Rosacea affects 14 million people in America, which means that this is not a small or isolated problem. Still, people who are afflicted with rosacea tend to feel isolated and alone when they experience a flare up.
That’s because various rosacea triggers can cause a flare at any time. When that happens, people tend to cancel social engagements or stay home from work. Some continue to go about their routine but feel self-conscious about their appearance. Regardless of whether they withdraw or keep trying to maintain normalcy, people who suffer from rosacea tend to experience a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence. Clearly, discovering rosacea causes and the ways to avoid them is highly important.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that is most common in fair-skinned women, though it may affect both sexes and all skin tones. Typically, men present with more severe symptoms. This may be attributable to the fact that women tend to seek care from a dermatologist sooner than men do. Early diagnosis and rosacea treatment may help diminish the severity and longevity of any flare up.
This particular skin disorder may come with many symptoms, and dermatologists have divided rosacea into four subtypes. When you first visit the dermatologist, they will conduct an examination that will reveal which subtype you have, and this will affect the course of treatment followed.
Subtypes of Rosacea
The first rosacea subtype involves persistent redness and flushing. Broken blood vessels may appear on the skin’s surface, and the skin often burns, stings or swells.
Breakouts similar to acne are common to the second rosacea subtype. In addition to redness and broken blood vessels, people with subtype two suffer from bumps that are very much like pimples.
Subtype three is less common and usually involves a thickening of the skin, particularly the nose. However, skin on other parts of the face may also become thicker.
Subtype four is diagnosed when rosacea is found in the patient’s eyes. The eyes appear watery or bloodshot. Frequently, the patient experiences feelings of grittiness, burning or stinging. Permanent damage may occur if rosacea treatment is not provided in time.
Rosacea has a direct impact on the quality of life of everyone who has it. That’s why so many people are anxious to discover a rosacea treatment. Just as important is finding out which rosacea triggers appear to cause a flare up. With identification of rosacea triggers it becomes possible to avoid these factors, leading to fewer flare ups.
What Causes Rosacea?
Despite years of research, precisely what causes rosacea remains unknown. Dermatologists have several theories including the idea that some people are simply genetically predisposed to the condition. Even though what causes rosacea in some people but not in others remains a mystery, a great deal of work has been done toward identifying common rosacea triggers.
Emotional Rosacea Triggers
Some rosacea causes are more emotional than physical. For instance, researchers have discovered that stress may play a significant role in flare ups. When life gets hectic, rosacea symptoms seem to respond. It follows that learning to cope with stress in a healthy and productive manner can help patients avoid these symptoms. Accordingly, meditation, yoga or other effective stress management techniques may be employed. Other emotional factors like fear or embarrassment, which often cause the skin to flush, may exacerbate rosacea symptoms. While it may not be possible for a patient to eliminate situations from their life that might cause these emotions, it is possible to treat underlying signs and symptoms of rosacea so that day-to-day stress does not always lead to an outbreak.
Environmental Rosacea Triggers
Environmental factors may also be considered rosacea causes. A cold winter wind has been known to adversely affect people with rosacea. Similarly, hot weather or a change in humidity can both cause a flare up. People who have this disorder also need to be especially cautious about sun exposure. The sun’s rays are one of the most common rosacea triggers. Making sunscreen a daily part of your skin care routine is even more important for people with rosacea than it is for others. A flare up may also occur thanks to indoor heating systems, which may prove to be drying and irritating to sensitive skin.
Even a hot bath or shower can be bad news for rosacea sufferers. Similarly, heavy exercise, which may cause a flush, is another of the most common rosacea triggers. This disorder is yet another good reason not to smoke. Studies have shown that lighting up can have an adverse effect on people with rosacea.
Dietary Rosacea Triggers
Many foods and beverages are also known rosacea causes. Consuming alcoholic beverages, especially in excess, has long been recognized as a trigger. Chocolate is another as are most foods in the dairy group. Soy sauce and certain vegetables like spinach and avocados may be responsible for a flare up. Beans, various citrus fruits and even spicy foods have been recognized as aggravating this condition.
Controlling Rosacea Flare-ups
Flare ups can also occur thanks to certain medical conditions and prescriptions. Topical applications of steroid or cortisone medications dilate the blood vessels while oral blood pressure medications are known to have a similar effect.
Sometimes the cleansers, moisturizers and other skin care products that you use on a daily basis only make rosacea worse. Products containing alcohol, salicylic acid, witch hazel and eucalyptus oil may all be rosacea causes. Eliminating these products in favor of ones that do not contain these ingredients can go a long way toward resolving the frequency and severity of flare ups.
It isn’t always easy to pin down the rosacea causes that are affecting you. Your dermatologist will ask a number of questions in an effort to figure out what your rosacea triggers are. Additionally, you may be asked to keep a diary for a few weeks or months that tracks your flare ups and the possible rosacea causes that may be responsible for them. Chances are good that a pattern will begin to emerge, and you’ll be able to learn to avoid these rosacea causes in the future.
Once your dermatologist determines which subtype of rosacea you have it will be time to try a rosacea treatment. Your dermatologist is likely to recommend more than one rosacea treatment, and the methods may vary depending upon the subtype and the rosacea triggers that seem to affect you. Both topical and oral medications may be prescribed. These drugs are aimed at controlling the signs and symptoms of rosacea, and they may lessen the frequency and severity of the flare ups you experience.
In-office treatments may also be recommended by your dermatologist. Lasers and other light treatments may be used todiminish the appearance of visible blood vessels and flushing. These therapies may also be used to improve the appearance of the nose if it is affected by rosacea or to reduce persistent redness. There are also surgical options to treat the nose enlargement that can accompany rosacea, known as rhinophyma.
Your dermatologist can likewise recommend skin care products that don’t contain ingredients that are known rosacea causes. By taking medications as prescribed, using approved skin care products and managing your lifestyle you could experience fewer flare ups. It all begins with a diagnosis through your dermatologist and the identification of your rosacea causes. Contact the Dermatology Group today to learn more about the symptoms of this disorder and a rosacea treatment that’s right for you.