We all know April showers bring May flowers, but the month is also dedicated to raising awareness about rosacea.
The Rosacea Awareness Society has designated the month of April as Rosacea Awareness Month to shine the spotlight on this inflammatory skin condition that affects more than 14 million Americans—many of them who don’t know they have it. While no cure for this disease exists, the good news is that there are a host of treatments, products and procedures on the market designed specifically to control or reverse symptoms of this condition.
The key message of Rosacea Awareness Month is to emphasize the importance of seeking medical help for this skin ailment. Early treatment is vital in suppressing symptoms, which can accelerate quickly if left untreated.
Although rosacea appears most commonly in women, it typically affects men with a higher degree of severity because males are more likely to put off seeking medical treatment.
The onset of rosacea typically develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can occur at any age. Rosacea’s appearance often varies from one individual to another, but it always includes at least one of these symptoms: flushing of the skin or frequent blushing, persistent redness, bumps and pimples and visible blood vessels.
More serious symptoms can result when initial signs of this skin condition are left untreated. Severe symptoms include eye irritation, burning or stinging of the skin, dryness, plaques, and thickening and swelling of the skin. Symptoms can also spread to the neck, ears or chest, especially when left untreated.
What Causes It?
The cause of rosacea is still largely unknown, but theories point to several possibilities. Some medical experts believe it may be caused by a generalized disorder of the blood vessels. Other theories blame microscopic skin mites, fungus, certain psychological factors or a malfunction of the connective tissue under the skin.
While there’s no way to prevent the condition, avoiding certain lifestyle factors may decrease the chances of an episode occurring. Sun exposure, stress, extremely hot or cold temperatures, hot beverages, spicy foods, strenuous exercise, and alcohol consumption are a few. Because everyone has different triggers, it’s not a bad idea to keep a journal to track what lifestyle factors coincide with flare-ups so they can be avoided in the future.
Certain skincare products can also be the culprit. Many rosacea patients have sensitive skin, so certain cleansers, fragrances, and anti-aging products can be especially harsh. Other sufferers have dry, stinging skin, and some have oily, bumpy skin. A skincare specialist can diagnose a patient’s skin type and recommend specific products to meet individual skin care needs.
Although steps can be taken to lessen the chances of a flare-up occurring, rosacea can be unpredictable, sometimes clearing up without explanation and other times flaring up out of nowhere. In other individuals, rosacea can be progressive even when treated, with signs of blood vessels, skin bumps, and acne increasing over time.
Certain prescription medications can improve symptoms if used regularly. Oral medications reduce inflammation and topical prescription creams can reduce pustules and bumpiness. Laser and light treatments help decrease underlying redness and can be used to permanently destroy small blood vessels that develop, but patients should be prepared for new blood vessels to emerge throughout the duration of the disease.
Aside from prescription medications and invasive surgical procedures, topical skin care treatments are oftentimes very effective in keeping rosacea symptoms under control.
Standard treatments include gentle cleansers, sunscreens to prevent UV triggers, gentle moisturizers, and redness-reducing skin care formulas. Newer technologies in skin care have greatly improved outcomes in rosacea sufferers. A novel treatment available from SkinCeuticals uses natural botanicals and scientifically-proven ingredients to help reduce inflammation, redness, stinging, and burning. In a clinical study, SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer soothed skin, evened out appearance, and improved patient satisfaction by 96%.
Make an appointment today at the Woodhouse Day Spa Castle Pines for a customized rosacea consultation by our skin care experts. Gentle cleansers, moisturizers, and Redness Neutralizer are available for purchase. Additionally, Woodhouse Day Spa Castle Pines is offering a Rosacea Redness Reducing Facial at a special discount. Call and speak with our spa concierge at 720-895-8488 for more information.