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 breaks out for the first time. 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 show up as swellings on the face, because there is a lot of lymph going there.
☝️ This level is often confused with acne and treated incorrectly. Acne leads to keratinization, which causes comedones and inflammatory pimples, which are mainly reddened locally. In rosacea, on the other hand, the inflammation is 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 flare-ups of rosacea
Some people are probably more prone to developing rosacea, but the actual cause of rosacea has not yet been clearly clarified. However, this does not mean that one does not 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 conditions: UV rays, Stress, nutrition, 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.
🖋 Recognizing and avoiding triggers - your rosacea diary: Whether on paper or in an app, write down how you are feeling, emotionally and from complexion. Note any 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 dermatologists have 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 inform yourself
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 a help, but also active stress reduction.