In this week’s beauty talk, our skin care expert Keshia talks about the skin condition rosacea. Wondering how you can recognize and treat it? Read all about it now!
There are two types of people: those who associate blushing cheeks with “cute” and “healthy” and those who are annoyed to death by their red jaws that never go away. Do you belong to the second category? Then chances are you have rosacea! Are you wondering why and what you can do about it? Then you are in the right place!
What is rosacea?
Rosacea means “red like a rose” and it is this red color that is so typical of this skin condition. This is due to the numerous dilated red or blue blood vessels (telangiectasias) on the cheeks, which is also called “rosacea”. In addition to those dilated blood vessels, you may also have pimples. That’s why it sometimes gets the name ‘acne rosacea’, although it has little to do with real acne.
Rosacea does not cause blackheads, which sometimes makes it easier to determine whether or not you have rosacea. Although this is no guarantee: rosacea can occur simultaneously with acne, which in turn makes a correct diagnosis more difficult.
What is the cause of rosacea?
Unfortunately: we don’t know the exact cause of it. Although heredity seems to play a role. Another theory that has long been circulating is that of demodex mites. The reason for that? Ivermectin cream, a drug that kills mites, works well for rosacea, which feeds the idea that demodex mites have something to do with it after all.
“Eww, a mite?!” you might be thinking? Don’t worry, it’s nothing to be afraid of. They live in the hair follicles of our skin and we can’t see them with the naked eye. It is only in exceptional cases that this mite species causes problems, such as when you take medication that weakens your immune system.
So we can only guess at the exact cause. However, it is more common in women between 30 and 50 years of age with light skin tone.
The 3 stages of rosacea
One rosacea is not like another. There are different degrees, ranging from mild symptoms to thick red discs and a swollen nose. The different degrees can be divided into three stages:
– You have blushing cheeks with redness that lasts for hours (as opposed to just blushing).
– You have a stinging, sometimes painful feeling in the face after walking (for a long time) in the wind or cold or washing your face.
– Fine blood vessels appear on your cheeks that do not disappear (telangiectasias).
– Red bumps and pimples appear on your cheeks, nose and chin, sometimes they also appear all over your face.
– The pores of your skin are more visible.
– Nothing indicates bacteria, unlike other inflammations where pimples appear.
– Larger pustules and thick red discs appear on your face.
– Your skin roughens and your facial contours change.
– Your face becomes thick and swollen, the best known form being rhinophyma: a thickening of the nose.
Do you also suffer from eye strain? That symptom is also more common than you think! A typical complaint is the feeling as if there is constantly a grain of sand in your eye.
I think I have rosacea, now what?
It can be very discouraging to discover that you have rosacea, just because it is more visible than other conditions. Fortunately, there are a lot of options to reduce the effects.
Couperose: these days, you can get rid of the hair-fine blood vessels with laser treatment.
Medication: your doctor or dermatologist can prescribe remedies such as metronidazole 1% (antibiotic), ivermectin 1% (new remedy for demodex mites) or azelaic acid cream.
Should you immediately switch to intense remedies?
Definitely not! There are also certain skincare products that can improve your skin or are just better avoided. The golden rule is: treat your skin with gentleness! Do not use too hot water, do not rub your hands or washcloth too hard and do not use cleansing brushes.
Chemical uv-filters can temporarily aggravate your redness. Therefore, choose a physical (or mineral) filter such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Silicones also give your skin extra support.
Do you have a dry and tight feeling? Then choose hyaluronic acid, which hydrates the skin without making it oily.
Why can’t your skin be too oily, you may ask? Because the demodex mite just loves an oil-rich environment. Do you notice that you are producing more sebum? Then choose an oil-free day cream. Some recommendations that are 100% safe are the cleanser, serum and day cream (dry skin and mixed skin) from the B-Calm line.
Other triggers and irritating ingredients
Other ingredients you may react to include menthol, eucalyptus, essential oils, alcohol (denat), peppermint and witch hazel (hamamelis). Also remember that – as usual – your lifestyle also plays an important role. Just think about unhealthy diet, stress, too much alcohol and smoking. Pollution, the influence of cold weather and even hot drinks can also trigger a flare up.