All my life I've been good, but now I'm thinking, What The Hell??
Did you know that, while Rosacea can appear at any age, it primarily affects people after the age of 30. So you may be going along in life, thinking your skin is of little worry and then BAM!!!! you're dealing with a very apparent skin disorder and you may be thinking, What The Hell!!!
(ok, in all realness its not actually bam, it does build up...but for the sake of being dramatic, lets go with BAM!!)
Let's break down some of the general questions you may have?
What is Rosacea?
- A skin disorder, not a disease
- Treatable but there is no "cure", it has flare ups and remissions
- Can occur at any age but is usually appears around 30+
- Easily mistaken for acne when bumps and pustules appear
There are 4 levels/stages/occurrences/subtypes, whatever you want to describe it as, of rosacea.
1. Erythemotelangiectatic Rosacea
Roughness and scaling
Transient and/or permanent erythema aka flushed redness, almost rash like
2. Papulopustular Rosacea
Persistent central facial erythema
Transient papules or pustules
A lack of multiple and frequent comedones (no blackheads or white pus like pimples)
Seen after or in combination with subtype 1
3. Phymatous Rosacea
Rhinophyma (nose enlarges and becomes red, bumpy, and bulbous)
Obvious and persistent telangiectasia
More common in men over 50 but can occur in women, especially when subtypes 1 and 2 of rosacea are left complexly untreated
4. Ocular Rosacea
Affects the eye area
Watery or bloodshot appearance
Burning or stinging eyes
Dryness which causes itching, light sensitivity, blurred vision
Lid and periocular (surrounding the eyeball but within the orbit) erythema aka redness and flushing
Note that ocular rosacea is most frequently diagnosed when cutaneous (skin) signs and symptoms of rosacea are present.
Will it go away
Short answer is No. There is currently no known cure, especially since we also don't have a definitive answer as to what causes rosacea.
Rosacea works in flares and remission. So while you will not cure it, you can calm and soothe the skin so the symptoms are not as annoying. It's a combination of appropriate skincare, avoiding your skin flare triggers when possible, wearing SPF to protect the skin and keeping your gut health in check.
What can I do?
First, book an appointment with a dermatologist to have a confirmed diagnoses of rosacea.
Second, find a qualified ethician who has niched themselves in skincare and understands rosacea. They will have access to a wider range of homecare, are easier to see on a regular basis for soothing treatments and can usually work with your dermatologist recommendations as well.
Third, start a trigger journal. This can be a little more difficult because of course it requires remembering to do it, and lets be honest, we have so much going on in life as it is. If you can, it can be an amazing tool. When you identify your flare triggers you can start to avoid your triggers. The less you trigger your skin, the happier it will be.
Fourth, protect your skin. It might take some trial and error to find an SPF you like, but why go to all the trouble of trying to heal your skin if you aren't going to protect it. Find the SPF that works for you, get in the habit of the reapply and find a hat you love for those long days outdoors.
The most important part, be patient. There will be great days, good days, rough days, really bad flares. It is ok. I promise, it is ok. This about your skin health and it is a journey, as cliché as that is.
Yes there are a lot of big words and science and ingredient list with rosacea, but it doesn't' have to be overwhelming or scary. That's why we are here, to answer questions, to share our knowledge, to be a friend on the rough days and your cheerleader on the good. You got this and we are here to support.