I’ve spoken about rosacea on my blog and social media quite a lot over the past few years. I get a lot of questions from people about caring for sensitive skin with the most common questions being ‘What is rosacea? Do I have it?’ Let’s start with the basics…
What is rosacea? The causes
For those who don’t know, rosacea is a skin condition that looks like regular facial flushing, but over time becomes more severe and lasts longer due to enlarged and broken capillaries. The flushing is accompanied by raised pimples, an itching and burning sensation and (in serious cases) thickening of the skin. The causes of rosacea are still a mystery although you’re more likely to be diagnosed if you are pale skinned, female and 30-50. It has no cure, you can only control it. If I had a pound for the amount of people who have said to me “ooh yes I/my cousin/my dog used to have rosacea…” Nope. Just nope. It can be controlled and can be calm for long stretches, but if you actually had rosacea you would know it. If someone tells you’ve they can cure your rosacea, they want your money. It’s progressive so it’s here to stay and will likely get worse if you don’t carefully manage it. YAY *high fives all the other lobster faces*
I had always been a rosy-cheeked girl: I blushed easily, went very red when I laughed, drank alcohol or spoke in public. However, when I was about 21 I ended up at the doctors as I noticed that the flushing in my cheeks frequently became purple and almost mottled, accompanied by a horrible tight feeling and raised pimples across my cheeks. As these symptoms worsened I also developed seborrheic dermatitis which is as pleasant as it sounds. My skin was so dry that it would crack and bleed. I felt like a monster.
Look at my sad little face! 🙁
My first doctor prescribed Rozex (metrogel) – an antibiotic cream. This made my skin even worse. So I decided to do my own research and try to work out what was best for my skin by trial and error. And boy were there lots of errors! Please note that I am not a professional by any means, just someone who has had first hand experience of this horrible condition for 13 years.
What is rosacea? First steps to take
The first thing you should do if you think you have rosacea, or have been diagnosed and are trying to get your head around it, is to keep a food/lifestyle diary. Everyone is different and learning your triggers is the easiest way to start to manage your skin.
What is rosacea? Common triggers
Common triggers are: alcohol, exercise, spicy foods, hot drinks, stress, extreme temperatures, tiredness, air conditioning, hair dryers/hair straighteners… the list goes on! Some of these are easier to avoid than others, and some will affect you more than others. Rosacea is a tough old broad so you need to arm yourself with knowledge.
The best place to start would be my FAQ post which covers every question I’ve ever been asked about rosacea. I’ve written separate blogs on the changes I made to my diet, lifestyle and skincare and how they impacted my rosacea. I’ve also posted a blog about the psychological impact of rosacea which I believe is often overlooked. I have a YouTube channel where I do make up tutorials and reviews of foundations that help to cover redness.
I hope this post was informative and gave you some starting points about rosacea and how to deal with it. I have moments of self-pity and anger about my skin and feel sad that it’s something that will no doubt worsen as I get older. In those moments I like to find other sufferers online and realise that I’m not alone. Hopefully this blog at least did that for you.