Rosacea

A condition in your skin that causes blushing or flushing and visible blood vessels in your face.

What is Rosacea?

A chronic vascular disorder predominantly affecting the central area of the face, rosacea manifests in the form of persistent redness (erythema) and dilated blood vessels (telangiectasis) marked with punctate spots of inflammation. It sometimes may also present with small, red, pus-filled bumps. The blood vessels in the face can get damaged due to recurrent episodes of inflammation and dilatation.

The signs and symptoms may flare up for weeks to months and then simmer down for a while.

Rosacea can be mistaken for acne, other skin problems or natural ruddiness.

It can affect anyone but is most common in middle-aged light-skinned women.

The condition can cause a lack of confidence and psychological stress, leading to social isolation, especially in individuals who have had scarring due to repeated episodes.

Are there many types of rosacea?

Rosacea has four types. Following are the symptoms of each:

  1. Erythemato-telangiectatic rosacea (ETR) is associated with facial redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels. The affected skin can get itchy, dry, rough and scaly that may also feel hot and tender. 
  2. Papulopustular (or acne) rosacea is associated with acne-like breakouts and often affects middle-aged women.
  3. Phymatous rosacea develops when prolonged irritation causes your skin to swell, thicken and get bumpy. It most often affects the nose, making it appear enlarged and bulbous. The condition is called Rhinophyma. It is much more common in men and develops slowly over a period of years. 
  4. Ocular rosacea is a type where the symptoms centre on the eye area, causing your eyes to feel irritated and bloodshot or watery. They get sensitive to light and painful bumps (styes) can form on your eyelids. The eye symptoms may precede the skin symptoms.

Visible signs of rosacea are different within each sub-type:

What causes rosacea?

The cause of rosacea is unknown, but it could be a mix of hereditary and environmental factors. 

At-risk factors: You are likely to develop it more if you –

  • are a female
  • have light skin, particularly damaged by the sun
  • are over 30 years of age
  • are a smoker
  • have rosacea running in your family

Other causative factors can be:

  • A protein malfunctioning – A protein called cathelicidin protects your skin from infection. Its deranged function can give you rosacea.
  • A microscopic skin mite – Mite Demodex that naturally lives on the skin of your nose and cheeks is usually harmless, but some people can have a heightened sensitivity to them. Also, too many mites could irritate the skin.
  • An autoimmune response – A bacteria (Bacillus oleronius), common among people diagnosed with papulopustular rosacea, can cause your immune system to hyper-activate and attack healthy skin cells causing symptoms of rosacea.
  • Infection with intestinal bacteria – A very stubborn intestinal bacteria (H. pylori) can raise the amount of digestive hormone gastrin, which might cause the skin to look flushed.

Trigger factors:

  • Hot drinks and spicy foods
  • Red wine and other alcoholic beverages
  • Temperature extremes
  • Sunlight or wind
  • Emotions/undue stress
  • Exercise
  • Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications/blood thinners
  • Various cosmetic products
  • Eating items that contain the compound cinnamaldehyde, such as cinnamon, chocolate, tomatoes, and citrus foods
  • Drinking hot coffee or tea

Rosacea is NOT caused by poor hygiene and is NOT contagious.

    Where do symptoms of Rosacea affect my body?

    Symptoms of rosacea can affect several different parts of your body, including your –

    • Nose
    • Chin
    • Cheeks
    • Forehead
    • Eyes
    • Chest
    • Ears
    • Neck
    • Scalp

    How is it diagnosed?

    No specific test is used to diagnose rosacea. Your doctor would rely on the history of your symptoms and an examination of your skin. You may be subjected to tests to rule out other conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema or lupus. These conditions can sometimes cause signs and symptoms similar to those of rosacea.

    If your symptoms involve eyes, your physician may refer you to an eye specialist for evaluation.

    What are the treatment options?

    Treatment varies for each person and focuses on relieving or reducing symptoms and preventing them from getting exacerbated. Treatment options for rosacea could include:

    • Medicines: Oral and topical, are used to bring down bumps, pimples and redness caused by rosacea, but they provide temporary relief.
    • Laser treatment: Is chosen electively to remove visible blood vessels and limit the severity of redness on your skin.
    • Surgical procedure: Generally recommended to correct nose disfigurement that can happen with Rhinophyma.

    Can rosacea be handled with HOMOEOPATHY?

    Rosacea can be treated with efficacy with homoeopathic remedies in all stages and subtypes. The earlier you approach your homoeopathic physician minimal the chances of your disease becoming chronic. Tissue build-up, skin thickening and scarring can be minimized too, if the condition is addressed well in time.

    #Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when redness of the face is a prominent symptom :

    1.  Agaricus muscarius. Treats the circumscribed redness of the skin of the face, accompanied by itching and burning though cold to touch, well. The exciting cause is exposure to cold air. 
    2. Belladona. Red and flushed skin on the face appears shiny but is very hot to the touch.

    #Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when acne/pimples are present along with redness :

    1. Psorinum. It works excellent for rosacea with acne. The skin looks very dirty. Coffee makes the condition worse.
    2. Silicea. Works very well when pimples are full of pus. 
    3. Eugenia Jambos. Works well when you have simple and indurated/hardened acne. The acne and surrounding area are painful.

    #Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when distended blood vessels become visible on your face :

    1. Carbo vegetabilis. Works well in rosacea where the facial skin appears blue, and is very cold with cold sweat.  
    2. Lachesis. Gives good results where the skin appears purplish blue and is very hot to the touch.

    #Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when thickening of skin has occurred :

    1. Hydocotyle asciatica.  This wonderful drug works best when the skin has already thickened and hardened due to tissue build-up. 
    2. Sarsaparilla officinalis. Gives good results when your condition is primarily worse in summer. 
    3. Thuja occidentalis. Is equally effective for thickened skin where intake of tea makes the symptoms worse.

    #Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when eyes get affected :

    1. Euphrasia officinalis. Promises relief for acne rosacea where the eyes are red, hot, itchy and watery.
    2. Cantharis. Is a good choice when exposure to sun excites the condition. 

    Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when certain triggers are in play :

    1. Bovista. Gives good results when excessive cosmetic use adds to the cause. 
    2. Nux Vomica. Works effectively when excessive use of alcohol or spices triggers the condition. 
    3. Glonoine. Congestion, flushing and hot face, worse by exposure to sun, heat and alcohol.
    4. Aconite. Red hot, flushed and swollen face with one cheek red and the other pale, experiencing tingling and numbness on exposure to a draft of air.
    5. Rhus Tox. Rosacea with puffy and inflamed skin and acne-like lesions. The condition worsens when the weather gets too cold or harsh.

    Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when there is pus formation :

    1. Arsenicum. Is good for Rosacea with dry, flaky, hot skin that tends to get infected easily. Outwardly the skin gets cold fast even if from inside it feels hot.
    2. Silicea. This happens to be one of the best homoeopathic remedies for cystic acne.
    3. Hepar sulphur. Is great for Rosacea characterized by pus-filled spots that are painful to touch. It helps abort the pus and clears off the infection.  

    Homoeopathic remedies for rosacea when hormones are under play :

    1. Pulsatilla. Helps treat hormonal changes in women and young teens during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, labor, puberty and menopause and thus calms the flushes that result from these changes. The remedy finds its affinity for sensitive and weepy or light-hearted and soft people who are easily affected by mood swings, tears and laughter. These individuals usually feel better in the fresh air and are worsened in warm closed rooms.
    2. Sepia. Soothes flushes caused due to fluctuating hormones during pregnancy, puberty, menstrual cycle, menopause and labor. This remedy is especially good for women who get chilly easily and crave chocolate and salty foods.
    3. Lachesis. Gives good results where the skin appears purplish blue, is very hot to touch, and may become so sensitive that it can’t bear anything tight, particularly around the neck. The remedy is best suited to women in their peri-menopause. 

    Are there any Skin Care Tips I can follow to minimize Rosacea?

    • Avoid your triggers.
    • Choose your makeup products carefully and apply them sparsely.
    • Avoid using astringents, toners or abrasive exfoliators on already inflamed skin.
    • Avoid products containing alcohol, menthols, camphor and peppermint.
    • Avoid heavy foundations.
    • Avoid using waterproof cosmetics that are difficult to remove without physical scrubbing/solvents.
    • Quit smoking and moderate your alcohol intake.
    • Use soap-free pH balanced face wash.
    • Use sunscreens containing physical barriers like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or silicones with a 50+ SPF.
    • Use moisturizers containing glycerine.

    This write-up is solely for spreading awareness. Please get in touch with your physician to follow any treatment plan.

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