B.S., C.N.C.

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INFORMATION AND ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR ROSACEA

The inflammation of rosacea can look like acne, but tends to be more chronic. It is very common. Usually, it begins with flushing on the nose and cheeks (from blood vessels swelling under the skin). It may also cause burning and grittiness in the eyes and impair vision. The most prevalent thought is that rosacea is an autoimmune disorder. Your immune system may have been overstimulated and is now attacking your blood vessels, etc. This over-stimulation could be from eating foods that are not acceptable to you (may cause allergic reactions or even “leaky gut”), from over-exercise, from being over-stressed, or from a build up of toxins in the body that the liver is struggling to process. The symptoms may not be the same in everyone. In women, it is often thought to be related to perimenopause and menopause; hormonal changes have been found to be a possible trigger. Rosacea clearly demonstrates the connection between emotions and the skin, for it always gets worse when under stress. The most common tripwires have been found to be: sun exposure, stress, hot weather ,alcohol,spicy foods, exercise, wind, hot baths, cold weather, hot drinks, and various skin-care products.

With stress and emotions playing such a big part in the inflammatory conditions of rosacea, it has been suggested that EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or any de-stressing therapy (massage, yoga, any relaxing spa treatment)would be very beneficial.
Fine tuning the diet is extremely important. Wheat, sugar, and dairy have been found to cause inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Each person’s system reacts differently with various foods. This can be due to genetics – “one man’s food is another man’s poison”. Eating foods that react with your blood cells can cause immune reactions ranging from mild to severe. While attempting to control symptoms, it has been found to be necessary to consider the avoidance of hot beverages. These may trigger inflammatory reactions. Anything that can cause a flush can potentially cause a reaction.

Rosacea is most common in women, however, when it does occur in men it is often more severe… resulting in a thickening and swelling of the skin on the nose.
Take care of your skin. It is of great importance to choose skin products carefully. Research has found that, in some people, products containing vitamin C or citric acid elicit a reaction, as does lavender and chamomile extracts.It has been found that scrubbing and products which may irritate the skin including exfoliant and astringent products (which contain alcohol)should also be avoided. Only very mild products should be used on the face - those described as non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. Water-based products are recommended; products containing alcohol, witch hazel, tea tree oil, acetone, eucalyptus oil, clove oil, peppermint oil, menthol, retinoic acid or other vitamin A derivatives, alpha hydroxy acid, lanolin or oil are not. The best policy is always to avoid using anything on your skin that you aren’t sure of, and gradually introduce them. If you have a computer, there is a line of products that have very good ingredients that I have found. It is at the site – www.rosaceacare.com. Men should use an electric shaver or a very sharp blade to avoid friction. If you find the sun worsens the flushing of your rosacea, you will need to find a suitable sun block. Rosacea is not a dangerous disorder, but can be very distressing and disfiguring.

The Nine Major Symptoms of Rosacea

1. Facial Redness is the most common symptom of rosacea. This is caused by hundreds of tiny dilated blood vessels near the surface of the facial skin.
2. Facial Telangiectasia (tel-an-jek-tasia) are tiny broken blood vessels that are permanently fixed in the dilated state. These blood vessels take on the appearance of fine red lines coursing through the surface of the facial skin.
3. Facial Skin Hyper-Reactivity is caused by inflamed blood vessels near the surface of the skin. These blood vessels dilate very easily to topical triggers and physical insults. It is important to note that the term 'sensitive skin' is misleading to rosacea sufferers because the problem is based on sensitive blood vessels, and not sensitive skin cells.
4. Lumpy-Bumpy Facial Skin is uneven skin texture, or lumpy-bumpy facial skin caused by dilated blood vessels, localized swelling, and leakage of inflammatory cells out of the blood vessels and into the skin.
5. Facial Papules are small, red bumps about the size of a pinhead. These bumps are caused by vascular flushing. Over time, flushing results in leakage of inflammatory cells out of the blood vessels and into the skin. These inflammatory cells then migrate toward the surface of the skin, resulting in inflammatory papules which are not caused by bacteria.
6. Facial Pustules are small red bumps with pus. These bumps are caused by vascular flushing in areas around sebaceous glands. Over time, flushing results in leakage of inflammatory cells out of the blood vessels and into the skin. These inflammatory cells then migrate towards the sebaceous gland or pore, resulting in inflammatory pustules.
7. Facial Burning Sensations are caused by activation of sensory pain nerves in the facial skin. These pain fibers are triggered by the heat associated with increased blood flow. These nerve endings can also be activated by inflammatory substances that leak through blood vessels. After chronic activation, sensory pain nerves may become sensitized to other triggers such as skincare products and environmental insults (i.e., sun, wind, heat, and cold). Facial burning sensations can become severe in some sufferers, causing debilitation.
8. Facial Swelling occurs when fluid and proteins leak out of facial blood vessels at abnormal rates. Frequent facial flushing leads to increased movement of water and proteins across abnormal blood vessel walls. Over time, this "spillage" overwhelms the lymphatic system (drainage vessels), and leads to fluid build up in the facial skin.
9. Rhinophyma is a form of rosacea that is characterized by chronic redness, inflammation, and increased tissue growth of the nose. Rhinophyma can take on many different forms. In most forms, the nose is chronically red and inflamed. There is also evidence of swelling, and the skin often shows thickened skin with large pores, resembling the peel of an orange (peau d' orange). In some forms, sebaceous gland hypertrophy and hyperplasia (increased growth and number of sebaceous glands) can cause the nose to grow considerably, resulting in a bulbous appearance.

SUPPLEMENTAL/HERBAL SUGGESTIONS

With all supplemental therapies, it is recommended that supplements be taken – for example – Monday through Friday and take nothing (except calcium and magnesium) on weekends. This gives the body a break and enables it to re-establish it’s setpoint. This practice also keeps the system sensitive to the supplements being taken and ensures their effectiveness.

SKIN CARE AND DIETARY INFORMATION