What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common, long-term skin condition which usually occurs on the face. It may manifest itself as persistent redness, spots, visible blood vessels and/or thickened skin.
Symptoms of rosacea
There are four main symptoms of rosacea:
- Redness: persistent flushing of the face, often around the nose and cheeks.
- Thread veins: visible blood vessels that do not disappear.
- Papules, pustules and spots: round red bumps which may be filled with pus or fluid.
- Thickening of the skin: excess, bumpy tissue, especially around the nose. This only occurs in the most serious, long-standing cases of rosacea and almost never affects female sufferers.
What causes rosacea?
It is not known what causes rosacea, although some studies have suggested it might be caused by abnormal blood vessels in the face, or due to a type of harmless mite found on the skin of most people.
Although the exact cause is not known, there are a number of things that may worsen the symptoms of rosacea, or even trigger a flare-up. These include:
- Certain foods such as spicy dishes and citrus fruit
- Sun exposure
- Extreme temperatures
- Fragranced skin products
- Harsh cleansers and soaps
How can I prevent rosacea breakouts?
As rosacea is a chronic condition and there is no known cure, the best way to help prevent regular flare-ups is to try and identify your triggers and avoid these where possible. Keep a food diary and a make a note of which products you use on your skin; avoid sun exposure and try to limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
Natural remedies for rosacea
Some common natural remedies for rosacea include:
- Using only natural, gentle skin products and moisturisers
- Turmeric (taken orally either as a supplement or in food)
- Ginger (taken orally either as a supplement or in food)
- Aloe vera gel (applied topically onto the affected area)
- Manuka honey (applied topically onto the affected area)
Treatments for rosacea
There are a number of effective treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms of rosacea. These include:
Laser treatment: For individuals with visible blood vessels, laser treatment can be used to shrink them.
Skin peels: Skin peels help rosacea by exfoliating the top layers of skin, speeding up skin turnover and preventing pores from becoming clogged with dead skin cells, which can aggravate the problem.
Medication: A doctor may prescribe oral and topical medications to treat the redness, pimples and bumps associated with rosacea.
Skincare products: A gentle skin-care routine can be invaluable in helping to control the symptoms of rosacea.