April Is Rosacea Awareness Month!

Did you know that April is Rosacea Awareness Month? It’s an opportunity to educate all of the hoomans about this skin condition and raise some awareness on how it manifests itself, how it can be triggered, and the best methods of treating the symptoms. Rosacea is a medical condition - we cannot treat it, and if you have rosacea, your doctor is the best person to help you out. Skincare can assist with symptoms, but it’s not an alternative to medical care. 

What Is Rosacea? 

Rosacea is an auto-inflammatory skin condition. It’s a chronic condition, meaning that it cannot be “cured” per se but it can be eased. It’s not contagious.

The most common and visible symptom is usually flushing redness in the face. This redness can become persistent over time, and will not go away, similar to telangiectasias, or spider veins. There are a few other symptoms of rosacea too, which sufferers have to deal with during flare-ups, such as papules and pustules, which can often be mistaken for acne! Acne rosacea is a different condition, however, which I’ll discuss a little later, and eye irritation. 

There are four different types of rosacea, but we can’t treat types three or four.

  1. This is known as erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR). It’s characterised by facial redness, and visible blood vessels.

  2. This is papulopustular (or acne) rosacea. I’s associated with breakouts which resemble acne, and often affects women approaching middle-age. 

  3. This type is called rhinophyma. This is a very rare form of rosacea. It can result in thickening skin on and around your nose. It affects men most commonly, and is usually accompanied by another subtype of rosacea.

  4. This is called ocular rosacea, and it affects the eye area, including eye irritation.

Rosacea in Ireland

    You might have heard this one before, but rosacea is commonly called ‘The Curse of the Celts’. Typically ‘Celtic’ skin (skin types Fitzpatrick 1 and 2 if we’re getting our nerdie credentials out) is predisposed to developing rosacea, and other skin conditions, too. 

    It affects hoomans in general between their 30s and 50s, and affects more women than men, although men tend to experience more severe cases. 

    What’s The Difference Between Redness and Rosacea?

    If you suffer from rosacea, you might find that you have flushing redness on your cheeks which noticeably deepens in colour after you have been in the sun, the wind or cold, after drinking alcohol, after eating spicy food, after exercise - those are the main triggers. 

    If you have a constantly high colour (rosiness in your cheeks), year-round, and without the other symptoms, then you likely don’t have rosacea!

    What Causes Rosacea?

    As with most skin conditions, there is no hard-and-fast answer to this question. There are a host of reasons why hoomans might develop rosacea. Most frustratingly, you might not find an answer at all.

    Issues with blood vessels

    If you’re flushing red a lot, then it stands to reason that those blood vessels might have something to do with it. If they are acting abnormally, it might account for the redness in your face - but scientists can’t determine a cause for this. 

    Demodex folliculorum

    There have been studies in recent years linking Demodex folliculorum to rosacea. Everybody has them, so try not to scream. Demodex folliculorum are microscopic mites which reside fairly harmlessly on the surface of your skin (they eat oil; it’s not a lovely thought). Higher numbers of mites have been found on people with rosacea - up to eighteen times more, in fact.


    Helicobacter pylori bacteria

    Bacteria in the digestive tract have been speculated to have a link to rosacea, but the experiments are still ongoing.

    Genetics

    Rosacea is an inflammatory disorder, which might be indeed genetic.Thanks, parents! You might be able to trace rosacea in your own family, but with that in mind, it can also occur in hoomans who can’t easily see a link between rosacea in other generations. Rosacea is an inflammatory disorder, which might be indeed genetic.

    Triggers 

    If you suffer from rosacea, you probably have your list of triggers that you try to avoid, but not all of them can be avoided, and not everyone is triggered by all of these things.

    • Heat (weather AND baths both count here)
    • Cold weather
    • Wind
    • Exercise
    • Alcohol
    • Spicy food
    • Caffeine
    • Stress


    What is Acne Rosacea?

    Acne rosacea is the everyday term given to rosacea type 2, papulopustular rosacea. It’s a faux ami of acne - not truly acne, but still needing care and attention. 

    It manifests as acne-like breakouts, with noticeably red skin. Skin can feel oilier than normal, and more sensitive. You might notice broken blood vessels, or raised patches or plaques of skin. 

    How to Manage Rosacea

    A bit of bad news: rosacea currently has no cure.

    Good news: it’s possible to manage your symptoms by a combination of lifestyle changes, supplements if recommended by your healthcare practitioners, and products. 

    Antioxidants
    Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is a rockstar ingredient when it comes to helping to manage rosacea. It helps to strengthen capillaries (fewer broken capillaries = less noticeable redness). It helps bring down general redness too, both topically and when ingested. 

    IMAGE Vital C Hydrating Antioxidant A C E Serum

    Did you know  that IMAGE’s Vital C Range was specifically created by founded Janna Ronert to tackle the symptoms of her own rosacea?

    This serum contains vitamins A, C, and E, and a big antioxidant boost. It is peptide-rich serum which helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines, dryness, and collagen loss. It can also help to reduce redness when used as part of your routine. 

    Apply three drops morning and evening and tap into your skin, from the nipples up. It should last about 8-12 weeks depending on usage. Don’t forget to seal it super tight, as oxygen can degrade the efficacy of vitamin C, and that’s not something we like to C. 

    If you’re using vitamin C to assist with rosacea, you should carefully monitor it. Sometimes vitamin C can irritate your skin, so keep an eye out.



    Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Vit C

    These antioxidant supplements provide free radical protection by sorting out out with antioxidants in the form of vitamin C. Make sure you take them as directed, and try to be nerdily routined about them. 

    Advanced Nutrition Programme Antioxidants

    Antioxidants help to fight free radicals and stop them in their chaotic tracks before they can cause too much mischief. Antioxidants are key ingredients for tackling rosacea concerns. 

    IMAGE Iluma Intense Brightening Serum

    A calming, oil-free serum for skin discolouration and redness. Vitamin C and grape seed extract both work to reduce inflammation and help to improve the appearance of the complexion. This serum is gentle enough to be used by sufferers of rosacea.



    Vitamin A

    Vitamin A could do with it’s own hall of fame, in my opinion, but it’s also a key ingredient when it comes to tackling rosacea. It’s amazing for bringing down inflammation, regulating sebum production, prompting skin to proliferate and to heal, too. It’s one of the most important ingredients you can get when it comes to your overall skin health. You can take it topically and internally. You could try Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Accumax Starter to add it to your supplement regime.

    This includes vitamins A, C, and E and the ingredient DIM (a patented, highly active plant compound), as well as other complexion enhancing active ingredients. This is a phytonutrient which helps you zap blemishes, too. 

    Hyaluronic Acid

    Hyaluronic acid is one of the only acids which rosacea skin should be using, since it’s super hydrating and not what you might commonly think of as an ‘acid’. It’s suitable for use for rosacea sufferers.

    Skingredients Skin Veg

    Skin Veg is the hydrating, highlighting, anti-ageing serum of the Skingredients range. It contains sodium hyaluronate, which is the salt form of hyaluronic acid. You can tap half a pump into your skin morning and evening post-cleanse. It also contains a host of botanical antioxidants as well as a pro-collagen peptide, to boot.

    Spritz O’Clock

    If your rosacea comes part and parcel with a feeling of heat, then we would definitely recommend a facial spritz to you - the gentler and simpler, the better.

    Avene Thermal Water Spray 300ml

    This spritz is very calming and soothing for irritated or inflamed skin. It contains Avene thermal water with healing properties, and is suitable for all skin types. It can help keep skin hydrated throughout the day, and reduce the heat and discomfort of rosacea.

    Discover the healing, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties of Thermal Spring Water Spray 300ml from Avène. It is naturally rich in minerals and its many benefits are recognised by the French National Health Institute.

    In the form of a spray, Avène Thermal Spring Water is taken directly from the Avène springs. It preserves all its soothing properties which protects your skin and gives you a feeling of softness and freshness.

    Omegas 

    Solgar Omega 3-6-9 Supplements

    Omegas can be very useful to supplement your diet with extra essential fatty acids, and upping your essential fatty acids can be helpful in providing a bit more moisture to the skin.



    If your skin is going through a rosacea flare, you have our sympathy. We will be producing content throughout this month on rosacea in order to raise a bit more awareness and give out some advice for anyone struggling with it.

    If you’d like more advice on how to manage rosacea-prone skin, our team of Nerd and Nerdettes are available for online consultations as usual. You can book in and start your skincare journey here!