How severe is my rosacea.
Subtype 1: Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea characterized by flushing and persistent redness, and may also include visible blood vessels.
Subtype 2: Papulopustular rosacea characterized by persistent redness with transient bumps and pimples.
Subtype 3: Phymatous rosacea characterized by skin thickening, often resulting in an enlargement of the nose from excess tissue.
Subtype 4: Ocular rosacea characterized by ocular manifestations such as dry eye, tearing and burning, swollen eyelids, recurrent styes and potential vision loss from corneal damage.
Pre-Rosacea the first cardinal sign of rosacea: blood vessels dilate to more stimuli, open wider and stay open for longer periods of time compared to normal persons. No visible damage can normally be seen.
Mild Rosacea begins when the facial redness induced by flushing persists for an abnormal length of time – usually 1/2 an hour or more after a trigger. Those who have frequent pre-rosacea flushing are highly susceptible to progressing to mild rosacea. Some of the common triggers for a facial flush are heat, cold, emotions, exercise, topical irritants and allergic reactions.
Moderate Rosacea as facial flushing becomes more frequent and intense, vascular damage occurs. This can result in long lasting redness, swelling and inflammatory papules and pustules. Telangiectasia (damaged micro blood vessels, often visible on the surface of the skin) may be noticed in the areas where flushing is worst.
Severe Rosacea characterised by intense bouts of facial flushing, severe inflammation, facial pain, swelling and burning sensations. Sufferers may develop intolerance to products they were able to use before. Also inflammatory papules, pustules and nodules may be present. Some experience a bulbous enlargement of the nose, known as rhinophyma. This is just a guide, you may of course experience symptoms outside these ranges.
What are the causes of Rosacea? (and what can i do about it)
The actual underlying causes of the condition are not fully understood. However,
– Circulatory problems near the skin surface are one problem. It is believed that a gradual failing of the micro-circulation and an increase in capillary leakage causes some of the redness. Spider viens in particular are a result of the tiny capilaries which feed the skin starting to leak blood corpuscles into surrounding tissue. Diet can play a part in rosacea and we would recommend ensuring that you have plenty of antioxidants in your diet from green vegtables,and fruit which are known to help strenghen capillaries.
–Skin inflammation. This can be caused by too much sun or aggresive or reactive skin care products. Rosacea sufferers report increased symptoms after sun exposure and after using some reactive skin care products. It is a good idea to take great care regarding the type of products you use on your skin and most importanty avoid any sun exposure. The greatest trigger to rosacea symptoms is exposure to sun and so avoiding the sun on your face is probably the single biggest favour you can do your face.
–Anti-microbial action. There is quite a bit of research that bacterial infections can cause some of the symptoms of rosacea. It has been found that people with Rosacea tend to have more of a certain type of bacteria in their intestines than non sufferers. Research continues in this area.
Metronidazole cream is sometimes prescribed for the treatment of mild to moderate spots and pimples. You will need to apply topical metronidazole once or twice a day for several months.
Metronidazole may irritate or burn skin and make it very dry. Avoid exposure to strong sunlight or UV light (used in some lamps and nightclubs).
An alternative to topical metronidazole is azelaic acid. Azelaic acid helps to unblock pores and reduce inflammation (redness and swelling) although again it can aggrevate the skin.
Both treatments can take several months to take effect.
Naturally effective alternatives
A patented caper extract has been found to have effective anti-redness actions with clinical studies showing up to 70% reduction in redness.
Topical antioxidants can bring down inflammation as well or better than medicated creams
For more serious symptoms of spots and pimples, oral antibiotics may be recommended. In this case, the antibiotics are used for their ability to reduce inflammation of the skin rather than for their ability to kill bacteria, although usually it is required to take the antibiotics over several months which can have negative side effects.
The two antibiotics that are most commonly used to treat rosacea are: