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Disorders

Face Redness | Rosacea

Do you experience face redness other than times when you’re hot, drinking alcohol, or blushing from embarrassment?  Or, do you have an unexplained red rash on your face?  If so, it could be Rosacea – a condition that affects more women than men, yet is still a problem for many men, who typically have more severe cases than women.

Fair skinned people are at greatest risk, especially those of northern European decent.  The condition was originally known as “the curse of the Celts”, but is much more widespread than that now and can affect anyone, but usually those with light skin.  Apparently, one in twenty Americans have it to some degree, but many do not realize it because it’s mild and not problematic.  However, not all face redness is due to Rosacea, so, depending on your situation, it could be caused by other issues, which I’ll also discuss in this article.  But, first, let’s talk about Rosacea.

Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that typically affects the forehead, cheekbones, nose and chin.  Occasionally, skin on other parts of the body is affected, also.  Clusters of capillaries, close to the surface of the skin, dilate and cause red blotchy areas on the skin, known as flushing.  These areas often include small bumps and pimples, resembling acne, but without the presence of black or whiteheads.  The redness usually comes and goes; however, it can become permanent if the blood vessels remain enlarged.  The skin can also swell and become thickened in the blotchy areas and be painful to the touch.  Eyes can be affected, also.  When eyes are involved, there’s often burning and grittiness inside the eye, and eyelids are usually inflamed and swollen.

Rosacea normally begins with frequent flushing, most often on the nose and cheeks.  The flushing can then spread across the face with the eventual emergence of small bumps.    Men often have nose involvement, which over time often leads to nose swelling, known as Rhinophyma.  Rosacea is an inflammatory condition that usually strikes between the ages of 30 and 50, and normally takes years from the onset to acquire late development symptoms.  Early treatment is the best way to control the situation and to avoid looking like Carl Malden or W.C. Fields – two famous men whose noses were victimized by Rosacea.

No one really knows what causes Rosacea; however there are lifestyle changes and treatments you can try to minimize it and get it under control.  Since inflammation is a key factor, the first place to start is to avoid inflammatory triggers.  The biggest offenders for most people are alcohol, spicy foods, hot liquids, sunlight, humidity and skincare products that contain alcohol.  However, avoid anything that brings heat or irritation to your face, or that will make your face red.  (No, this does not include sex or exercise.  Is anything really more important than those two things?!)  Seriously, do what you can to avoid causing your face to flush, including washing it with hot water.  If you deal with Rosacea, you probably already know your triggers, which vary from person to person; so please do what you need to do to reduce flare-ups.

Unfortunately, Rosacea is not curable, but there are many forms of treatment: from natural supplements to laser treatment, with creams and medications in between.  There are also Rosacea diets that prove effective for many people.  A dermatologist would be the best doctor to see for medical treatment, who can also perform laser and intense pulse-light therapy; two effective types of treatment that are commonly used, which can provide years of relief.  With so many approaches available today, no one should have to suffer with Rosacea.  Since this is a condition that usually worsens with time, be proactive and take measures to control it now.

Telangiectasia, or broken capillaries, is another reason thread-like vessels are visible on the face.  Bruising, caused by damage or pressure, actually breaks the capillaries, which don’t heal; leaving visible pinkish spider veins, particularly on the nose and cheeks.  Scrubbing your face too vigorously, which includes exfoliating; squeezing blemishes; bruises; even hot water can cause these delicate blood vessels to break, which is easy to do, since they’re right below the skin.  Dry skin is also responsible for vessel breakage because dehydrated skin is not as protective as hydrated skin.  Read my article, Save Your Skin, for tips on keeping skin well moisturized.  Avoid the use of alcohol toners and any skin products that contain alcohol, since it weakens capillaries.  Broken capillaries are often more noticeable as we age because skin becomes thinner and more translucent.

Another possible cause of visible capillaries is alcoholism, or excessive consumption of alcohol.  Alcohol raises blood pressure, which dilates the vessels, and over time will cause vessels to stay permanently dilated.  Another good reason not to abuse alcohol!

It’s not always possible to avoid breaking capillaries, but taking precautions will certainly reduce the amount that become damaged.  Again, a dermatologist is the physician of choice who can treat broken blood vessels.  Laser and other forms of light therapy are typically administered.  If your situation is not extreme, and you prefer to try some home remedies to reduce the appearance of broken capillaries, some popular therapies are

  1. Apply ice in a circular motion on the skin where capillaries are seen, which will constrict the vessels and reduce their visibility.
  2. Up your intake of vitamin C and include bioflavonoids, which strengthen blood vessels, by eating more citrus, cherries, red peppers and other foods known to have these ingredients.  Vitamin C and bioflavonoids in supplement form are a great option, as well, and both can be found in one combined product.
  3. Vitamin E strengthens vessels.  Breakfast cereals, almonds, sunflower seeds, tomato products and spinach are some of the foods with the highest vitamin E content.  Vitamin E supplements are also a good choice.  Be sure to speak with someone knowledgeable about the amount you should take based on your individual needs.
  4. Rosehip oil and witch hazel oil (not witch hazel astringent) are beneficial not only for broken vessels, but for reducing the appearance of lines, wrinkles and scars.

 

We all know how important our face is, so treat it with the care and respect it deserves and it will be good to you.  Traditionally, as men, we have not been taught to do this, but along with so many other outdated issues, times have changed.  So, take care of your face… you only get one!

by Aaron Marino


Past Topics

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Simple Skincare for Men -
January 6, 2012
Times have definitely changed when it comes to men’s skincare. We’ve come out of the dark ages, and are now permitted and encouraged to take care of our skin. However, many of us are still clueless about what traditionally has been for women only, and have no idea what skincare is really about or how to address it. Along with being oblivious, we’re usually intimidated and embarrassed by the Read More»
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August 5, 2011
When was the last time you took a good close look at your nose? Have you paid special attention to your pores? Did you notice that the pores on your nose are larger than the rest of your face? Dark pores are blackheads (clogged pores). Aaron Marino of alpha m. talks about how to get rid of these blackheads. Excess dirt, oil, moisturizer, and foundation gets stuck in the pores and builds-up. Once aRead More»
Dark Under Eye Circles | Causes, Treatment, Cure -
February 12, 2011
Some days when you wake up, do you feel tired? Tired also means old, ugly, hung-over, and strung-out. The point is that when someone says you look 'tired' means that you don't look so hot. Aaron Marino of alpha m. says that dark under eye circles can age a person more than gray hair and wrinkles. If persisting, dark under eye circles could be a illness or darker pigmentation where the melanin accuRead More»

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