October 24 2016
Those individuals who have been diagnosed with one of the four subtypes of rosacea can expect symptoms of the skin condition that may vary in intensity but that will however clear and reappear for a lifetime. Although there is no permanent cure for rosacea there are effective treatments that can bring relief from the symptoms. You can also learn what triggers cause your flare-ups to occur so that you can learn to limit your exposure to these triggers or even avoid them altogether.
Scientists and researchers are studying the condition to better understand what causes the rosacea flare-ups and what causes the initial occurrence of the skin condition. While there may not be conclusive evidence yet as to what causes rosacea they do know that rosacea is the result of some kind of irregularity or damage in the blood vessels in the areas where the condition appears. The blood vessel damage may be happening in response to exposure to certain factors or from prolonged or repetitive exposure over a period of time. The expanding and dilation that the blood vessels undergo that causes the symptoms of rosacea (blushing, flushing and appearance of small blood vessels under or on the skin’s surface) to appear.
If left untreated, rosacea will worsen and the vessels will remain permanently dilated leading to the condition of permanent reddening of the skin in that area.
Individuals who have rosacea will start to become accustomed to the “triggers”, those factors that happen before the next rosacea flare-up. These triggers are important keys to preventing future flare-ups or to minimize the severity of them. There are a few main categories of triggers: weather, food and drink, medication, and also chemical skin irritants environmental or product.
Each of these trigger categories contains several elements that should be carefully monitored. A good suggestion to understand what your triggers are would be to keep a rosacea journal. The journal would be a record of what you did, what you ate or drank what the weather was like and what products you put on you skin in the 2 week period leading up to a flare-up of rosacea. After a while of accurately recording as much data as possible from these categories you should see a pattern. Take this journal to your doctor or dermatologist so that you and your medical team can ascertain what your triggers are that precede your rosacea. Once the triggers are determined your treatment plan can include ways to either avoid them or at least lessen the affect they can have on your skin.
Common triggers in the weather category include cold temperatures, heat from the sun, harsh wind and extreme changes in weather.
Common triggers in the food and drink category include beverages that are considered to be temperatures that are hot or cold. Usually drinks that are room temperature or just slightly hot or slightly cold are not triggers (usually). Other beverages that are triggers for most who have rosacea are those containing alcohol because of the affect alcohol has on blood vessel dilation.
Common triggers in the medication category are vasodilating drugs and topical steroids because they have an effect on the way blood vessels behave.
Common triggers in the skin irritant (environmentally or product) are particles in the air that may rub or be harsh on your skin, loofahs, rough towels, and also products that contain dyes, and fragrances. Other products that can irritate the skin are skin toners, exfoliating agents, and astringents used in daily skin care regimens. Cosmetics can also irritate the skin. Those using makeup can look for brands that carry makeup made especially for sensitive skin. Often times these types of cosmetics will have a label that says: “dermatologist tested”. Be sure to still check the label for anything known to irritate your skin. Watch out for laundry and dish soap too as these products can also affect the areas of your skin either directly or by association (doing activities while the products are on your hands like rubbing your face, nose, eyes).