Rosacea – interesting facts you need to know!

Rosacea, is an inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects the face and is common in about 10% of the population. More likely to occur in fair skinned individuals, it’s often referred to as acne rosacea if accompanied by pustules and small white heads. Rosacea usually makes its first appearance between the ages of 35 to 50.

Rosacea symptoms may include:

  • Facial flushing
  • Permanent redness of the face
  • Broken capillaries
  • Enlarged capillaries
  • Small yellow or pus-filled whiteheads that look like acne
  • Small red bumps
  • Stinging or burning sensation of the skin
  • Patches of dry skin
  • Eye irritation, dry or sensitive eyes
  • Irritation of the scalp

What causes rosacea?

The exact pathophysiology is still under investigation and involves various contributing factors, such as genetics, immune dysregulation, microorganism overgrowth (such as small intestinal bacteria overgrowth [SIBO] and demodex mite), environmental factors and vascular dysregulation. There appears to be an aggravated immune and/or inflammatory response that can lead to a disruption in blood vessel homeostasis as well as increased damage to skin cells.

This “mite” cause rosacea

The demodex mite, a tiny eight-legged inhabitant of the hair follicles, eyelashes and sebaceous glands on the face and scalp may cause rosacea. These little mites feed on sebum, cellular proteins, cosmetics and hormones. Although this may sound distasteful, demodex are found on the skin of most healthy people and only become a problem if their numbers creep too high. They are thought to play a role in rosacea as they can block hair follicles, piggyback inflammatory bacteria around and trigger inflammation, immune dysfunction and breakdown of the skin barrier.

Symptoms of demodex overgrowth include:

  • Dryness
  • Pustules, acne-like lesions
  • Itching of the face and scalp
  • Hypersensitivity of the facial skin
  • Blepharitis and eyelid dermatitis
  • Rosacea with pustules and scaling

Diagnosis is often made via skin scraping or viewing the number of mites on a sample under a microscope. In many cases it may be easier for us to go by your symptoms.

Prevention and treatment involves washing the face twice a day, avoiding oily cleansers and greasy makeup, changing pillowcases and towels at least twice a week and using diluted tea tree oil to kill them off. A healthy lifestyle may also assist, since demodex numbers are increased in patients with low immunity, obesity, high blood sugar levels and in chronic renal failure.

Saving face with herbal medicine

Rosacea can be complex, however soothing herbal formulas can enhance tissue repair and quell skin inflammation. These herbs, along with targeted vitamins and minerals reduce oxidative damage, modulate immunity, decrease opportunistic inflammatory skin bacteria and support lymphatic clearance.

Other factors for success

Some rosacea sufferers may find that symptoms can be improved by avoiding alcohol, spicy food, hot food and drinks, as well as reducing heavy or waterproof cosmetics. Humectant moisturisers (a substance that draws water into the skin) and sunscreen should also be applied daily to protect the skin barrier. 

Finding the cause can be tricky, however treating symptoms with traditional herbal remedies and nutrients, improving the diet and considering overgrowth of mites or bacteria may help you to overcome rosacea.

Book now if you are suffering from rosacea!