Rosacea is often thought of as an appearance problem, where the person is red in the face. While this is not untrue, most people do not realise that, when aggravated, it causes eye-sight problems, pain and irritation and face deformity. It also does not just ‘appear’ out of nowhere and the primary cause needs to be addressed if the person wishes to recover.
Four types of Rosacea
There are four different kinds of Rosacea. This doesn’t mean there are four separate types of Rosacea, more that one Rosacea episode can lead into a more aggravated form.
The first stage is where everything is quite red and the face has capillaries (tiny blood vessels) that are quite noticeable. Many people feel embarrassed about this and with this the face flushes very easily. This is called Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (a mouthful to pronounce!).
The next stage is Papilla Pustular Rosacea, where the skin presents with elevations, called papules. This can be quite agitating as the skin is already irritated and burning from the first stage. This often gets confused with Acne. The difference is the papules which form in acne contain pus whereas the Rosacea papules are generally just raised bumps.
Phymatous Rosacea is when the nose starts to enlarge and the person starts to get an out-of-shape, contorted nose. This can become quite evident, further adding to embarrassment.
The last stage is where the ocular comes into play and is usually the most aggravating phase. Ocular refers to the eye and with Ocular Rosacea the eyelid becomes droopy, the eyes become very red and eyesight is affected.
What causes Rosacea?
As I mentioned, Rosacea doesn’t just happen for no reason. There are primary and secondary triggers (as I have explained in previous episodes).
Primary Trigger (causal factor)
Hormones – Estrogen dominance, high levels of cortisol and the balance of your hormones generally is the best place to start your investigation.
Secondary Triggers (Aggravating factors)
These are often things that people become aware of through experience, for example:
- Hot, spicy food
- Heat – For example, when washing your face use cool water and pat your face (don’t rub) to dry it (rubbing creates friction which means heat generation).
- Make-up and creams containing irritating chemicals
- Quick changes of temperature – Creates changes in the capillaries (dilation and constriction)
- Medication – Especially those that increase blood flow as they flush more blood to the area, forcing the capillaries to overstretch and then they have difficulty returning to normal.
- Histamine producing foods and drinks – For example, wine, tomatoes, fermented food and drinks, dairy, strawberries
- Stress – Directly affects your hormonal balance
Getting the right diagnosis is important as skin rashes, hives, eczema etc can all look similar to the untrained eye but treatment may be different depending on the primary and secondary triggers.
- Supplementation – Be careful to not take anything that is going to expand the blood vessels. Instead we want something with a cooling effect.
- Reduce and avoid secondary triggers
- Ocular and nose changes/damage – Once at this point it can be very difficult and perhaps impossible to completely revert the condition and the damage it has caused.
- Ointments – We have an ointment in the clinic which has a wonderful cooling effect and also works very well for the Papilla Pustular presentation.
To book an online appointment with Maria, contact Perth Psoriasis and Good Skin Clinic through the website https://www.perthpsoriasis.com.au/