Rosacea is a fairly common skin condition that is most likely to affect fair skinned women. It’s typically diagnosed between the ages of 35-50, however the first signs of persistent facial flushing can appear from as early as the teenage years.
You’re no doubt aware that it can really affect both physical and mental wellbeing and can be triggered by some of our favourite food and drinks.
'When I have a rosacea flare up I feel like I just don't want to go anywhere. Sometimes I've managed to get it under control using steroid creams, but it always seems to come back. Some hot foods like curries and red wine seem to make it worse for me, but I find it hard to cut them out of my life as I love them so much!"
We know how challenging it can be going about your day-to-day tasks with painful and irritated facial skin, so we developed the AMPERNA® range for people like you.
All of AMPERNA®’s products have been tested on real people with real skin conditions, including people suffering from rosacea.
Which AMPERNA® Products can be Used by People with Rosacea?
We recommend the whole AMPERNA® range for people suffering with rosacea.
AMPERNA® Ultra Gentle Soothing Cleanser is a light gel cleanser specifically formulated with rosacea prone skin in mind.
This ultra gentle formulation contains an infusion of sage and cucumber extracts to cool, soothe and nourish skin. It rinses clean without leaving an irritating residue or upsetting pH levels.
AMPERNA® Probiotic+ DS Soothing Serum reduces the appearance of redness as well as cooling and soothing irritated skin. The zinc and copper gluconates help to limit bacterial proliferation and replenish the skin barrier.
AMPERNA® Probiotic+ DS Soothing Serum contains a unique probiotic complex that helps promote the appearance of fresh skin.
Did you know that boosting your zinc intake can speed up the recovery process? We recommend adding a zinc supplement to your diet or eating foods high in zinc. Find out more about the benefits of zinc in this fact sheet.
Our products are simple to use and are packed full of active ingredients including glycolic acid and vitamins B and C.
If you suffer from sensitive or aggravated skin such as perioral dermatitis, don’t be afraid of active ingredients. Research shows that our skin can benefit hugely from vitamins A, B, C and E.
You can read about this research at the following sources:
- Vitamin A and skin health via the Oregon State University website
- Vitamin E and skin health via the Oregon State University website.
- Vitamin C in dermatology via the NCBI website.
- Skin anti-ageing strategies via the NCBI website
As everyone's skin is different we recommend you undertake a spot test in a small, discreet area to test for adverse reactions before using any new product.
What Causes Rosacea?
The cause of rosacea is not entirely understood. It’s believed that the disease is likely to be triggered by a combination of interacting factors, and that the number of factors can differ from one person to another.
According to Dr J Prairie in an article for rosacea.derm.net.au, possible causes include microscopic skin mites, over-reactive facial capillaries prone to excessive and prolonged dilation, allergies and psychological factors. He adds that genetic predisposition is a strong marker for developing the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Rosacea
For many people, the first signs of rosacea are redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that comes and goes.
Rosacea may also occur on the ears, scalp, chest or neck with redness becoming ruddier and more persistent over time. In some cases visible blood vessels may appear.
If left untreated, you may notice that pimples and bumps develop, and in severe cases the nose can become bumpy swollen from excess tissue. Called rhinophyma, this is how the late comedian W.C Fields ended up with his trademark bulbous nose!
Find out more about rhinophyma.
Do you sometimes notice that you have irritated eyes when you get a rosacea flare up? In some cases, the eyes are also affected, appearing bloodshot and watery.
Here is a list of most of the most common signs and symptoms of rosacea:
- Facial redness that won’t go away
- Frequent flushing or blushing (this is the earliest sign of the disorder)
- Pimples and bumps (they might look a bit like acne but they sometimes sting or burn)
- Visible blood vessels
Less common symptoms include:
- Raised red patches known as plaques
- Rough skin in the centre of the face
- Thickened skin, most commonly around the nose
- Facial swelling
- Irritations on the neck, scalp, ears or chest
- Eye irritation
- Burning or stinging sensations on the face
Types of Rosacea
There are four sub types of rosacea, including
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Symptoms can include redness, flushing and visible blood vessels.
- Papulopustular rosacea: This type can present as redness, swelling, and break-outs that appear like acne.
- Phymatous rosacea: The facial skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
- Ocular rosacea: Mostly affecting the eyes, which appear red and irritated. Eyelids can be swollen and appear to have a sty.
If you’re interested in seeing how these types of rosacea appear, you can view images on the National Rosacea Society website.
How is Rosacea Diagnosed?
There is no specific test for rosacea. Flushing is considered to be the first symptom and is enough for a GP to give a diagnosis (Source: rosacea.derm.net.au).
According to the Mayo Clinic, in some cases, doctors recommend tests to rule out other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to those of rosacea. Other conditions could include forms of acne, psoriasis, eczema or lupus.
It’s beneficial to seek help as soon as possible if you believe you might have rosacea, as earlier diagnosis is thought to help reduce its severity.
What Triggers Rosacea?
Just as there are many different types of rosacea with differing symptoms, there are a wide variety of things that are believed to set it off.
A survey of rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society identified the following triggers:
- Sun exposure
- Emotional stress
- Hot weather
- Heavy exercise
- Alcohol consumption
- Hot baths
- Cold weather
- Spicy foods
- Indoor heat
- Certain skin care products
Other studies have reported that drinking coffee and eating hot meals were also triggers.
Of all of the triggers listed above, sun exposure affected the largest proportion of those surveyed (81%). That’s why many experts recommend that you layer on the sun protection if you are prone to rosacea.
Is there a Cure for Rosacea?
Unfortunately, rosacea is a chronic disorder, which means that it often reappears even if it seems to have cleared up for a period of time. The good news is that it can often be controlled with modifications to lifestyle and/or medical therapy.
One thing that seems clear is that you should seek help as soon as you notice the first signs of rosacea.
‘Studies have shown that rosacea patients who continue therapy for the long term are less likely to experience a recurrence of symptoms.’ (Source: rosacea.org)
What are the Best Treatments for Rosacea?
Every case of rosacea is different and what works for one person may not work for another.
As so many patients report sun exposure as a trigger, healthcare professionals put emphasis on the daily use of an appropriate maximum protection sunscreen.
For information on appropriate sunscreens see this article on the Rosacea Treatment Clinic website.
Each patient will require different treatments depending on the symptoms and type of rosacea they are experiencing.
Treatments include prescription medications such as topical or oral antibiotics. Laser and light treatments, microdermabrasion and glycolic acid treatments are also offered.
Your GP or dermatologist will be able to recommend the right treatment for you.
Things that People have Found Helpful in Terms of Lifestyle Changes Include
- Avoiding the triggers listed above
- Protecting their face from the sun with a high SPF sunscreen
- Avoiding skincare products that contain alcohol or other reported irritants such as witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus oil (Source: rosacea.org)
- Treating the skin gently
We really hope that you find our range of products helpful for your rosacea-prone skin. You can read reviews of how our products have helped other people with similar skin conditions here.
For more information, the rosacea page on DermNet New Zealand may be of use.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you see your GP or dermatologist.