Rosacea: Understanding and Managing the Different Types
Flushed cheeks, redness and overly sensitive skin is a familiar skin issue for many. If this is a problem for you, a doctor or dermatologist may have diagnosed you with some type of rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide and is a frustrating and challenging condition to manage. Its symptoms can range from mild facial redness to severe flare-ups, causing discomfort and affecting self-esteem. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of rosacea, their causes and the role probiotics can play in managing the condition.
What causes Rosacea?
While the exact cause of rosacea remains unclear, several factors contribute to its development and exacerbation. These include genetic predisposition, abnormalities in blood vessels, immune system dysfunction, and the presence of certain microscopic mites on the skin called Demodex, and microbial dysbiosis. Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine (SIBO) has also been linked to Rosacea in some studies. However, it's important to note that not everyone with these factors will develop rosacea, and it may vary from person to person.
Types of rosacea:
Rosacea can manifest in different ways, each with its unique set of symptoms and causes. Understanding the type of rosacea you have, and what the underlying cause is will help you on the journey to understanding how to deal with it.
Type 1: Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea
This type is characterized by persistent facial redness, visible blood vessels (telangiectasias), and a tendency to flush easily. It may be accompanied by a stinging or burning sensation and can be aggravated by triggers such as sun exposure, temperature changes, or certain skincare products.
Type 2: Papulopustular Rosacea
Commonly referred to as acne rosacea, this type involves redness, swelling, and the appearance of acne-like bumps or pustules. It often affects the central part of the face, including the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. Triggers for papulopustular rosacea can include stress, spicy foods, alcohol, or certain medications.
Type 3: Phymatous Rosacea
Phymatous rosacea is characterized by thickened skin and enlarged pores, primarily affecting the nose (rhinophyma). It can also affect other areas of the face, leading to a bumpy and uneven texture. While the exact cause of phymatous rosacea is still unknown, it is believed to be related to the long-term effects of untreated rosacea.
The Role of Probiotics in Managing Rosacea:
Probiotics, both in oral supplements and topical skincare products, have gained attention for their potential in managing rosacea symptoms. Some of these beneficial bacteria are believed to help restore the skin's natural balance, strengthen the skin barrier, and reduce inflammation. When ingested orally, probiotics are believed to help improve the gut microbiome, which can have an impact on your skin.
Rosacea type 1 is often signified by visible blood vessels, and whilst this is not something that probiotics can reduce or reverse, they can help reduce inflammation, correct microbiome imbalances, and strengthen the skin barrier. BAK Oil for Redness is formulated with gentle natural oils and probiotics to calm and soothe sensitive skin, reducing redness and promoting a healthier complexion.
Rosacea type 2 is often mistaken for acne due to the presence of papules and pustules. It’s often accompanied by dry and irritated patches of skin, especially in the area around the mouth and nose. Our Serum for Acne-prone Skin can sometimes be a better match for skintypes suffering these types of irritation as it’s more hydrating than Oil for Redness. It’s jojoba oil base means it’s non comedogenic and won’t block pores.
Managing skin prone to redness
Many individuals with rosacea experience seasonal fluctuations in their symptoms. Cold weather, wind, and low humidity can lead to increased dryness and sensitivity, while hot weather and sun exposure can trigger flushing and redness. Adapting your skincare routine and lifestyle habits accordingly can help manage these seasonal changes effectively.
Gentle Cleansing: Use a mild, non-irritating cleanser like BAK Prebiotic Cleanser to wash your face. Avoid harsh scrubbing or using hot water, as these can worsen redness and inflammation.
Sun Protection: Shield your skin from the sun's harmful rays by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. Opt for physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they are less likely to irritate the skin.
Avoid Triggers: Identify and avoid triggers that aggravate your rosacea symptoms. Common triggers include spicy foods, alcohol, hot beverages, extreme temperatures, and certain skincare products. The key is to avoid causing inflammation in the body. Keep a diary to track your flare-ups and identify patterns.
Moisturize Regularly: Moisturizing is essential for rosacea-prone skin, as it helps maintain hydration and strengthens the skin barrier. Choose gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizers that are free from potential irritants such as fragrances and alcohol. Oil-based products are fine to use, as long as they’re non comedogenic and won’t block your pores.
We know that layering on heavy make-up to cover up redness is a short-term solution, but please try to give your skin a break whenever possible. Some of the products that are very effective at covering redness are not very natural, and can really disrupt your skin’s microbiome and result in a worsening of the condition. Remember to consult a dermatologist for personalized guidance, and think holistically when you approach your skin’s wellbeing.