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What is Rosacea? 

Rosacea (pronounced “roh-ZAY-sha”) is an inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, particularly of the cheek and nose. You may mistake some of its symptoms- small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules – for acne. Rosacea refers to as adult acne or acne rosacea, but it has very little to do with the pimples that teenagers experience. Rosacea affects about 16 million people within the United States and about 45 million people globally. It typically affects people between the age of 30 and 60 with fair skin who blush easily and affects more women than men; however, more severe cases of Rosacea occur in men. A lot of people ask, is Rosacea genetic? The answer is not as straightforward as you would expect. Since Rosacea is seen more frequently in people with Nothern and Eastern European ancestry, there is an indication that it can be inherited, but this is not concrete evidence. Therefore, genetic studies are currently underway, and we hope to know more soon! Rosacea dates back to the 14th Century when a French surgeon recorded symptoms of red lesions on the cheeks and nose. Over the years, famous people like Bill Clinton, Cameron Diaz, and Prince Harry have been coping with Rosacea. While the causes of Rosacea are still being determined, and unfortunately, there is no cure, there is good news. The symptoms of Rosacea are treatable and can be managed effectively without getting in the way of your day to activities, and you can feel confident.    

Causes of Rosacea

The cause of Rosacea is still unknown. One theory suggests it is a disorder in the immune system- when your body encounters bacteria or a virus, it defends itself through the innate immune system that triggers a defense mechanism through complex immune cells and molecules. This defense mechanism is said to malfunction in people with Rosacea. However, Rosacea “flare-ups”(Skin flushes and turns red) have common triggers like:
  • Sunlight
  • Prolonged exposure to heat or cold
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Alcohol (red wine is a prevalent trigger)
  • Spicy foods
  • Skin and hair products like hairsprays
  • Exercise
Repeated flares can cause the redness to be more permanent, the skin begins to thicken, and makes treatment more difficult. Therefore, it is essential to know what your triggers are to reduce flares and achieve better results from treatments. After looking at some of the common Rosacea triggers mentioned above,  you can follow the steps below to investigate what your triggers are. Please look at a more extensive list compiled by the National Rosacea Society.

How to Identify Rosacea triggers?

Complete this form every day for at least two weeks- keep track of the weather conditions you expose yourself to, the food and beverages you consume, the activities you perform, skincare products you use, and medications you take. It is also essential to write down the symptoms of your flares and their severity when they occur. After keeping track of these factors for a few weeks, you will be able to identify what triggers your flare-ups.

What helps Rosacea? (Managing Triggers)

You will find a way to cope with various triggers below: