What can I do about Acne Rosacea? Skin Condition Factsheet

Skin Condition Factsheet
What can I do
about Acne Rosacea?
Acne rosacea is a common, long-term and non-contagious skin disorder. It is unrelated to
acne. Symptoms vary, are often intermittent and are denoted by facial redness and flushing,
frequently resembling a permanent blush or sunburn. Skin may also look bumpy with tiny red
spots and small blood vessels may appear. Sometimes burning, stinging or itching can be felt.
Where does it appear?
Developing gradually, rosacea appears most often on the cheeks, nose,
chin or forehead. It can be found on the neck, chest, scalp or ears too.
In around 50% of sufferers the eyes are affected resulting in discomfort
and redness.
Fair-skinned adults between 30 and 50 years old seem to be most prone,
although children can occasionally be affected. Despite the fact that men
tend to suffer from it more severely, rosacea is more prevalent in women.
What triggers it?
Whilst the cause is unknown (experts believe it could be a combination of
genetic, hormonal and environmental factors), a rosacea 'flare-up' can be
triggered by exposure to a number of common situations. According to
The National Rosacea Society the most common triggers are:
• Sun exposure
• Emotional stress
• Hot weather
Conditions like acne often respond well to complementary therapies
such as herbalism and homeopathy. When choosing a medical
herbalist, see a reputable, well-qualified practitioner who is registered
with one of the governing organisations (see ‘Want to know more?’).
Skincare advice
Soothing skincare is ideal for helping to keep skin calm
and under control:
• Choose carefully and look for ranges that include good quality
ingredients, especially vitamins and soothing botanicals such
as aloe vera, lavender and cucumber.
• Certain ingredients may overly stimulate rosacea including:
acetone; alcohol; clove oil; menthol; peppermint oil; tea tree oil;
witch hazel and 'chemical' sunscreens such as benzophenones
and methoxycinnamates.
• Always remember, if you are unsure which products will suit you,
carry out a patch test first.
• Alcohol consumption
Since the sun is such a common trigger, in an ideal world it’s best to
either cover up or try to avoid it. As this is not always realistic (and a
little sunshine is good for our wellbeing), the right sunscreen is essential.
Here's how to choose the best one for you:
• Hot baths
• Select one with an SPF of 15 or higher.
• Cold weather
• Apply a sunscreen containing broad spectrum filters that will protect
against both UVA and UVB rays.
• Wind
• Heavy exercise
• Spicy foods
• Humidity
• Certain skincare ingredients
How can it be treated?
There is no known cure. However, the good news is that rosacea can
be easily diagnosed by either a GP or a dermatologist and then often
successfully controlled through treatment. Many sufferers mistake
rosacea as simply part of the skin's natural ageing process and
therefore miss out on early diagnosis, which is usually key to successful
treatment. The essential first step in controlling rosacea is to avoid
potential stimulants (see ‘What triggers it?’).
Dietary supplements
Make sure your body is getting the right levels of all its main nutrients
by taking good multi-vitamins and multi-mineral supplements. Natural
source vitamin E can be particularly beneficial (try 400 i/u) as can a
daily 500mg or 1000mg dose of the essential fatty acid GLA found in
evening primrose oil.
Complementary medicine
The Chinese often refer to skin as the 'third eye', as it can be an
accurate outward reflection of what's going on inside the body.
• Consider sunscreens that provide skin with a physical barrier to
reflect rather than absorb UV light. Those containing inert mineral
filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are good examples.
• Try our Sun Shade protectors which are based solely on reflective
mineral sunscreens and are safer for sensitive skins than those
made with chemical sun filters.
Simple daily steps to gentle skincare
1. Cleanse your face and neck twice a day using a mild detergent-free
cleanser such as Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Use a
pure muslin cloth rinsed in hand-hot water to gently polish off the
cream, leaving your skin soft and radiant.
2. Let your skin dry naturally before applying any topical medication
(if prescribed). You may find it helps to follow cleansing with an
alcohol-free toner, such as Instant Boost Skin Tonic.
3. Let this soak in before applying a moisturiser. You could try
Skin Repair Moisturiser for dry/sensitive skin as it includes
antioxidant natural source vitamin E and GLA from borage oil
to help skin replace lost moisture.
4. Some sufferers report relief when using Intensive Nourishing
Treatment Mask: our richly, soothing mask contains calming
comfrey and St. John’s wort.
Skin Condition Factsheet
Want to know more?
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists
These websites are useful to bookmark as they tend to offer balanced
and credible viewpoints, backed with detailed peer-reviewed research
on all kinds of health and beauty myths:
Skincare Physicians
Part of the American Academy of Dermatology’s site www.aad.org,
rosaceanet contains a good series of FAQs as well as clear, detailed
information about the condition.
Elm House, 54 Mary Arches Street, Exeter EX4 3BA
Tel: 0139 242 6022
Fax: 0139 249 8963
The UK’s leading professional organisation for herbal
medicine practitioners offers a free register of members.
Either call or visit www.nimh.org.uk
The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine
The National Rosacea Society
This US-based non-profit making society offers a free Patient
Diary Checklist to help sufferers identify factors which may affect
their individual cases, as well as an excellent booklet called
‘Coping with Rosacea’ that provides tips on lifestyle management.
Office 5, 1 Exeter Street, Norwich NR2 4QB
Tel: 0160 362 3994
Fax: 0160 366 7557
This non-profit making organisation has an excellent website.
A full list of registered practitioners in the UK can also be
obtained by sending a S.A.E plus a cheque for £3.00.
Contact customer care for skincare and product advice 01983 813999
Email [email protected]
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Call 01983 813913
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