Imagine this: after years of having clear and manageable skin, you begin experiencing flare-ups of redness and flushing. Soon, it happens more and more, with visible blood vessels starting to appear. As time passes, the redness gradually worsens and can lead to swelling and sensitivity on your cheeks, nose, and chin and you begin developing acne-like pimples. But even worse, your skin may sting and burn and, in some cases, your nose may throb. As for your eyes, they burn and sometimes itch with each flare-up and are dry much of the time. You may even notice that your vision is blurred. Because the redness and swelling is hard to mask with makeup, most days you dread going out in public.
These are some of the signs and symptoms of rosacea. And while cases differ in severity, the reality is that more than 16 million Americans are dealing with this chronic skin disease.
Rosacea primarily affects the facial skin and often begins with the tendency to flush or blush more easily. And while the trademark redness, along with visible blood vessels in the areas of cheeks, chin, and nose, are the typical telltale signs of this condition, rosacea can often lead to other symptoms like swelling, acne-like breakouts, and bumpy skin texture. Rosacea flare-ups often occur for weeks or months at a time and then improve for a while before returning again. This is the common cycle of the condition. Physical symptoms can range from mild to severe and can progress or worsen if left untreated. Rosacea can also take a toll on one’s emotional health and quality of life.
While rosacea affects people from all backgrounds and ages, those most likely to be affected by the condition are fair-skinned women between the ages of 30 and 50. Those with blonde hair and blue eyes and from Celtic or Scandinavian descent are especially affected. Rosacea is more prevalent in women but men can certainly get it, and when they do, it tends to be more severe.
Even though researchers still don’t know exactly what causes rosacea, there are a lot of things that are known about the condition. For example, rosacea tends to run in families, which indicates that genetics may play an important role. Researchers also believe that the immune system may contribute to this disease. The immune system typically protects the body against infection and this process seems to malfunction in individuals with rosacea. We also know, like with many inflammatory skin conditions, that while there is no cure, there are ways to successfully control and manage flare-ups with lifestyle changes.
Find Your Triggers
Many individuals with rosacea find that environmental factors and lifestyle behaviors can have an impact on the severity of their symptoms and the likelihood of a flare-up. If you have rosacea, consider keeping a journal to track the activities and conditions that precede a flare-up. Among the most common triggers are:
- Spicy foods
- Becoming overheated
- Cold wind blowing on your face
Sun exposure is one of the top triggers for a rosacea flare-up. Therefore, it is important to keep your skin protected.
- Apply a full-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum Sun Protection Factor of 15 every single day. Many moisturizers like Lexli Day Moisturizer with SPF 30 include sunscreen in the formulation to make it easy to protect your skin each day. When planning to be outdoors for an extended period, apply sunscreen to all exposed areas. Products like Lexli’s award-winning Sunscreen Spray make it quick and easy to apply sunscreen to the entire body.
- Avoid midday sun whenever possible.
- Seek shade when outdoors. At the beach, use an umbrella.
- Wear protective outerwear like a wide-brim sun hat, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing.
Use Rosacea-friendly Skin Care
Skin care plays an important role in keeping rosacea under control. Many skin care products can irritate skin with rosacea. Learn how to properly wash your face and avoid excessive scrubbing of your skin. Look for gentle skin care products with a therapeutic base ingredient, like those offered by Lexli, which feature a base of organic, pharmaceutical-grade aloe vera to soothe and calm the skin. Recommended products include Hand & Body Lotion, Tone & Balance facial toner, Cleansing Lotion and Night Moisturizer.
Seek the Guidance of a Dermatologist
If you suspect you have rosacea, the advice and treatment support of a dermatologist is a must. While your physician will provide you with literature about rosacea upon a diagnosis with the disease, you can get a head start on more information by visiting the National Rosacea Society.