Rosacea is a skin disorder that can cause redness, bumps, flushing or noticeable blood vessels, usually on the centre of your face.
If you have some or all of these symptoms, you might think you have acne as rosacea can be mistaken for acne and other skin disorders.
Rosacea affects the face and your appearance and, because of this, can make you self-conscious, embarrassed and perhaps anxious, leading to a possible disruption to your social and working life.
The symptoms of rosacea can vary from person to person
- Rosacea usually starts with flushing on your forehead, nose and cheeks. Over time (which can be a matter of months or even years) this flushing can change to a darker shade of red.
- Bumps and spots can also develop. These can be pimple-like eruptions.
- There may be small blood vessels visible.
- The skin can become extra sensitive with a burning, stinging or itching sensation. This sensitivity can become more noticeable in sunlight or when you become overheated.
- The symptoms of rosacea can come in waves with the redness flaring up for a period of time before diminishing again.
- Unfortunately, rosacea can also cause problems around your eyes, particularly affecting the eyelids so that they become red, itchy and sore.
There are more complicated symptoms of rosacea when the outbreaks are more severe
- The skin of the nose can thicken and look red and bumpy. This particular effect is known as rhinophyma. However, it is not so likely in women.
- When more severe conjunctivitis and inflammation of your eyelids occurs, it can feel as if you have grit in your eyes.
- In very rare cases, rosacea can affect the eye itself.
There are a number of triggers that can make rosacea worse for some people, but they are not the actual cause of the condition itself.
Some of the triggers that can bring on a flareup of rosacea
- Over exertion when exercising
- Hot and cold temperatures
- Spicy food
There is new research pointing to a possible cause for rosacea
This theory has been put forward by researchers at the National University of Ireland in their study
. There are tiny bugs known as demodex mites (closely related to spiders) living in the pores of our faces. However, those with rosacea have 10 times as many. The head of the research team, Kevin Kavanagh, says that these demodex mites live on the skin of 20% to 80% of adults but are invisible to the naked eye. Until the recent research, it was thought that the mites lived harmlessly, feeding off the oily sebum that coats the skin.
However, the team have now discovered that changes in the skin brought on by age, stress, or even illness can allow their population to swell. It is these changes in the sebum that provide better food for the mites. The mites are unable to get rid of waste products, especially feces, so their abdomen keeps on growing. When they die and decompose, all their feces are released at the same time in the pore. With so many mites in the skin, this can be enough to trigger an outbreak because a bacteria that accumulate in the feces, known as Bacillus oleronius, is then released and triggers an immune reaction in the skin that leads to inflammation and tissue damage. The greater the number of mites, the worse the rosacea flare-up is. It is the bacteria that is harmful and not the mites themselves.
Skin health is an important part of combating rosacea
One of the ways is getting a good night's sleep and ensuring that insomnia
is not a problem. Adequate sleep not only reduces stress - a common rosacea trigger - but also allows your skin time to rejuvenate.
Doctors often advise treating rosacea with antibacterial drugs. However, these drugs do not affect the mites but do react on the bacteria. In the same way, treatment with a natural product
using essential oils is also a successful way of dealing with rosacea. It is well known that essential oils comprise a long list of healing properties, including anti-bacterial.