The Who, What and Why of Rosacea
Rosacea can be very frustrating. Affecting more women than men (why does this always seem to be the case?!), this genetic condition is passed down by a relative. Thanks, Mum. Rosacea, once known as Acne Rosacea, was associated with acne because of its red, bumpy appearance. We now know this that Rosacea has nothing to do with Acne, but is actually an inflammatory condition. Rosacea appears on the cheeks, nose, forehead and/or chin areas, and is characterised by skin flushed with redness, swelling, inflammation, red bumps and pimples. The skin can feel hot to touch and irritated.
What Are the Triggers for a Rosacea ‘Flare-up’?
Rosacea can have times of extreme flare-ups, while other times it will lay dormant. Flare-ups are often due to environmental factors including:
- Immune health
- Temperature extremes
- UV exposure
- Diet, especially spicy foods which increase blood circulation to the area
- Alcohol consumption, which also increases blood circulation to the area
- Gut health
Dermadex Mite… What’s That?!
In recent developments, the Dermadex mite and bacteria are thought to be the leading cause of Rosacea. The mite and bacteria invade the capillary vessels, causing inflammation, redness, swelling and acne-like breakouts. The mites are able to invade the capillary vessels because the immune system has been compromised; usually, the body’s immune system would respond and send white blood cells (Langerhans cells) to engulf the mites and bacteria. These cells normally fight any invasion of foreign material in the skin, but when these cells are compromised, the immune response is lowered and inflammation occurs. We also know that gut health contributes to a lowered immunity, also contributing to the cause and effect of Rosacea.
How Do I Cure My Rosacea?
Unfortunately, at this stage there is no cure for Rosacea. But, there is ongoing research into the cause of the genetic condition. Treating Rosacea in clinic, we begin with concentrating on the cause of the condition, first focusing on gut health and restoring the skin’s health and barrier function. This is paramount, but can be the trickiest part of the treatment program as Rosacea commonly flares in the beginning. We then introduce treatments such as Enzyme Therapy and LED light therapy, which assist further in eliminating bacteria and reducing inflammation. Teamed with Home Prescriptives, we are able to continuously maintain skin health and barrier function and minimise any Rosacea flare ups. It is important to note that many doctors will most commonly prescribe antibiotics (both topically and orally) in an attempt to reduce inflammation, however this will only provide a temporarily fix to the problem. With the latest research into gut health, we know the consumption of antibiotics can further contribute to poor gut health and compromised immunity. This is why we believe it is so important to look at our overall health and make changes where we can to reduce the impact and severity of Rosacea.
Potential Triggering Inflamatory Foods:
- Dairy, sugar, processed food and refined carbs such as white pasta, white rice and white flour as they can cause inflammation
- Saturated fats such as vegetable oil, palm oil, canola oil and animal fats
- Foods high in histamines such as citrus fruits, alcohol, and fermented foods
- Night shade vegetables such as chilli, tomatoes, onion, garlic, eggplant, capsicum, potatoes, paprika
- Coffee or tea
Supportive Foods to Increase:
- Protein such as chicken and fish as are easily digested
- Green leafy vegetables
- Healthy fats such as nuts, avocado, salmon, sardines, flaxseed, and chia seeds
- Prebiotic foods such as cabbage, broccoli, chia seeds, and sweet potato
- Bone broth (from a health food store)
- Lemon or apple cider vinegar in water (30 minutes before meals)
- 3 litres of water daily (to aid in detoxification)
- Rosacea can be a sign of poor gut health. For optimal gut health, we recommend increasing the foods listed above along with doing a Regul8 Digestive Tune Up program. For further information click here.
- Stress increases inflammation in the body along with dilating our blood vessels – all increasing facial redness. To read more about the effects of stress on the skin, as well as tips to manage stress, click here.
- For a great information resource on Rosacea, please visit www.rosacea.org/.