Do I have rosacea?
If you blush or flush easily, skin becomes red after drinking alcohol, with exposure to wind, sun, heat or cold or when stressed or upset, have super-sensitive skin, you probably have rosacea. Left untreated symptoms will become progressively worse as you age so it makes sense to get informed and have a long term strategy to minimise triggers and slow down the condition.
Rosacea is a very common skin condition affecting over 14 million Americans so you are certainly not alone.
Figures for the UK are not conclusive but from my own experience, friends, family and customers it is certainly very common over here too.
Rosacea is not infectious, you can't catch it or pass it on except hereditarily of course. If you have northern european celtic genes with skin that burns easily, you are likely to develop it often between the ages of 30 and 50. copyright www.pennybadger.com 2019
What does it look and feel like?
It comes in different guises with some people suffering terribly with face soreness and burning, others from blushing and redness alone or with spots.
Eyes can also be affected being sore, itchy and watery on their own or in combination with other symptoms.Some people (mostly men) suffer from facial swelling especially on the nose from fluid build up.
Your first avenue to explore is the standard medical system by going to your GP and confirming it is rosacea.
If you have mild to moderate rosacea you will be offered lotions containing metronidazole or azelaic acid, both of these need to be used for at least six weeks before you see results.
More severe rosacea may respond better to a course of antibiotics or your GP may recommend using both together.
Antibiotics will help with the pustules,spots and inflammation but I personally feel that they are a good way to kick start a recovery but not solely a long term solution.
In the short term they will help control symptoms although some people experience light sensitivity. In the long term continued use on antibiotics will lower the bodies resistance to infection.
There is no cure for rosacea so our long term strategy needs to incorporate natural and holistic elements and learn to control your personal triggers.
Just like when you grow organic produce where you feed the plant to keep it healthy and strong to fight off disease, one should feed and nurture the whole body not just the skin to give it the best chance of slowing down symptoms.
Every person has a unique experience with rosacea symptoms and triggers and will have to experiment with supplements, nutrition etc so using natural products and a holistic approach will give all the benefits without any side effects.
All rosacea sufferers have individual ‘triggers’ that make their skin super sensitive, burn and flush but there are some life style triggers that are common to all rosacea sufferers.
Stress is undoubtedly the worst of all the triggers and one that we encounter every day, whether it is in our working environment or family and social commitments or the emotional stress from having to cope with a chronic skin problem.
Chronic stress unbalances your hormones that directly shows in your skin by making sensitive skin more sensitive, oily skin even worse and promotes flushing.
Every time our skin flushes it dilates the blood vessels in the face and over time these vessels weaken and our faces become permanently flushed.
So it is essential to lessen the frequency and duration of these flushing episodes by controlling our stress levels.
When at work or at play it is good to plan ahead so that you are always able to look after our skin and not have to miss out on life’s experiences, this in itself will reduce anxiety and stress.
Be sure to keep a hat and scarf in the winter or wide brimmed straw hat for the summer in your car along with an SPF lotion always at hand.
A fan, bottle of water and mist spray will all keep you cool and lessen flushing episodes.
During the menopause our rosacea can worsen due to our hormones being disrupted so it is even more important to take control. copyright www.pennybadger.com 2019
What can we do to lessen our stress levels?
One of the easiest ways is to try and incorporate some form of exercise in to your day even just 30 minutes will release hormones that will lessen stress levels naturally. The best form of exercise is gentle so not to get us too hot, so swimming, walking, yoga, pilates and dancing to the radio are all good.
Gentle exercise is great for the skin too, you will find that with regular exercise your skin will look more radiant.
If exercising indoors use a fan and facial spray to keep you cool and if outside wear a cap, spf and preferably exercise early morning or evening to avoid the heat of the day.
Taking time for yourself is vital to your well being and stress levels, so even if you are super busy with child care, job and husband to care for do try to get some space even for a few minutes each day to recharge yourself.
By prioritising yourself you are taking control and honouring yourself, no one will do it for you ONLY YOU! And as lovely as your family, friends, work colleagues are, people will ALWAYS let you do more if you let them.
It is OK to say NO and let things go, these are the two of the most important things that I have found that really lessens stress.
Don’t say yes to every invitation you receive, don’t feel obliged to do everything people ask you to do and let any bad feelings go, don’t carry emotional baggage with you, you have enough to carry with coping with rosacea! copyright www.pennybadger.com 2019
Emotional stress can build if not acknowledged and will leave you anxious and exhausted. Always thinking about your skin, if you can eat or drink certain foods, always checking in the mirror if you are red or if your make up has come off is frankly exhausting, I know.
One of the best changes in my life has been to take up a hobby as it refocuses your mind away from your skin problems.
Anything that fully engages you is good for your well being and happiness and if more of your day is filled with happy thoughts replacing anxious thoughts you are well on the way to feeling stronger, more confident and less stressed.
At the end of the day, you are not your face, people generally don’t even notice your skin and we are causing our own stress levels by always internalising.
If you do things that make you happy such as creating a lovely garden, painting, singing, writing poetry, being good at something you will not let rosacea ruin your life or confidence.
Aim that next time you are introduced they will say, ‘This is my friend ............., she makes lovely paintings of the sea, has a lovely rose garden etc, you get the idea, take the focus off your skin problems and focus on the things that make you feel good.
It is only your face, not you and with care and attention you can lessen the flushing any way which will calm the skin’s reaction and control rosacea symptoms naturally.
copyright www.pennybadger.com 2019