Ultimate Rosacea GuideOct 05, 2021
Your Guide to Life with Rosacea
Our overview of common Rosacea symptoms, causes and tips on how to deal with chronic skin redness
Do you suffer from redness, facial flushing or Rosacea? Millions of people struggle with red, irritated skin, which can sadly impact self-confidence on a regular basis. We’re here to empower you to unlock your best skin yet.
The purpose of this guide is to offer everything you need to know about life with Rosacea, including what may be causing your flare-ups and advice on how to minimise the appearance of flushing and redness.
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What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and flushing, most often to the face but it is also known to affect the ears, chest, back and other parts of the body. As well as skin redness, Rosacea sufferers may also experience visible broken capillaries, acne, stinging and even eye irritations.
Common Symptoms & Types of Rosacea
There are four main subtypes of Rosacea:
Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea (ETR)
The most common form of Rosacea, typified by facial redness and flushing. Visible broken capillaries are also a regular symptom for ETR sufferers.
This sub-type usually sees sufferers struggle with regular acne-like spots and breakouts.
Usually affecting men, much rarer than other types of Rosacea, Rhinophyma sufferers tend to experience thickening of skin on and around the nose.
Also relatively rare, Ocular Rosacea affects the skin around the eyes and is linked to dry, itchy eyes and sometimes recurrent eye infections.
What Causes Rosacea?
Rosacea symptoms can be triggered by many things and may vary considerably between individuals, meaning that it can be very difficult to identify the exact cause. However, the most common causes of Rosacea flare-ups are:
Food & Diet
Stress & Anxiety
Fragrances & Perfumes
Food & Diet
Spicy food, dairy, citrus and alcohol are commonly associated with a worsening of the condition, as are food additives, preservatives and sulphites.
Stress & Anxiety
Stress can be a major factor in a number of skin conditions and is considered a trigger for Rosacea. Anything which places psychological pressure on you can be considered stress, and may impact your skin.
Skin prone to Rosacea is not happy in the sun. Sun, and exposure to UVA and UVB rays can make the condition far worse. Incorporating SPF skincare into your daily routine is an absolute must.
Fragrances & Perfumes
Scent can increase redness and irritation. Artificial scent is a common cause of Rosacea but some natural scents and essential oils can be a causal factor too.
Whilst physical exercise has huge benifits to your overall wellbeing, it can sadly exaggerate and prolong symptoms of Rosacea. See below for tips to mange your Rosacea.
Environment & Weather
Indoor and outdoor environments can negatively affect your skin. Hot weather, humidity, extreme cold or harsh winds, heating and air conditioning can all exaggerate Rosacea.
Air-born pollutant particles, such as those commonly found in more congested cities can also be an issue.
8 Tips for Managing Your Rosacea
There are some simple habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine that can make a big difference to the extent of your Rosacea:
- Protect your skin from UV rays - UV rays are the number one cause of Rosacea flare ups. Use a broad spectrum good quality facial SPF (have you tried ours?) all year round. In high summer use a hat and stay out of direct sunlight.
- Keep a food diary - Keep a food diary and note the appearance of your skin each day, or consider intolerance testing, which may identify foods you should avoid to minimise your Rosacea.
- Manage stress levels - Use stress management strategies and take care of your whole self. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine. All will help.
- Consider your medication - Occasionally long term medication can affect the sensitivity of your skin. If you take medication and suffer from redness, discuss it with your GP and explore alternatives.
- Go make-up free - Consider having a break from make-up and see if your redness calms down. Some ingredients in cosmetics can cause irritation. If you have a break from make-up and your skin improves, reintroduce your products one by one to see which ones cause a flare up. You may be able to identify key ingredients to avoid.
- Wash your make-up brushes - If you do use make-up, make sure you clean your brushes. Left unwashed they have been found to harbour more bacteria than a loo brush!
- Review your exercise routine - Avoid working out in a stuffy hot room, instead make sure you are somewhere well ventilated. Try using a beauty mist to keep cool during classes. AND always keep hydrated.
- Adopt an anti-redness skincare routine - Skincare products can help with Rosacea, but choose carefully. Use products which are free from known irritants and avoid highly scented products. Keep your sensitive skincare routine simple – “less is more” – and do not chop and change your products or over stimulate your skin. When applying products, be gentle. Do not rub your face, or use harsh exfoliators or scrubs, and when cleansing with water avoid extremes of temperature - use hand warm water and a soft cloth.
The Best Skincare Products for Rosacea
Suffering from Rosacea herself, ARK Skincare's CEO Tamsin has always been committed to developing skincare products suitable for those with sensitive, redness prone skin. In the ARK Skincare range you'll find formulas containing botanical complexes clinically proven to calm and protect sensitive, irritated skin. All products in the Anti-Redness collection have been dermatologically tested and approved for use by those with sensitive skin.
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"Having been prone to outbreaks of mild rosacea for years I use this daily and am pleased to say my skin is much calmer and less red. Flare ups are almost a thing of the past. Very pleased with this product."
- Customer Review, Anti-Redness Serum
Q. Can Rosacea be cured?
As yet, there is no sure-fire cure or long-term treatment for Rosacea. That said, there are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of flare-ups (detailed above). It’s all about identifying your triggers and then establishing what works best for you and your skin.
Q. How serious is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic condition, and as well as affecting the skin it can cause distress and affect self esteem.
If you suspect you have Rosacea but have not yet had it diagnosed it's best to consult your GP, (they may refer you to a dermatologist) who can give you an official diagnosis.
If a diagnosis is confirmed please don't despair, learning your triggers and adapting your lifestyle can make a BIG difference.
Q. Is Rosacea an autoimmune disorder?
While Rosacea itself is not an autoimmune disorder, multiple immunity issues can manifest with redness and facial flushing. That's why it's always a good idea to discuss symptoms with your GP, so the correct diagnosis can be given.
Q. Does Vitamin C help Rosacea?
Research is inconclusive, but Vitamin C may help strengthen weakened blood vessels, the dilation of which is often a visible symptom of Rosacea.
Q. Can men get Rosacea?
While some types of Rosacea are more common in women, men can certainly get it, and it is equally important for people of any gender to find a skincare routine that works for them.
Q. Does Rosacea only affect light coloured skin?
It is a falsehood that only fair skin people can suffer with Rosacea. Certain types of Rosacea (especially ETR which tends to manifest as extreme facial flushing) are more immediately visible for individuals with fairer skin. In the past this led to a presumption that those with darker skin were not affected. These days more is understood about the condition - people of any race or skin colour can experience Rosacea. For those with darker skin Rosacea symptoms can manifest as the face feeling uncomfortably warm, swollen skin and patches of darker skin (especially around the nose and cheeks), and acne-like breakouts that acne treatment won't clear.
Q. Can young people get Rosacea?
Rosacea can affect people of any age, however it most often begins during the 30s and 40s.
Controlling Rosacea involves looking at all aspects of your lifestyle, but try not to be disheartened or allow it to upset you. You are not alone. In fact, you are in good company with film stars, princes, and presidents reportedly suffering too. Friend of ARK Skincare Lisa Faulkner openly discusses her battles with the condition and luckily had some success with the ARK Anti-Redness Serum which you can see more about here.