skin care in patients with rosacea
Rosacea is a chronic skin disease affecting primarily the face. It is common in the third and fourth decade of life, peaking at the age of 40 and 50 years. The causes of rosacea are still not identified, one important factor seems to be a microcirculatory disturbance. Rosacea occurs in stages. The early stage is characterised by persistent erythema (reddening) and telangiectasia (dilatation of tiny blood vessels appearing as fine lines), followed by papules and papulopustules. Later, there may occur diffuse enlargement of connective tissue and sebaceous (oil) glands, resulting in a hypertrophy of the nose, a so-called rhinophyma. The clinical appearance can be similar to acne, but in contrast rosacea is not a primary follicular disease.
Rosacea requires medical / dermatological treatment. Several topical (creams, lotions etc.) and systemic (pills, tablets) medications are available.
Skin care in rosacea patients has to allow for the fact that different skin types may go along with this disease, and the patients' skin is often very sensitive.
Aggressive, irritating and alcoholic cleansing products should be avoided. Mild, soap-free, acidic (pH 4 - 6) cleansing products should be employed. Special rosacea cleansers, e.g. containing sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur, may be used. Abrasive cleansers ("peelings") are not recommended in sensitive skin.
Hot or cold water temperature should be avoided. For wiping the face dry, a soft towel is recommended.
The applied skin care products should be free of irritants. Products containing alcohol, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil and fragrances should be avoided in order to minimize irritation of the skin, as well as greasy products.
As rosacea can come along with either normal, oily or dry skin, skin care products should be chosen according to the existing skin type.
It is an absolute must in patients with rosacea. Sunscreens with high protection factors (20 - 30) should be used for the face. If irritation occurs after the use of sunscreens with chemical filters, products with physical filters containing titanium and iron particles may be tried.