By Margie Carr
State Board Licensed Clinical Esthetician
originally published April, 2011
The Mystery Behind Flushing and Blushing
Flushing and blushing, visible signs of tiny or large red and blue blood vessels, lumps, bumps and pimples, thickening skin on and around the nose, watery, bloodshot, irritated, burning or stinging eyes are all signs of Rosacea stages 1-5.
Rosacea, recognized as a chronic skin disorder, is generally located in the cheeks, chin, nose, and on the very center of the forehead area. I refer to this as the butterfly pattern. Though both women and men suffer from Rosacea, it is more prevalent in women, yet there are more severe cases in men. Rosacea can develop at any age, but typically at age 30 and over. Characterized as “flare-ups,", Rosacea can come and go. If left unattended, the condition may progress. Fair skinned individuals are not the only ones affected by this condition; Rosacea affects every nationality.
Stages of Rosacea
- Stage 1: Begins with flushing and blushing.
- Stage 2: Stage 1 coupled with small-dilated blood vessels (telangectasia).
- Stage 3: Stage 1 and 2 coupled with papules and pustules. Referred to as "acne rosacea."
- Stage 4: Stage 1,2 and 3 coupled with a thickening of tissue on and around the nose known as "rhinophyma."
- Stage 5: Ocular Rosacea presents as watery, bloodshot, irritated, burning or stinging eyes and may include one or more of Stages 1,2,3 and 4.
What to Do
Though there are many theories behind the cause of Rosacea, it has still not been scientifically proven why an estimated 16 million Americans suffer from this frustrating condition. One solution is to visit your doctor and use prescribed topical and or oral antibiotics to help control the condition. Another path is to see a licensed esthetician for clinical skin care products and treatment. If this is your choice, be sure to incorporate a bacteriostatic cleanser and rebalance the skin with PH balanced toner that does not contain alcohol. For dry skin Rosacea, choose a unique treatment moisturizer that will decongest and rebalance the micro vascular circulation. For oily skin Rosacea, choose a formula to target and destroy the demodex folliculorum mite associated with Acne Rosacea.
Diet and Rosacea
Stay away from stimulants: coffee, caffeinated teas, excess sugars, excess alcohol, spicy foods, and cigarettes.
Environment and Rosacea
It’s best to avoid hot tubs and hot showers, hot yoga (although yoga without the heat is recommended as reducing stress can be beneficial to those suffering from Rosacea), and extreme temperatures – hot or cold. Protecting the skin from sun exposure is important for all skin types, but for Rosacea sufferers it can be critical for comfort since their skin tends to feel hot. Since cream sunscreens will hold heat within the skin, they may want to consider a dry mineral sunscreen to keep the skin cool while protecting it.
Control vs. Cure
If you are one who suffers from Rosacea, there are treatments to control it. Just remember that it is who you are: it is in your DNA, and whether you choose a prescription drug coupled with Rosacea treatments or a skin care program designed specifically for Rosacea, it is controllable not curable, even with antibiotics. Kept in control, however, the relief you will feel by taking the proper steps to care for your Rosacea will be well worth it.