WHAT IS ROSACEA AND HOW IS IT TREATED?
Most of the time, it is women who suffer from red, painful and bumpy skin. Sometimes a diagnosis is even made: rosacea. But what is it actually? And how do you best deal with it?
WHAT DOES ROSACEA LOOK LIKE?
Rosacea (pronounced as "roh-zay-sha") is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. The skin is red, with broken blood vessels (couperose), and feels burning. Additionally, there are pimples or bumps. This is also why it is often mistaken for an allergic reaction or acne.
WHY DOES ROSACEA START OR SPREAD?
Rosacea can arise from a combination of factors. It can be due to environmental factors, like any skin condition, such as too much sun exposure, too hot or cold climates, or even wind. There are also internal factors, such as emotional stress, a bad diet (including alcohol consumption) or an overactive immune system. Heavy exercise, although having its benefits, may also cause rosacea.
Rosacea cannot be spread airbourne, or by contact with rosacea-prone skin, but spreads through the reasons mentioned above. Therefore, to minimise spreading, it is wise to protect your skin from severe weather conditions, and your immune system from anything that could weaken it, such as viruses, or allergies. Make sure to reduce stress, too.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REDNESS AND ROSACEA?
First of all, it is important to know that redness and rosacea are not the same. Redness in your face can be caused by broken blood vessels, which is known as couperose. But a sensitive skin or eczema can also cause redness. Rosacea is a different skin condition characterized by chronic inflammation. It manifests as red cheeks or a thickened red skin on and around the nose, along with bumps and pimples that can resemble acne.
IS ROSACEA SKIN CANCER?
One of the most commonly asked questions is whether or not rosacea is skin cancer. Research regarding this topic is underdeveloped and conflicting. The National Institute of Health states that the chronic inflammation that comes with rosacea is also associated with skin cancer, however this does not mean they are connected in any way. They advise that if you have rosacea, you should be careful and monitor your skin carefully for any signs of skin cancer.
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR ROSACEA, WHAT IS THE BEST ROUTINE?
To reduce inflammation, we would recommend you use the Witlof Skincare Balancing Toner. Our products are 100% vegan and natural, to ensure no artificial substances harm your skin. The various floral waters and apple cider vinegar in the toner reduce redness and have anti-inflammatory and calming effects.
In addition, try to use as few oily products on your skin as possible. You have probably experienced that applying oil-rich products can exacerbate redness. In that case, you most likely have rosacea.
For your skin, less is more. So, cleansing with just water and using the Balancing Toner (several times a day) is sufficient. In some cases, you could add the Smoothing Peel to improve your skin condition, but it is important to test how your skin reacts to it cautiously.
Another question that is commonly asked is how to lighten the skin with rosacea. Some topical products may be too irritable for the skin (see the section below). The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends laser or light therapy if you want to reduce redness.
CAN ROSACEA-PRONE SKIN USE RETINOL OR SALICYLIC ACID?
Yes, in some cases. Retinol can be used to help the unevenness that rosacea causes, however it can also irritate the skin too. See our blog on the benefits and dangers of retinol for more information.
Salicylic acid is not that good for rosacea-prone skin, as many of these products are too harsh on very sensitive skin. Products with this ingredient can just irritate and damage the skin further. This is also why you should not exfoliate your skin if you have rosacea.
ROSACEA AND DIET
It is also strongly recommended to look at your dietary patterns. We have found that there is often a relationship with a sensitivity to certain foods, especially dairy products. These, as well as drinking alcohol, worsen the inflammation. Try a dairy-free diet for 2 to 4 weeks and also avoid alcohol and coffee. In many cases, you should already notice an improvement in your skin.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR FOR ROSACEA
Do not be afraid to book an appointment with a medical professional if you feel you need to! Rosacea, as mentioned above, can have similar symptoms to certain cancers or diseases, so if you have any concerns, it is best to contact a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Redness and rosacea can have multiple causes and solutions. If you want personalised advice on how to best care for your skin, schedule a free online consultation with our skin expert, Caroline. Together, we can delve deeper into what works best for you.