Rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting the face, and researchers have divided it into four main types. The first type is what people think of when they hear the word “rosacea.” The patient’s face is prone to flushing and redness. They might develop spider veins and rough, dry skin that also may be very sensitive.
In the second type, the patient gets acne along with the reddened skin. The skin tends to be oily, and the patient might develop plaques, which are raised areas of skin. The patient may also have sensitive skin and be susceptible to spider veins. This type of rosacea is most common in middle-aged women.
The third type of rosacea, which is rare, is characterized by bumpy, thickening skin. Thickened skin can occur on the ears, cheeks, chin and forehead, but it is most likely to develop on the nose. The patient also has oily skin with large pores.
The fourth type of rosacea affects the eyes, which become bloodshot and watery. The eyes can become sensitive to light, and they might itch, sting or burn. The patient may develop blurry or otherwise impaired vision while the eyelids might develop cysts or broken blood vessels.
What causes flare-ups?
Many things can cause rosacea to flare up, so we advise patients to keep a journal describing the different flare-ups and what they believe might have caused them.
The National Rosacea Society conducted a survey asking more than 1,000 patients about what triggered their flare-ups. In the survey, 81% mentioned sun exposure; 79% listed emotional stress; 75% mentioned hot weather; 57% listed wind; and 56% mentioned heavy exercise. Other respondents mentioned alcohol, spices, cold weather, hot baths, humidity, indoor heating, a variety of foods, certain medicines or medical conditions, and various skin care products or cosmetics.
The results of the survey indicate that rosacea has multiple triggers and that the first step in managing the condition is to identify the triggers.
How does one manage rosacea?
The most common trigger is sun exposure. Therefore, rosacea patients need to limit their exposure to the sun. They should use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. The sunscreen should contain zinc or titanium dioxide and protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every 2-3 hours. Somebody with ocular rosacea should wear wraparound sunglasses with UV protection. Wide-brimmed hats can also help protect a patient from the sun.
People with rosacea should also use a moisturizer every day. That will protect the skin from the dehydrating effects of the wind and cold weather. If cold weather is a trigger, try limiting time outdoors and wear a protective scarf or ski mask when exposed to the elements.
It can also help to manage stress levels, develop healthy eating habits and get a good night’s sleep each night. Try to exercise in moderation and avoid high-intensity and high-impact exercises that can cause overheating or flushing.
Each person’s triggers are different, so it is important to make notes when you have a flare-up. This can help determine the causes so that you can avoid the outside factors that irritate your skin. At SeaMist MedSpa, our medical team can work with you to help you manage your rosacea safely and effectively. Contact SeaMist MedSpa today to schedule your consultation.