Everybody knows what acne is, but what about acne rosacea? It is a condition that affects many around the world, including such recent world leaders as former president Bill Clinton and Russian prime minister Boris Yeltsin. Acne rosacea is a chronic inflammation of the blood vessels in the skin and particularly facial area. It causes the face to have a rough complexion with multiple small acne patches on the forehead, nose, and cheeks. It is more commonly found in men where it causes the skin on the nose to swell and thicken. Untreated, this swelling of the nose could eventually lead to a condition called rhinophyma. There are many factors that pertain to rosacea outbreaks. Two of the most common causes are consuming alcoholic beverages and consuming rich, spicy foods. If someone thinks they may be suffering from acne rosacea, they should consult a physician, as its symptoms are similar to a more serious condition known as Lupus.
Acne rosacea makes the face and skin more sensitive than healthy, uninjured skin. It attacks the skin through the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin. It is made up of dead skin cells that are held in place by keratin, a protein found in the body. The stratum corneum keeps molecules from passing in and out of the outer-most layer and protects the under layers of the skin, making them less susceptible to skin sensitivity. Healthy, unaffected skin has a lower chance of being irritated by skin care products. With acne rosacea, the skin tissue becomes more susceptible to irritations from damaged nerve endings or an excess of neurotransmitters. As the condition worsens, the skin can no longer protect the nerve endings adequately. Even though a healthy immune system and repeated moisturizing will help to minimize these effects, some additional steps may still need to be taken.
People who suffer from acne rosacea should avoid using products that will dry out the skin, such as alcohol. Instead they should try a solution such as Proactive or other similar alcohol-free cleansers. Other products such as Clearasil or Oxy-5 contain the ingredients benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which are known to be agents that fight off acne. If in combination with any other products, such as retinoid, users should discontinue the topical application of products, as it may further dry out and irritate the skin.
It is also important to remember to be gentler when washing your face. Acne rosacea patients should not think that scrubbing harder is going to be any better. It is also important not to wash and clean the face an excessive amount of times. It is basically about using a gently exfoliating product, such as Proactive or Nuetrogena, and taking the care to do it right. Acne rosacea patients should use gentle cleansing products and also protect their sensitive skin with a dye-free moisturizer containing petrolatum, glycerin, or aloe vera. All of these ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties, which will help keep the skin moisturized and protected. Applying a light coat of this to the affected area before going outdoors, particularly in the sun, will help minimize acne outbreaks.
Acne rosacea can stay with a person, especially men, for their entire lives. But it doesn’t necessarily have to. It does go away naturally in many cases, so in the meantime; take a little care to keep it at a minimum.