Do you suffer from Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin problem. Most people know rosacea as redness that begins on the neck and cheeks, and then tends to spread to the forehead and chin. Some people even get rosacea on their ears, eyes, chest, and back. If left untreated the redness can lead to visible and irritated blood vessels, acne like breakouts, and a thickening of the nose, cheeks and/or eyes.
Most people with rosacea have very sensitive skin. At times their skin may sting and burn without cause. The skin may look bumpy with enlarged pores and feel very oily. Ocular rosacea can cause the eyes to become watery, bloodshot, sensitive to sunlight, and dry. It can affect vision. Ocular rosacea needs to be seen and treated by an ophthalmologist.
Rosacea can affect the quality of life. If left untreated, many rosacea patients feel like that they cannot be social due to their insecurity and lack of confidence in their appearance. During flares many patients will miss work, school, or other activities.
Who gets rosacea?
Many times rosacea can run in families and appear as we get older. Many times the first onset will be between 30 and 50 years of age. Most patients are fair-skinned with blonde hair and blue eyes. Many are Celtic with Scandinavian ancestry. Studies have suggested that a common G.I. bug, H. Pylori and a skin mite, demodex may play a role.
How do you treat rosacea?
- Avoidance of triggers. Many people have said certain foods like spicy Mexican, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, vitamin B3 Niacin, and certain detergents, as well as our favorite furry pet may trigger a flare.
- There are numerous topicals like Finacea and Azelex (azelaic acid RX) that control inflammation. Others like Metrogel and Noritate (Metronidazole RX), Plexion (sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur RX), benzoyl peroxide, and tretinoin may help as topical antibiotics. (RX topicals are available by prescription from a dermatologist. We recommend the physicians at Atlanta MediSpa and Surgery Center) Sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide can help reduce flares. Being careful to avoid any sunscreens that are more chemical in nature as well as having PABA. You want to look for keywords that say fragrance free, alcohol free, and hypoallergenic. Many tinted sunscreens and makeup that are best for rosacea are medical grade and can usually be found at a dermatologist’s office or on Flawless Skin Online. Many patients have stated that licorice extract, coconut oil, jojoba oil, oil of oregano, tea tree oil and vitamin E oil may help. Makeup toners should be witch hazel and not alcohol-based. Other things that may be helpful are cold water rinses, green tea compresses, hydration and oatmeal masks. Of course if you have ocular rosacea all of these products should be used outside of the orbital rim. The orbital rim is defined as the bone that circles your eyeball.
- Oral medications: Oracea while marketed as an antibiotic is really an anti-inflammatory that helps to keep rosacea controlled and can be used long-term. Supplements that patients will take include biotin, folic acid, garlic, lysine, zinc, and vitamins that contain A, B complex, C, D, E, K. One would be advised to be very careful to supplement with the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins can be toxic as they are not easily eliminated from the body. Talk with your physician before starting any new vitamin regimen. Since H. Pylori is thought to be a trigger many patients have found improvement by starting a probiotic in their diet.
- Light-based lasers such as intense pulse light, broadband light, and pulsed dye laser can be used to treat rosacea at your doctor’s office. Usually lasers are done in 4 to 6 treatments to get desired results.
- Microdermabrasion with a soothing solution would help to improve the texture of the skin.
- Treatment goals: There is no cure for rosacea and treatment options may have to be repeated. Realistic expectations that may not include flawless skin. Treatment early can stop it from getting worse. Rosacea is more difficult to treat if it gets worse. Many in office treatments will reduce the signs of redness, bumps and skin texture. Topicals may be trial and error until the regiment is found that works best for your skin. Due to the various types of rosacea different prescriptions are prescribed by your physician. Treatments that are over-the-counter and without a prescription could make the rosacea worse. You must be patient to find the regiment that works best for your skin. While many of these over-the-counter regiments do not have scientific data to support them, more research needs to be done.