What is Rosacea?
Rosacea also known as Acne Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin problem characterized by redness and/or surface veins on the cheeks, nose and chin. It can be controlled but not cured.
Rosacea is not well understood and characteristically affects people with pale skins, blue or blue/green eyes and generally starts in middle age. For some reason it is affecting more young people now than ever before. People with darker skins also get rosacea, but the signs are less florid. Small papules (or lumps) which may become pustules (pimples) are often present. It may resemble acne but if you look closely at the skin, you will not see any open or closed comedones (blackheads or whiteheads).
It must be remembered that in almost all cases of Rosacea, the connective tissue in the affected area is fragile, so steps must be taken to keep the tissue in good health to reduce symptoms and outbreak re-occurrence.
Most people who have rosacea will remember a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle with a red face or bulbous nose (men).
Sun damage plays a big part in the development of rosacea so if you or your children have fair skin this is a serious reason to avoid sunburn or over exposure to sun and UV rays.
Eyes are often affected and can feel irritated, dry, red and gritty. This is called ocular rosacea and is often an early symptom of rosacea. Cod liver oil fortified with Vitamins A & D is a great help for this problem. It's available from health food shops. Micro-genics is a good brand.
Usually the central areas of the face are involved. While this is a chronic disease, in the early stages redness or flushing tends to come and go. Eventually redness remains and the complexion is ruddy. In some cases there are periods of remission, and at other times, it is worse. Broken capillaries or spider veins are commonly seen on the face but particularly on the nose, cheeks and chin.
In men the nose is almost always involved and after many years, may become thickened and misshapen. A potato-nose (called rhinophyma) is always due to this condition.
Rosacea sufferers tend to have build up of layers of dead skin cells. Exfoliation is critical and blocked pores resulting in breakouts can be avoided when exfoliation is done on a regular basis.