Rosacea is a skin condition that confuses almost everyone that comes into contact with it! Doctors, beauty therapists and skin therapists all have conflicting views on this disorder and very different views on how to treat it.
To start at the beginning you must first determine what rosacea is and whether, in fact you DO have it. Rosacea is a red (occasionally purple tinged), inflamed and often pustular condition that presents predominantly on the cheeks, chin and forehead. There are differing beliefs that it is genetic, triggered by certain foods or is impacted by environmental factors (too much sun, wind burn, incorrect skin care/makeup etc). Although some studies tell us that it is predominantly an "old man" disorder, I see more and more young to middle aged women with it.
The general consensus is the rosacea is, in part at least, caused by the Demodex mite. This mite is on everyone's skin, however it is in much larger numbers with rosacea sufferers. When the mite dies, bacteria is released and this affects the integrity of the skin, causing redness, inflammation and acne-like symptoms in some. Studies have concluded that antibiotics that kill the SPECIFIC bacteria that the demodex mites release are effective in 79% of cases and this is some of the evidence we have to prove the link between demodex & rosacea.
Rosacea is prone to "flare ups" where a trigger will make it appear worse. With some people, they know what foods they need to avoid but others have no idea what triggers a flare up - it's like Russian Roulette!
The one thing that everyone can agree on is that Rosacea ALWAYS has a gut issue associated with it. ALWAYS. You CANNOT treat your face and ignore the gut/bacteria connection as you will never get it under control. And you will never get rid of rosacea - you can only manage it once you've got it. So the first thing you need to do is take a good probiotic at the beginning of you day. It is also a smart idea to incorporate fermented foods/drinks in your diet to make sure you're doing the best for your gut health. Kombucha, Kimchi & sauerkraut are all great additions to your diet. Removing things like dairy and gluten may also improve your gut health as they seem to be regular triggers, but definitely seek advice from a gut health specialist before removing food groups from your diet.
Common topical treatments recommended by doctors are steroid creams and antibiotics. Rozex is a medicine that contains an active substance called metronidazole. It is both an antibiotic and antiprotozoic agent, meaning it kills both bacteria and other micro-organisms known as protozoa. This seems to be the most commonly prescribed cream from doctors and dermatologists.
I cannot comment on the effectiveness or the safety of any prescribed creams as I have never used them and have only had a few clients who have been on them and they didn't stay on them for long. Steroid creams in any form will slowly thin the skin when used for extended periods of time. Oral antibiotics will mess with your gut bacteria and so needs to be counteracted with probiotics and fermented foods.
So, what can a skin therapist offer a sufferer of Rosacea? Quite a few things in fact! The first is the use of LED Therapy. The blue light will help kill the bacteria and offer some relief from the heat and inflammation. Using LED 3-4 times a week will improve the strength and integrity of the skin. There has been some study that small amounts of AHAs and Vitamin A reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin AND strengthen the underlying skin itself so it's less prone the the redness. Light peels with enzyme masks to flush & strengthen the capillaries work best in-clinic. Home care of Vitamin A and more soothing day creams have proven most effective, long term.
Contact the Head Therapist at Skin Tone to book in for a comprehensive skin consultation and see how we can help YOUR skin condition.