hot caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) · Foods high in niacin (liver, yeast) · Foods containing histamine (tomatoes, eggplant, cheese) · Spices (pizza, paprika, chilis, cayenne, oriental mustard) · Alcoholic beverages

Wendy Lewis is an independent cosmetic surgery consultant,

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