John was a Navy hospital corpsman. He worked the general sick bay, managed a carrier O.R., and treated heat rash, eczema, and dyshidrosis.
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition that is characterized by facial redness. It is chronic; hence treatment should be started early. It is a harmless skin condition unless it affects the eyes. In some cases, the condition can have the appearance of pimples.
The condition mainly affects Caucasians of Western European descent, but it can affect people of other ethnicities as well. It is common in both sexes and is more prevalent in adults in their 30s to 60s. It mainly starts as erythema on the central face but can also affect the scalp, ears, neck, and chest. Other symptoms include bloodshot, watery eyes, spider-like blood vessels, acne-like skin sores, burning or stinging face, dilation of the superficial facial blood vessels, and a red, lobulated nose in extreme cases. Men tend to have more severe symptoms than women.
Causes of Rosacea
Rosacea is caused by several factors. These include sun exposure, moving to a hot area from a cold one (especially during winter), severe sunburn, cold temperatures, and strenuous exercise. One can also be affected due to certain foods and drinks that trigger the condition. Taking alcohol, caffeine products, spicy food, and foods rich in histamines such as beer, red wine, and cured pork products also triggers the condition. Patients who are intolerant to histamines and do not suffer from rosacea also experience the facial flushes. There are also medications, especially for acne and wrinkles that are known to trigger this skin condition.
Diagnosis of and Treatment for Rosacea
There is no known kit for rosacea diagnosis. Most of the time, people use the symptoms to diagnose themselves informally. Usually, a visual assessment is done.
Treating rosacea is simple, as there are numerous options for dealing with rosacea skin. The type of rosacea treatment used, however, depends on the severity and sub-type. Very mild cases are often left untreated and covered using cosmetic products.
Treating the condition first requires prevention measures. One should avoid the factors that trigger the facial flushing. One should limit spicy foods, spend as little time in the sun as possible, avoid cured pork products like bacon, take caffeinated drinks as less frequently as possible and also limit consumption of alcohol. Antibiotic gels and creams lessen the redness of the facial area, hence improving the skin. Nevertheless, one should avoid using cosmetic products during the treatment period as they will irritate the skin further. Over-the-counter acne treatment can also be used.
Laser therapy is mainly used to treat rhinophyma, a type of rosacea. This involves using laser beams to kill the pain and irritation and also improve the skin. However, this is a very expensive medical option and requires the services of a well-trained professional. Laser treatments are not a cure for the condition, and one will need to put up with a lot of visits to dermatologists for treatments.
Vitamin A is good at repairing the skin and ensuring that it is in perfect condition. Rosacea patients should eat a lot of liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, green tea, spinach, mozzarella cheese, dried apricots, milk, cantaloupe, and egg yolks. These foods will help replenish vitamin A in the body which was depleted due to consumption of alcohol and coffee products. The redness and inflammation can also be reduced by essential oils like lavender and tea tree oil that can be applied to the skin directly. Essential oils like patchouli and helichrysum can also be applied to the skin but must be diluted with jojoba oil first as they are too strong for the skin.
Facial massage improves blood circulation enabling it to get rid of impurities and toxins. This can be done at home individually or by a partner. Oils like jojoba can be used during the process. However, one should avoid heavy oils that will clog the skin. Facial exercise helps to tone it and improve circulation. This can be done at least twice a day for 15 minutes after cleaning the face. The muscles will be relaxed, pain reduced, and inflammation reduced, too. Berries are among the most popular natural remedies for rosacea. Cherries, blueberries, and blackberries are known to constrict blood vessels, hence aiding in reducing facial redness. A diet that is rich in alkaline products with less acidic products will help ease the condition. Vegetables are the best option in this case. For better results, the vegetables should be eaten raw. Hot spicy foods will only make the condition worse. One should take cooling foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Apple cider vinegar is a known treatment for several skin conditions. It should be diluted to 50% and applied directly on the skin at least twice a day after washing the skin. This should not be washed away but rather left to dry. The product can also be ingested in small amounts of up to three tablespoons in tomato juice or water, three times a day.
A final statement about diagnosis: Understand that a rash on the scalp and/or ears indicates the probability of a coexisting condition. Therefore, there may also be an additional differing condition which may require professional treatment. It is the face that is the main source of diagnosis. It is possible for rosacea to appear in other areas of the body, but the face is the overwhelming primary area that is affected.
Healthcare professionals report an interest in demodex folliculorum as a contributor to the outbreaks of rosacea. A study at Duke University revealed a correlation between the density of demodex mites on the skin and rosacea inflammation. A higher density of mites may contribute to an outsized immune response, which causes the skin to redden, along with the other symptoms of rosacea.
In addition, trials have been held to determine the efficacy of treatment with zinc sulfate. For more information, Google clinicaltrials.gov.
In a 2018 review, studies suggest that certain antibiotics, beta-blockers, and laser or light therapy may also help relieve symptoms of rosacea.
What is Rosacea?, 1996-2017, National Rosacea Society, retrieved 2013, https://www.rosacea.org/
Rosacea, Gary W. Cole M.D., MedicineNet.com, retrieved 2012, http://www.medicinenet.com/rosacea/article.htm
Rosacea Overview, September1, 2016, Mayo Clinic Staff, retrieved 2016, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/home/ovc-20235169
American Health and Drug Benefits, September 25, 2014, Caroline Helwick, retrieved 2015, http://www.ahdbonline.com/payer-perspectives-in-dermatology/1804-ivermectin-cream-will-contribute-much-to-the-treatment-of-patients-with-rosacea-interview-with-dr-zoe-draelos
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 John R Wilsdon
crcjunior on December 15, 2012:
John Ever hear of Anatabloc? It is all about Inflammation...
Rosacea Support Group notes clinical trial of Anatabloc:
ANATABLOC attacks inflammation --watch this
Anatabine Citrate in Anatabloc will reduce or stop the transcription of NF-kB and could be used to successfully treat a variety of human illnesses (Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Allergies auto immune diseases, Parkinson's, MS, Alzheimer', Crohn's, Diabetes, heart disease, traumatic brain injury, thyroid etc.).
John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on November 15, 2012:
So glad that this may be of use to someone. Thank you for letting me know.
John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on November 14, 2012:
Yes, the redness in the face certainly stands out. I had a good friend who suddenly came down with it in his late 50's? His dermatologist was able to help him quite a bit. Strange the way things with age can start. Thanks for your comment, Nell.
Linda Crist from Central Virginia on November 14, 2012:
A great hub with some very useful ideas. I am forwarding to my niece who has started developing Rosacea and sharing across my network. Thanks!
Nell Rose from England on November 14, 2012:
I had a friend who suffered from this a few years ago, I did wonder how it happened, her poor face was bright red on her cheeks! great info and now it makes sense, thanks! voted up and shared, nell