“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
Skin Health: Healing Rosacea
I’ve lived with rosacea for the majority of my life. It probably doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but it’s been a cause of feeling self conscious, dreading public presentations and knowing everyone thinks I’m blushing. I’ve even been approached at the gym and yoga, asking me if Im alright. Not only does rosacea make your face look flush, but acne like bumps just make a bad thing worse!
Nearly three- quarters of rosacea patients report low self-esteem because of its impact. It’s even been reported that it can adversely affect career opportunities, often being perceived as less confident or looking embarrassed. I know it’s impeded me from speaking up in a heated debate, stepping forward in marketing myself, sometimes even maintaining eye contact. Through my work and years of experimenting I’ve found ways to manage my rosacea, so I’ve compiled a list for you of some common triggers and some soothing tactics:
Food and beverages What you eat and drink can affect rosacea symptoms — especially spicy foods or hot soup and drinks. Watch for the following, and track when you eat these trigger foods/drinks to determine which ones affect you: Thermally hot drinks such as soup, hot chocolate Caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee Spicy seasonings such as white or black pepper, paprika, red pepper, cayenne Alcohol, especially red wine. Since testing patients for sensitivities, I’ve begun to correlate atypical food sensitivities with flare ups.
Sun exposure Exposure to UV seems to make rosacea worse, so rosacea sufferers are advised to use sunscreen with an SPF value of 30 or more daily. Try to avoid the sun at peak times, primarily between 11 am and 3 pm.
Temperature extremes Extremely hot or cold weather conditions, very dry or humid air, wind and indoor heat exposure can be triggers. The key is to stay cool in hot weather, cover skin and moisturize when it is cold outdoors, and avoid hot baths, saunas or other environmental factors that raise your body temperature.
Intense exercise High-intensity workouts overheat the body, which can trigger flushing. Avoiding vigorous exercise or divide it into shorter sessions. You can also find ways to stay cool while working out, such as exercising outdoors during cooler weather, or working out indoors in an air-conditioned space when it’s hot outside.
Stress Stress is one of the most common triggers associated with rosacea flare-ups. If this is a trigger for you, seek out ways to manage emotional upset — such as getting enough sleep, deep breathing and stretching, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Remember that too much caffeine and sugar, dehydration or skipping meals can also raise stress levels.
Medications Extended use of prescription-strength cortisone creams on the face can precipitate rosacea flares and worsen rosacea symptoms. Topical acne treatments may also increase dryness and exacerbate rosacea. Certain medications that cause vasodilation (enlarged blood vessels) and flushing can also prompt flare-ups. Consult your physician if you think your medication plays a role in rosacea flares.
Cosmetic products Products with fragrance, alcohol, abrasives or other irritating ingredients can aggravate rosacea symptoms. Remember that rosacea-prone skin is sensitive and dry, so choose only mild products.
Of all the triggers, stress is the biggest one for me. As I’ve been meeting my nutritional and bioenergetic clients digitally from home lately, zoom meetings are a daily activity for me. During some meetings I can see my face getting red and blotchy at the slightest perception of stress. I’m not actually aware I’m even stressed, but my nervous system is. This is why I wanted to share a few things that have helped me.
Some Helpful Tips:
1. Identify trigger foods and the best products for you using bio-feedback.
2. Use a green pigmented primer.
3. Try washing your face with CeraVe – It contains protective ingredients and it’s inexpensive.
4. Avoid sun damage and wear a high SPF barrier sunscreen.
5. Try using a high quality hyaluronic acid.
6. Keep skin highly moisturized.
7. Avoid hot tubs.
8. Use a cooling cloth when you feel overheated, even in temporarily hot moments like when opening the oven.
9. Use deep breathing to stay calm.
10. Manage your mental and emotional wellbeing.
11. Topical antibiotics can be helpful.
12. A BBL laser treatment after antibiotics was very helpful for me.
13. Have COMPASSION for yourself. Living in shame creates more of the same.
What’s the verdict You’ll still get flare ups from typical triggers, so have some compassion for your lovely complexion. Show yourself love and use proven strategies to manage moments of stress, as they happen. Take care to reduce exposure to triggers. For more information on how I can help you identify your sensitivities and solutions using bio feedback contact me. I’ve got over 15 years in healthcare and I’m your ally, ready to support you with biofeedback testing, bioenergetic resonance and Loving Kindness Method.