What do Bill Clinton and Sir Alex Ferguson have in common? The answer: rosacea, a ruddy complexion that in some cases can mistakenly be attributed to a problem with alcohol. This is only one of the challenges facing those with the debilitating skin condition rosacea. Many have never heard of it and assume their red face and flushingis merely a sign of aging.While there are undoubtedly more sufferers over the age of 40, there are still others in their early 20s or 30s who have not been diagnosed – surprising given that it affects one in ten of those in the UK.
- Facial redness, most commonly covering the nose and cheeks.
- Acne-like spots.
- Red flash on face (butterfly shape over nose and cheeks)
- Broken veins on nose and cheeks.
- Swollen and tender skin.
- Extreme sensitivity to temperature changes.
- Flushing and blushing.
- Nearly 75% of sufferers reported that stress alone was responsible for flare-ups.
- Extremes of temperature are a key trigger. Cold weather leaves the skin feeling extremely tingly, as does wind for those with rosacea.
- Spicy food can trigger a flush response.
- Alcohol can exacerbate symptoms so badly that many with rosacea will avoid drinking alcohol in public.
- Caffeine is not a trigger. But the heat from a hot drink may irritate the skin and set off symptoms.
- 44% blamed foods, including tomatoes, cheese (except cottage), spinach, yogurt, plums, raisins, vinegar, yeast-containing foods, chocolate and marinated foods.
People who’ve always taken their good skin for granted perhaps can’t quite imagine what it’s like to wake up every day feeling flawed and not fit to face the world without a layer of disguising foundation. Psycho-dermatologists agree that the extent of a disease – whether acne, rosacea, vitiligo or psoriasis – is irrelevant to the impact it can have on self-esteem, self-confidence, relationshipsand one’s performance in the workplace. ‘Anything that involves the face,’ says Dr Bewley, ‘automatically has an effect on confidence. And if you talk to people who have arthritis, say, or a heart condition as well as a skin disorder, they will very often say that the latter causes them more unhappiness than the former.’ That’s why, he continues, ‘no good dermatologist should ever underestimate its psychological impact.’
Rosacea is a progressive problem with no cure. However rosacea can be controlled and skin maintained looking healthy and free of disease. In mild to moderate cases, Obagi Rosaclear® System helps to prevent the progression of the disease, reduce or prevent pustules and pimples, and reduce redness. The kit contains a cleanser, hydrator, and metronidazole. Sunscreen is sold separately. This system is designed to specifically treat rosacea!