Rosacea is a skin condition that almost 16 million Americans suffer from, many more remain undiagnosed. This condition is not only painful but can also cause embarrassment. It begins with flushing and leads to permanent redness, bumps, pimples, broken capillaries and eventually thickening of the skin around the nose. The National Rosacea Society estimates that 69% of sufferers said that their condition made them feel “Frustrated, embarrassed, and negatively affected their self-esteem.”
Symptoms Of Rosacea
You might have rosacea if you experience any of these symptoms frequently:
- Small bumps (not acne) on your cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin
- A red, bulbous nose
- Frequent flushing
- Burning or stinging feeling in your face
- Spider-like blood vessels on the face
- Burning or irritated eyes
Rosacea is more common in females, people with light skin and those of Celtic or Northern Europe descent. Most people diagnosed with this condition are between 30 and 50 years of age.
Causes & Treatment Of Rosacea
Although the exact cause of rosacea is not quite known, research has discovered several things common to sufferers:
Scientists measured the blood flow in areas where rosacea was occurring and found that inflammation was three to four times greater in these parts than other parts. When the skin flushes, as it does with this condition, it is an inflammatory response similar to what happens when we break a bone. Blood rushes to the area to promote healing. However, the problem is that there is no broken bone or bruised skin to repair. The skin is inflamed with the blood but there is nothing to repair. Because the skin on our face is comprised of a very fragile system of blood vessels, the constant rush of blood can cause damage.
Skin Mites & Bacteria
We all have microscopic organisms on our skin called Demodex mites. These exist near our hair follicles and carry bacteria that can irritate skin. People who have rosacea have a higher amount of these particular mites.
For people with uncompromised skin, the immune system does a good job making sure that the mites don’t overpopulate and cause irritation. For those with rosacea, however, there is an overpopulation of mites, too many for the normal immune system to handle. Thus, skin becomes damaged.
Some people may have been prescribed antibiotics for the condition but research shows that long-term use of antibiotics can be devastating to overall health and wellbeing.
Strained Blood Vessels
The blood vessels in the face are similar to balloons that are inflated and deflated with blood flow passing in and out. As we grow older, the vessels become less rigid and are unable to empty quickly. Flushing, as happens with rosacea causes the vessels to fill and when they don’t empty they stay swollen and eventually cause red spots to pop up under the skin.
Things That Trigger Rosacea
There are a number of triggers that seem to make facial- redness/rosacea worse and avoiding these as much as possible is a good first step. However, if you are like others who suffer, you may have a response to more than one of the common triggers, many of which are things that happen as a result of daily living. This can really make it hard to be in charge of your condition.
Some common triggers according to the National Rosacea Society include:
- Sun exposure
- Hot weather
- Alcohol consumption
- Spicy foods
- Heated beverages
Natural Treatments & Home Remedies For Rosacea
Conventional treatments for this condition often include antibiotics or a very expensive and painful therapy that involves scraping off layers of skin. However, neither one of these help to solve underlying issues.
The good news is that there are some very effective and natural ways to soothe inflamed and red skin. These remedies will help to make this condition much more manageable.
1. Green Tea
According to WebMD, a study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology found that patients treated with a green tea extract cream had a 70% reduction in symptoms compared with those who received a placebo. To benefit from green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties, chill one cup of green tea in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes. Soak a clean cotton cloth in the chilled green tea and apply it to the affected area. You can also drink a few cups of organic green tea a day and benefit from its antioxidant properties that help to ease inflammation and fight free radicals.