April is Rosacea Awareness Month

It’s not just rosy cheeks. You may be suffering from Rosacea.

What is Rosacea?

A condition in which certain facial blood vessels enlarge, giving the cheeks and nose a flushed appearance. Depending on whom you ask, the American Academy of Dermatology or the National Rosacea Society,  there are either 14 million or 16 million people in the US living with Rosacea. That is somewhere between 1 in 4 and 1 in 10 people.

Similar to acne, rosacea is an inflammatory condition that commonly affects fair skinned individuals but can present in darker skin types as well. Symptoms include red or pink skin, dilated blood vessels, red bumps that can contain pus or cysts, all of which occur on the face. Flushing, which is a temporary increase of facial redness, can occur in response to anything that widens our blood vessels. There are a huge variety of factors that can cause flares in rosacea patients. Some rosacea triggers include;

  • sun and wind exposure
  • emotional or physical stress
  • hot or cold weather
  • alcohol
  • spicy foods
  • heavy exercise
  • hot baths
  • heated beverages
  • certain skin care products and cosmetics
  • some medications and medical conditions
  • changes of season or weather
  • anxiety and stress

What can you do to keep rosacea under control?

Treatments vary by the individual and their triggers. Topical creams can aid in the temporary reduction of redness and inflammatory flares. Prescription medications can also help control flare-ups. During an active flare-up, cool compresses will help to relieve irritation and redness. Reduction or elimination of alcohol might be the answer. When it comes to alcohol, white wine and high percentage liquors have been associated with more pronounced rosacea. Red wine should also be avoided because of the sulfites.

Some individuals respond well to targeting the foods that are causing inflammations and avoiding those altogether. Patients can get tested for food allergies or simply keep a food log to determine the triggers. The regular practice of yoga, meditation or exercise can help balance emotional stress. Taking care of the body and overcoming illness or pain does the same for physical stress.

Spring or summer flare-ups can be greatly reduced by the use of sunscreen and a hat to shield the face from the sun. Outdoor exercise should be done in the cooler morning or evening hours. In cooler parts of the country, specifically the north east states, winter can be the biggest challenge. During these dry times, hydration of the skin both from the inside and out is very important.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments have been gaining popularity for their ability to treat skin disorders such as rosacea. For those who choose not to take oral prescriptions, this is a good option.

What can Skin Therapy of Charlotte do to help?

At Skin Therapy of Charlotte, our goal is healthy skin that will make you feel beautiful. We can help you achieve this in the following ways;

  • Facials – Facials are a great way to hydrate the skin. We can customize your treatment to help correct and soothe your skin by evening the skin tone as well as protect it by strengthening the delicate capillaries.
  • Peels – Low percentage lactic acid peels force hydration into the skin. This is a great option during the cold and dry winter months.
  • Products – After a treatment your esthetician will recommend the right at-home products and treatments for your skin goals. Mineral based makeup and sunscreens. Topical products containing hyaluronic acid for hydration. Gentle cleansers are very important for helping to keep rosacea patients’ skin ion balance. Harsh exfoliants, mud or clay masks, and waxing may trigger flare ups. So let the skincare gurus at Skin Therapy of Charlotte guide you to the products that are safest for your skin.

Take a look at Rosacea.org for more information.

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