Rosacea, a multifaceted skin disease

The skin is a kind of mirror of our inner world. Indeed, lack of sleep, poor digestion, nutritional deficiencies and repeated stress all have an impact on the health of our skin. Without further ado, let’s take a look at rosacea, too often confused with acne.

What is rosacea?

In fact, it is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, alternating between periods of crisis and lulls. Moreover, it is mainly characterised by a diffuse redness of the centre of the face. It should be noted that the symptoms can vary from person to person: papules and pustules, thickening of the skin as well as various burning pains (tingling, tightness & paresthesias). People with rosacea also have a defective hydrolipidic skin barrier. As a result they become hypersensitive to various everyday stimuli.

What is skin?

The skin consists of three layers: the epidermis or stratified epithelial tissue, the dermis or connective tissue and the adipose connective tissue, the hypodermis. It forms the protective envelope of the body, having three main functions:

  1. Protection from the outside world: preventing UV rays, allergens, but also pollution from entering our body
  2. A secretory role: Human skin has about 2,000,000 sebaceous glands, with a density of about 400 to 900 per square centimetre on the face. These glands located in the dermis secrete sebum. The role of sebum is to protect the skin from external aggression (notably thanks to its antibacterial properties) and from dehydration (by preventing the water present in the tissues from evaporating).
  3. An ” absorbent ” function: in fact, the hypodermis is capable of absorbing the shocks received by the skin.

How is rosacea skin characterised?

Atopic skin with rosacea is considered hypersensitive & hyperreactive: this is because the hydrolipidic film (primarily composed of water, sweat and sebum) no longer fulfils its protective role. When the skin barrier is compromised, the skin’s tolerance threshold is lowered. There is then an exaggerated reactivity to internal and external aggressions. Deregulation of the immune response, the vascular & neurological system and the balance of the skin barrier is disrupted: a sensation of permanent discomfort, called “rosacea”.

What are the visible symptoms of rosacea

Rosacea can take many forms, therefore it is important to consult a Dermatologist in order to establish a diagnosis & obtain a suitable treatment. Different symptoms can be attributed to this dermatosis, these are

  1. Persistent redness of the face, which may vary in intensity and location depending on the individual
  2. Thickening of the skin
  3. Edema
  4. Visible blood vessels or telangiectasias
  5. Flushing or erythrosis
  6. Papules & pustules
  7. Nose deformity
  8. Desquamation of the epidermis
  9. Eye redness

Physical sensations that accompany it

The manifestations of rosacea are not necessarily visible. Therefore, questioning by the dermatologist is essential. Here is the list of symptoms:

  1. Warmth, sensation of heat
  2. Tingling
  3. Tingling
  4. Paresthesias
  5. Dryness/ severe eye discomfort

The impact of the disease on daily life

Rosacea also has a heavy impact on daily life. It is true that this disease is not just a “redness” of the face. In fact, a survey by the National Rosacea Society found that almost 90% of rosacea sufferers believe their skin condition has also contributed to a decline in their self-confidence. 41% of those surveyed admit to avoiding social interaction, while 88% are affected in their professional life. Finally, almost 51% have been absent from work because of their rosacea.

Potential triggers of rosacea

  • UV rays
  • Sudden changes in temperature
  • Stress
  • Intense sport
  • Ingestion of very hot drinks or food
  • Strong wind
  • Spices
  • Certain cosmetic products (e.g. alcohol, witch hazel, essential oils, flower extracts, perfume, cosmetic actives such as AHAs, benzoyl peroxide, etc.)
  • Overwork
  • Cold
  • Sun
  • Air conditioning
  • Humidity
  • Hormonal fluctuations

Some solutions to adopt

Diet & lifestyle

It is very important to pay attention to your diet. Many foods and drinks can trigger rosacea attacks:

  • Tomatoes
  • Highly acidic foods (vinegar, lemon, etc.)
  • Spices such as pepper, chilli, curry (cinnamon for some), ginger
  • Dark chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Very hot drinks
  • Very sweet foods

As you will have understood, skin health is closely linked to intestinal health, so dietary adjustment is essential to manage rosacea symptoms: take care of your liver by applying a hot water bottle to your stomach after the evening meal, coax your intestines by facilitating transit through the consumption of fibre-rich foods. Take time for yourself: find an activity that allows you to disconnect from your daily life, in order to evacuate the excess of stress (walking, grounding, writing or journaling, drawing…). Lack of sleep has a considerable impact on the healing of the skin. In order for the skin to regenerate, it is important to sleep well at night.

Supplements to accompany your anti-rosacea diet

Atopic/rosaceous skin routine

In the morning, after rinsing your face with lukewarm water (neither too hot nor too cold: remember that rosacea does not like sudden changes in temperature), choose a gentle cleanser to preserve the skin’s hydrolipidic film, such as Cerave‘s fragrance-free hydrating cleanser. The anti-redness moisturiser Créaline Bioderma should be applied to still damp skin with the fingertips, followed by the sun protection of the same brand. You can also choose the organic neutral cream from Avril. Vichy Normaderm offers a non-comedogenic, covering, non-irritating foundation. However, if you are a BB cream fan, the Dermaceutic brand offers a tinted DD cream, available in two shades (combination of BB cream and high sun protection + antioxidants beneficial in case of redness). Avène also offers a fluid foundation, suitable for sensitive skin with rosacea. In the evening, , it is very important to cleanse the skin to remove sun protection residues, make-up and all the dirt accumulated during the day: choose a quality jojoba oil, to be applied with a damp cotton wool pad over the entire face before using the Cerave moisturising cleanser. On damp skin, use Cicaplast Soothing Healing Spray before applying your evening moisturiser, depending on your skin’s “daytime” needs: Crealine Moisturiser AR or Cerave Moisturiser. Laroche-Posay Healing Accelerator Gel is an excellent alternative to Japanese-style Sleeping Packs, as the last step in your routine, to seal in moisture and prevent trans-epidermal* water loss during the night.

Sources

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16029676/

https://www.vidal.fr/parapharmacie/complements-alimentaires/vitamine-c-acide-ascorbique.html#:~:text=The%20vitamin%20C%2C%20or%20acid,%20ligaments%20or%20genetics.

https://media.cleveland.com/health_impact/other/Lauder%20Sleep%20Skin%20Study%202013%20IID%20Poster%20%202013%20final.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048199/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32199994/

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