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ROSACEA. ALL YOU EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT ROSACEA, AND HOW TO TREAT IT. CREAMS? BALMS? CLEANSERS?

WHAT IS ROSACEA?


Rosacea is a long-term (chronic) skin condition that mainly affects the face. It is much more common in women, but men with rosacea often experience more severe symptoms.


rosacea creams
Some of the signs & symptoms of Rosacea

Rosacea is characterised by redness, enlarged or broken blood vessels and small bumps (that may look like pimples) on the face, including across the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin, neck and around the eyes. People with Rosacea may also experience sensitivity, soreness, stinging or burning, especially when applying skincare products.


Other symptoms (which are not always obviously rosacea) include dry skin, swelling around the eyes, sore eyelids, thickening of the skin on the nose and yellow-orange patches on the skin.


WHAT CAUSES ROSACEA?


The underlying cause of Rosacea is not known. It is known that it runs in families, meaning it may be linked to genetics. There are also some possibilities that have been shown to be linked to Rosacea, including:


  • Your immune system: An overreaction of your immune system caused by a bacteria called bacillus oleronius may trigger Rosacea. Most people with acne-like Rosacea react to this bacteria.

  • A bacteria in your intestines: An infection of a bacteria called H. pylori is very common in people with Rosacea. However, this is a common infection which can cause acid reflux and stomach ulcers, and many people with H. pylori infections never experience Rosacea.

  • Protein: a protein in our skin that helps deal with infections may cause the redness and swelling. The reason why this is more pronounced in people with Rosacea is unclear, but, there may be a link. How our bodies processes this protein may be factor.


The current view is that the exact cause is unknown. For some people it may be one, or a combination of one or more of the above (or any number of as yet unknown reasons). Currently, there is no cure for Rosacea, but, we can effectively treat the symptoms.


TRIGGERS – DO YOU KNOW YOURS?


Many things can trigger Rosacea, it is important to find out what your triggers are and try and avoid these. Common triggers include:


  • Sunlight

  • Stress

  • Heat

  • Alcohol

  • Spicy food

  • Skincare and haircare products not designed for sensitive skin

  • Makeup

  • Wind & cold weather

  • Exercise


Pinpointing a trigger might be difficult. Some might be obvious; if you have a flare up after enjoying a bottle of Châteauneuf Du Pape, then you know you need to avoid red wine! Take time to work out your triggers by eliminating any potential triggering substances / activities and then avoid these triggers as best you can (or at least, take precautions against them!).


SKINCARE – WHAT, WHEN & HOW


Important note: this may not be want you want to hear, but, there isn’t a single skincare product out there than can cure Rosacea. You might see claims of products (some as alarmingly simple as shea butter and a few essential oils) that can miraculously cure your Rosacea after a few applications. This. Is. Not. True. However, good skincare products can certainly help alleviate the symptoms of Rosacea and make it easier for you to live with. Avoid anything that claims to “cure” or “treat”, and pay careful attention to the list of ingredients in your skincare products.


Many people with Rosacea avoid using any products on their faces at all. It might feel like using anything on your face is irritating, but, good skincare can actually help minimise the symptoms of Rosacea.


What to avoid


It is important not to put anything on the skin that can irritate your Rosacea. Avoid any products that contain any of the following ingredients (always check your labels!):


-            Alcohol

-            Camphor

-            Fragrance (unscented products

-            Glycolic Acid

-            Lactic Acid

-            Menthol

-            SLS (sulphates in general should be avoided)

-            Urea


It is also better to use a thick cream, butter or balm as opposed to a lotion or gel (remember, all water-based products contain preservatives, these might irritate your skin!).


Cleansing: most people with Rosacea avoid using any cleansing products on their skin. You might have used soap which resulted in the worsening of your symptoms. However, it is still important to cleanse your skin with a soap-free, pH balanced, gentle cleanser to keep your skin clean without stripping it of much-needed hydration. Avoid foam cleansers and liquid cleansers as these can be drying and you are prone to using too much. Choose a solid cleansing bar.


rosacea creams
Arcade Skincare Brightening Turmeric Cleansing Bar

Our Turmeric Cleansing Bar is packed with pure turmeric oil and turmeric extract, it is a gentle, pH balanced, soap-free cleansing bar which is over 50% emollient, it is the perfect, gentle, Rosacea-friendly cleanser for using on your skin.

Apply your cleanser with your fingertips (do not use a face cloth) and use gentle, circular motions. Rinse the cleanser off using lukewarm water only, and pat dry with a soft towel (don’t rub).


Moisturisation: Rosacea is often characterized by dry, dehydrated skin. Keeping it soft, hydrated and moisturised is crucial. You must never use a moisturises that contains perfumes, colourants, sulphates, parabens, silicones or paraffin; all of these can dry out and irritate your skin. Use a thicker rosacea creams or butters.


Water-free products are great as they are more intensely moisturising and can help form protective barriers on the skin (and are often more gentle).


rosacea creams
Arcade Skincare Hydrate & Repair Balm

Our Hydrate & Repair balm is a water-free, perfume-free, colour-free, preservative-free, irritant-free blend of natural plants and butters. It is a vegan, natural balm consisting entirely of plant-based fatty acids and packed with potent anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, emollients and barrier-forming waxes. The Hydrate & Repair Balm will hydrate & moisturise your skin and form a gentle, breathable barrier on your skin locking in moisture. It contains Calendula and Arnica oils, both known to soothe irritation, combat redness and help promote the natural healing processes of the skin. Organic Babassu oil is a potent anti-microbial meaning the balm will help prevent infection and inflammation. The Intense Hydrate & Repair Balm can help minimise the discomfort of sore, dry, irritated skin and keep it healthy and hydrated without being overly greasy (meaning it can be used in the daytime) or heavy.


You should moisturise every day, twice a day. A recent study saw people with Rosacea apply a prescription Rosacea treatment (Metronidazole) to one side of the face, and a sensitive moisturiser to the other side of the face. The skin where only moisturiser was applied showed better results; less redness, less peeling, less irritation than the side using the prescription medication.


Toning: This is simple. Don’t do it. Toners will strip the skin of much needed moisture and will make the redness worse.


SPF: The sun is a key trigger of Rosacea. Don’t leave the house without applying at least a factor 30. Do not rely on moisturisers or make-up with SPF as we often don’t use enough of these to give us adequate protection. Use a dedicated, perfume-free, mineral-based sunscreen (we will have a whole post on sensitive skin-friendly sun protection).



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