Treating rosacea, an unsightly skin disorder that is characterized by red skin on the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead, requires careful monitoring of the condition. Left untreated, the affected skin will thicken, become even ruddier with visible blood vessels and pimple-like bumps may form.
Rosacea is among the many different types of skin rashes. It usually manifests itself after age 30 and is more prevalent in women and those with fair skin. However, it can affect men and they often have the most severe symptoms, which includes the thickening skin and red, watery eyes.
While there is no cure for these skin rashes, carefully avoiding triggers that worsen the condition and taking simple precautions can lessen the symptoms of rosacea.
Following this step-by-step guide can be part of an effective rosacea treatment plan.
Step One: Diet
There is plenty of medical research to link diet and rosacea. A 2003 National Rosacea Society study found that foods like hot sausage or peppers, black, red and white pepper, the spice paprika, garlic and vinegar are particularly virulent triggers that can cause a rosacea skin rash to worsen.
The best way to avoid a worsening of the condition when it comes to your diet is to keep a food journal carefully noting which foods seem to make worsen your symptoms, so you can more easily avoid them as much as possible.
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In addition to spicy foods, highly acidic fruits, fried foods, sugar, caffeinated beverages, and alcoholic beverages have all been linked to an increase in rosacea symptoms.
Step Two: Cosmetic Products
The cosmetic products you use can definitely affect your rosacea. It is critical that you consult with your dermatologist to formulate a skin-care plan immediately after a rosacea diagnosis. There are companies that make cosmetics specifically for rosacea sufferers.
When cleansing your face, be particularly careful with the cleanser you choose. Zinc containing soaps have shown to be a safe way to cleanse your skin and for treating rosacea.
Many facial cleansers have harsh ingredients that can worsen your condition. Avoid those with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or glycolic acid.
Avoid scrubbing your face too hard and pat your skin dry with a fresh, soft cloth, rather than rub it with a towel. If your skin is oily, use an oil-free moisturizer. If you have particularly dry skin, a lightweight moisturizer is still best, while an oil ingredient may be okay.
Step Three: Sunscreen
Using sunscreen daily is critical to anyone treating rosacea. Exposure to sun can quickly worsen the redness and irritation. After you cleanse and moisturize your face, apply a layer of sunscreen of at least SPF 15 (SPF 30 is better) using a product, which contains zinc oxide, a physical sun blocker.
Once a day is not enough either. You will need to reapply sunscreen at least once even if you are indoors and as frequently as every two hours if you are outside for long periods of time. A hat and eye protection, like sunglasses, is also a good idea if you are outdoors for an extended period of time. Again, take note of which sunscreens your skin can tolerate, as sunscreens too can aggravate skin conditions.
Step Four: Supplements
A high quality multivitamin is part of any effective rosacea treatment plan. Find one that contains at least 25-100 milligrams of B-complex vitamins.
B2 (also known as riboflavin) has been shown to be especially effective in lessening rosacea symptoms. It helps the skin secret more mucous to aid in repair from damage due to rosacea.
Since many researchers believe rosacea sufferers have a disorder in the blood vessels just beneath the skin, vitamin C, zinc and copper supplements are often recommended. These nutrients are essential for healthy blood vessels, capillaries and connective tissues.
Just because there is no known cure for rosacea does not mean you must suffer with unsightly, irritated red skin. Working with your dermatologist and following this checklist can help you keep rosacea symptoms in check.