What is rosacea?
Red skin, nodules, heat build-up or stabbing pain are among the symptoms of rosacea (sometimes also spelled rosacea). It is an inflammatory skin disease that affects the connective tissue. It is mostly limited to the face. The so-called efflorescences rarely occur on the neck and décolleté.
How is rosacea different from couperose?
The two terms are often used synonymously, but couperose describes the first degree of severity of rosacea. At this stage, the redness occurs in spurts and usually subsides, while it is permanent in rosacea.
Rosacea mainly affects light skin types
It occurs most frequently with skin type 1, i.e. with very light skin and blond or red hair. That's why it used to be known as the "Curse of the Celts". And that's how she strikes. This dermatosis hits many men and women in their 30s quite unexpectedly. It is therefore difficult to take countermeasures in good time, especially when rosacea first breaks out. The disease progresses in several phases, which you can recognize early on. Of course, you have to know what to look out for.
Rosacea is intermittent
First of all, that's good news. Once you discover the red skin blossoms on you, that does not mean that they are now permanently with you. It will get better! The tricky thing is that this dermatosis is similar to other skin problems. It is often treated too late or completely wrong. You'll soon see why...
The preliminary stage of rosacea
Your skin reddens suddenly for no particular reason? This redness occurs in the initial phase, especially on the cheeks, nose, chin and in the middle of the forehead. Spicy food, hot drinks, alcohol or stress are often the triggers.
Rosacea grade 1 (couperose)
While the reddening of the skin in the early stages disappears quite quickly, it lasts longer and longer. That looks a bit like sunburn, which this skin type is also prone to. Just that vascular dilations are added. Small veins become visible under the skin. The reason: The inflammation takes place in the connective tissue and this loses strength.
Sometimes it itches, tightens, burns or stings in the affected area. Rosacea is accompanied by dryness.
☝️ This stage is also described as couperose.
Rosacea grade 2
The inflammation is now clearly coming to the fore. Bubbles and nodules form on the skin. Lymphedema is also not uncommon. They appear as swellings on the face, because there is a lot of lymph running there.
☝️ This level is often confused with acne and treated incorrectly.Acne causes keratinization, which causes comedones and inflammatory pimples, which are mostly reddened locally. Rosacea, on the other hand, has inflammation in the connective tissue, i.e. deeper in the skin. This leads to a rather flat reddening with fine veins.
Rosacea grade 3
The more the inflammation spreads, the more noticeable the swelling becomes. The connective tissue and the sebaceous glands enlarge. Bulbous growths sometimes appear on the nose. Men are particularly affected by this. And don't panic, it's that bad for very few people.
Triggers for rosacea flare-ups
Some people may be more prone to developing rosacea, but the actual cause of rosacea is still not fully understood. However, that doesn't mean that you don't know anything about the triggers for relapses. There are some well-known factors that favor an outbreak of rosacea. Often several of them play together.
These include the usual suspects in skin diseases: UV radiation, stress, diet, body toxins such as alcohol, environmental factors such as pollen count or exhaust fumes, but also cosmetics and medicines. An important step in getting the disease under control in the long term is to understand your specific flare-up triggers. Knowledge is power, that's the philosophy of FIVE. And a diary helps with that.
🖋 Recognize and avoid triggers - your rosacea diary: Whether on paper or in an app, write down how you are feeling, emotionally and from complexion. Note special events, such as a beach vacation where you spend a lot of time in the sun, or last night's boozy party. It can also make sense to document the pollen count.
Please see a dermatologist
This is how you prevent the disease from progressing. I really don't recommend this for every skin problem, but it is important to properly diagnose rosacea. In addition, the skin is often stressed by mites or anaerobic germs, which you can only get rid of with appropriate therapy.
Get a second or third opinion
We often get emails from desperate people who are not happy with the therapy the dermatologist has prescribed. Many report that their rosacea got worse after stopping the medication. We often read that it is not entirely clear whether it is rosacea. Even dermatologists sometimes find it difficult to diagnose because the symptoms often resemble acne. Therefore: If you are not 100% convinced, get a second opinion.
Be active and get informed
No therapy works that well if you don't help. This is particularly important for skin diseases. Deal with your illness yourself - keyword diary. And make sure to avoid things you suspect are triggers. An anti-inflammatory diet is a help, but also active stress reduction.
Rosacea skin care
With this dermatosis, the best skin care cannot replace medical treatment. But it can very well support and prevent. Finding the right care for rosacea is not easy because every skin reacts a little differently. Only you can find out how you react to certain ingredients. Discomfort such as burning or itching is an indication that you should avoid the product.
What to look out for with rosacea
In the case of inflammation, you should avoid everything that irritates.This includes facial tonic with alcohol, aggressive cleaning agents, but also numerous additives that have to be added to water-based products
💧 Better: If cleaning then super-gentle, for example Example with coconut or sugar surfactants, which are usually found in natural cosmetics. Then gently dab the skin, do not rub with the towel.
Even if the skin feels dry, rich creams, especially classic products with mineral oils, are nothing to you. They have an occlusive effect, so they stay on the skin. This will allow more heat to build up in your inflamed skin, making the problem worse.
🌱 Products with vegetable oils, on the other hand, penetrate the skin instead of covering it like a plastic film.
- Less is more. Rosacea means being sparing with products and even water. It should be lukewarm at best, never hot. Your skin may even react to plain water. Then distilled can be the solution to wash your face.
- Avoid anything that promotes blood circulation in the face. So keep your hands off peelings, whether mechanical or with fruit acids. There are also ingredients that stimulate blood circulation. Now also avoid menthol, rosemary, fragrances and caffeine.
Go naked: If at all possible, do without make-up. Conventional foundations usually contain mineral oils and silicones, which again have an occlusive effect. Of course, it's understandable if you'd like to cover up the redness. If you really don't want to do without it, you'd better grab Mineral Make-up.
Avoid very complex products, i.e. those with many ingredients. Often there are a good 30 pieces in conventional cosmetics. There is always something that irritates your skin or dries it out even more. Emulsifiers for example. Since these are mostly found in creams, you should consider abandoning the concept of “cream” altogether.
💡 Alternatives to creams are emulsifier-free moisturizing serums such as the FIVE face serum and a vegetable oil.
- Always wear sunscreen. Choose the SPF high enough for your fair skin type. Sunscreen with mineral UV filters is more suitable than chemical filters. The latter convert the light into heat and your inflamed skin just has more than enough of that.
Are FIVE products suitable for rosacea?
This question often reaches us. Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this. Everyone's skin behaves a little differently and has different triggers. What tends to be good about the FIVE products for rosacea is that they are so minimalist. They therefore contain no alcohol, mineral oils, emulsifiers, parabens, etc., because they are designed for sensitive skin, but not specifically for rosacea.
What is usually very well tolerated is the FIVE face serum. It provides plenty of moisture with vegan hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which your damaged skin quickly loses. And the rose hydrosol has a calming effect. Some customers also tolerate the FIVE facial oils very well, others not so much because they contain essential oils.
Start with the FIVE face serum. If that suits you perfectly, you could also try one of the FIVE facial oils and use them very sparingly.Or you combine the face serum with an unperfumed vegetable oil that strengthens the skin barrier. I can recommend the ceramide oil from Pai Skincare . You can use this as care and to remove make-up. Simply massage some of it into your dry face and gently remove it with a lukewarm cotton cloth - don't forget: don't rub. With these two products in combination with a sunscreen, for example from Pai , you give your skin all the care it needs .
Conclusion: Rosacea needs to be treated
This point is very important. Good, low-irritant care helps, but cannot work miracles on its own. So find the dermatology practice you trust and work actively, for example by keeping a diary. So you get to know your triggers and can avoid them. Also try to change your nutrition to anti-inflammatory, because a lot of what we eat promotes inflammation. And reduce your stress. This gives you a good chance of getting your skin conditions under control.