More than 16 million people in the United States alone suffer from rosacea. Since the condition has no cure, many people are afraid of it.
However, we have come a long way to find ways to minimize the symptoms of rosacea. If you take preventive measures and combat rosacea from the beginning, it won't be a big problem for you.
Many people tend to confuse rosacea with acne. The two conditions are very different, despite having some visible similarities.
Rosacea does not lead to pimples or acne. Pus-filled bumps can grow on your face due to rosacea, but it is not the same as acne.
Today we will go through everything you need to know about rosacea. We'll go through its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Before we begin, it is important to understand that not every treatment option would work for everyone. People have very different experiences with rosacea, and there is no one size fits all solution for it.
Rosacea is a skin condition that leads to redness and flushing of the face along with pus-filled bumps, rashes, and visibly broken blood vessels under the skin.
Anyone can get rosacea, but women (particularly white women) are more prone to get it. It is an autoimmune disorder like many other skin conditions, but environmental factors also play a role in it.
There are many common misconceptions surrounding rosacea. One of the most common misconceptions is that it is contagious. Rosacea is not contagious and neither is it a result of poor personal hygiene. In fact, it can also be a result of using the wrong skin products, especially those with harsh chemicals.
While environmental factors do play a role in rosacea, it is more common when you have it in your genes. It is a very common skin problem, particularly in the United States and Europe.
There are drug-based and cosmetic treatments for rosacea, but we will not get into those in this article. Whenever you are looking for information about drugs and cosmetic procedures for rosacea, make sure you get your information from a qualified doctor.
Apart from drugs and surgical treatments, there are a number of lifestyle changes that you can incorporate to treat rosacea. In this article, we will be going through those changes and more suggestions. But before that, you must understand the key symptoms of rosacea.
Symptoms of rosacea
Generally, rosacea begins and stays on the face and does not extend to other parts of the body.
The first symptoms you might see are small, pus-filled bumps on your skin. While these bumps may look like pimples at first, they would not exactly feel like pimples.
After the bumps, you can notice redness and flushing on your face. When the condition becomes more severe, there might be visibly broken blood vessels under the skin of your face.
Apart from these common symptoms, there are also several not-so-common symptoms.
One of them shows up in your nose. If you have had rosacea for a while, the skin of your nose can become very thick. In extreme cases, it can also lead to discomfort in the nose and trouble breathing.
Eyes are also affected by rosacea. Your eyes can swell if you have rosacea, or become very dry. If you are experiencing problems in your eyes due to rosacea, you must start immediate treatment. The longer you let it sit, the worse the condition will become.
Beyond eye and nose discomfort, rosacea can give a burning sensation in the entire affected area. Your skin can feel red, swollen, and itchy. Coupled with the roughness of the skin, it can be a very uncomfortable feeling for the affected person.
What are the causes of rosacea?
It is not possible to zero in on one or two particular causes of rosacea. There is no single cause of rosacea, at least as far as medical science has been able to deduce.
There can be multiple reasons behind the condition, but you may never know exactly what caused the condition. This is typical of autoimmune disorders where the immune system fights against the body for some unknown reason.
Among other things, genetic factors play a key role in rosacea. If the condition runs in your family, you are at a higher risk of getting it. You can also get it from a wide range of environmental factors, including dry weather and spicy food.
Like any other physical disease, your mental health plays a key role in rosacea. If you are always stressed and anxious, you are at a higher risk of getting rosacea.
While this condition can affect anyone, white women above the age of 30 are particularly susceptible. Part of the reason is that flushing and redness are the most pronounced in light-skinned people than in dark-skinned people.
What to do if you are diagnosed with rosacea?
If you are diagnosed with rosacea, you must first calm yourself down before taking any steps. It is important to understand that rosacea is not a life-threatening condition and isn’t permanent.
In an overwhelming majority of people, rosacea comes and goes in cycles, much like acne. Even if you do not do anything about it, it will most likely go away by itself.
However, if you add a few steps to your skincare and health practices, you can get rid of it much faster.
Another thing that you should not do after being diagnosed with rosacea is looking for magic pills and creams. Doctors from every part of the world agree that there is no cure for rosacea.
At best, an OTC drug can minimize the symptoms. If someone is selling you a magic pill for rosacea, they are lying.
Treatment options for rosacea
There are various treatment options for rosacea, ranging from dietary changes to surgical treatments. We will be looking at the natural options that mostly incorporate lifestyle changes.
When you take care of your mind and body as a whole, your overall well-being improves. In turn, that plays a key role in treating skin conditions like rosacea.
Let's find out more.
Know your triggers and avoid them
Different things trigger rosacea for different people. If you observe closely, you will also find out the triggers that affect you. It can be something as simple as spicy food. It can also be a bigger factor, like changes in air humidity levels.
No matter what your triggers are, you must first identify them in order to avoid them. For example, if you notice that spicy food is your trigger, make sure you eliminate spice from your food.
While getting rid of triggers completely might not be possible, you can make it a point to avoid them as much as you can.
Use mild skincare products
Everyone must use skin care products, but at the same time, their quality matters a lot. Low-quality skin care products like face wash and moisturizer can make your rosacea even worse.
These small changes go a long way towards making it easy to deal with rosacea. It might take some time before the results start to show, but it will surely happen.
Take care of your mental health
As we already mentioned, your mental health plays a key role in your physical health. If you are always stressed and anxious, skin conditions will be very difficult to deal with.
Part of the reason is also the fact that skin conditions make you more aware of yourself and you can lose confidence. To combat this negative self-feeding loop, do whatever you can to make yourself mentally relaxed.
If meditation and therapy do not suit you, play a game or join an activity where you find true calm. There are many ways of dealing with mental health problems, and you should choose whatever works for you.
Gentle face massage
A gentle face massage can be very beneficial for rosacea. However, you should not do it when your rosacea is full-blown. Once it subsides after a cycle, gently massage your face in a circular motion with your fingers. You can moisten your face before that to make the experience even smoother. However, remember that the massage must be very gentle. If you apply too much force, it can do more damage than good.
Any time you step out of the house, you should apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30. You can choose a higher SPF sunscreen if you are going to stay outside for a long time.
Sunscreens protect our skin in various ways. Harsh sunlight can also be a trigger for rosacea for many people. While you cannot avoid the sun altogether, using sunscreen every day is both possible and recommended.
Watch what you eat
Apart from food items that trigger rosacea for individuals, some food items are universally bad for the skin. The first thing that comes to mind is processed sugar. It is very bad for the skin and can make rosacea even worse.
Cut down sugar from your diet as much as you can. Processed sugar, in particular, is the worst type of sugar. If you have strong cravings for sweets, pick fruit or products with jaggery, coconut sugar, date sugar, etc.
If you are addicted to sugar, the first few days will be very challenging. Once you cross the difficult stage, you will never go back to consuming processed sugar again.
Wash your sheets and pillow covers
When we sleep, a lot of grime, sweat, and dead skin cells transfer to the pillows and the sheet. Using the same sheets and pillowcases day after day can further clog your facial pores, making rosacea worse.
You must wash your pillowcases at least once a week. The same goes for your sheets. While it appears to be a trivial thing, it can indeed be the biggest trigger of rosacea for you.
Aloe vera has been a gamechanger for many people suffering from rosacea, and it can be the same for you as well.
Dealing with rosacea requires a lot of mental strength and following a few rules. If you follow a healthy lifestyle and take care of your mind and body, treating rosacea would not be very difficult. Make sure you incorporate the suggested lifestyle changes to see the benefits for yourself.