Redness and Rosacea
Those suffering from rosacea often feel as though there is little they can do to combat their symptoms. Typical treatments may only provide minimal relief for the unsightly red bumps and pustules that can accompany a flare up.
Rosacea is a poorly understood disorder, though it affects nearly 14 million Americans.
What Causes Redness and Rosacea?
For skin to function properly, the outer layer must be in great shape, providing a barrier function to prevent cracking, provide UV protection, and kill microbes. Often, it becomes damaged and can lead to skin diseases like rosacea. When the skin barrier is impaired bacteria, irritants, and pollutants can penetrate into the deeper layers, causing additional problems.
The exact cause of redness and rosacea is unknown. Experts link them to multiple causes; a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.
Most people react to the bacteria known as bacillus oleronius, causing an immune system overreaction. The presence of this bacteria correlates to overpopulation of the demodex mite. It's also been found that many people have an intestinal bacterial overgrowth that releases inflammatory compounds.
Rosacea has the tendency to flare up at the most inopportune moments. Left untreated, it tends to worsen over time. It can sometimes be mistaken for acne or an allergic reaction. Symptoms may wax and wane, sometimes appearing and disappearing for weeks or months at a time.
It usually starts with a tendency to redden or blush more readily, progressing to facial redness, mostly in the central part of your face. The tiny blood vessels on your nose and cheeks often swell and become visible. Many people will also develop acne-like, swollen, red bumps that resemble pimples that may contain pus. Sometimes skin may feel tender and hot. A good number of people also experience dry eyes, irritation, or swollen, red eyelids. These symptoms often show up before the facial redness.
Redness and Rosacea Triggers
Certain things will trigger or aggravate your skin by increasing blood flow to the surface:
- Temperature extremes
- Sun damage
- Certain emotions (stress, anxiety)
- Spicy foods or hot drinks
- Sunlight or wind
- Some cosmetic ingredients
- Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications
Recurring redness and rosacea can't be cured, but they may be controlled.
- Pay attention to those triggers that cause your flare-ups, and try to avoid them.
- Wear plenty of sunscreen.
- Medications may help manage the redness, bumps and other symptoms. These may include things to tighten blood vessels or antibiotics to kill bacteria. Acne drugs may help to clear up bumps.
- Other therapies may include light or laser therapies.
- Eat plenty of inflammation-fighting foods like plant-based choices high in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Since inflammation is tied closely with bacteria, eating foods high in probiotics and taking a probiotic supplement daily will help to balance the good bacteria in the digestive system.
- Be very gentle with your skin. Use only mild products, not harsh cleansers. Don't scrub. Opt for products that moisturize, and avoid irritants like alcohol and fragrances.
- Look for topical products that contain probiotics to help create a barrier, protecting the skin from bad bacteria and parasites. Probiotics kill the bad bacteria, fighting the harmful bugs that trigger inflammation and can calm cells down, easing the inflammatory response from the inside out.
- Find ways to manage or cope with stress, but exercise in moderation, as the increased blood flow can contribute to redness.