Maybe those rosy cheeks in wintertime, or after an active workout session is the way your skin naturally blushes and glows. If your skin is comfortable and you have an active lifestyle, you may just have very well-nourished skin with a genetic tendency towards higher color. If so, count yourself lucky!
However, if your skin redness is also accompanied by blotchiness, irritation, itchiness, dryness and other uncomfortable conditions you are likely suffering from a dermatological condition that requires attention. Namely Rosacea. And since Rosacea is a progressive, not curable condition, so the sooner you catch it and treat it, the better!
WHAT CAUSES SKIN REDNESS:
Did you know? that 1 out of every 4 people in the US has rosacea and doesn’t realize it? And the odds increase exponentially as you get older.. In fact, 15 million men and women in the US alone are affected with the condition.
Skin Redness (Erythema) has three main components:
- Compromised Skin Barrier
- Hyper-Reactive Sensory Fibers of the Skin.
In normal cases, one may experience Erythema as a metabolic/physiological condition (i.e; during a Fever, Hot Ambient (Environmental) Temperature, Menopausal Hot Flashes, Prescription Drugs, Caffeinated Beverages, Spicy Foods, Alcohol and Allergenic and/or Comedogenic Cosmetics. This is the result of dilation of the superficial capillaries under our skin and causes marked redness for a brief period of time and then subsides as the cause is removed.
However, Inflammation and Allergic Reactions may trigger the appearance of irritated patchy blotches, and bring on a chronic hypersensitive reddened skin. Here are some of the underlying physical causes for irritated, over-sensitive and red skin:
- Rosacea (a Chronic Disorder)
- Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
- Other severe medical conditions like – Angioedema, Cellulitis, Psoriasis, Hive Rash etc.
FACTORS THAT TRIGGER FACIAL REDNESS:
The Inflammatory Hereditary condition known as Rosacea is a slowly progressive and not an overnight condition. In fact, it develops so gradually, many people mistake it for a normal flush or another acne episode.
According to research by Dermatologist Julie Anne Winfield and The National Rosacea Society, Rosacea is extremely common in certain ethnic groups. For instance, English descendants have a 27% chance of having Rosacea if one of their parents suffered from the condition, on the other hand, those who have an Irish lineage have a 33% chance.
Some Additional Science: People with Rosacea also tend to have higher levels of pro-inflammatory peptides known as cathelicidins in their skin which is responsible for the overreaction and an unwarranted and unreasonable inflammatory response. Relapses can also occur due to intestinal bacteria Helicobacteria pylori.
Did you know? Your facial skin is home to a form of microscopic flora (part of your skin’s normal ecosystem) known as Demodex Mites. However, some people have an unusual immunological response to them, and this is widely believed to the primary cause of rosacea.
Erythematous (Reddened) skin is often triggered by stimuli such as Allergens, Poor Lifestyle, and Psychological Factors such as Stress, Negative Emotions, and Anger. Other primary factors are Hormonal Shifts/Imbalances, Temperature Changes, your Skin Phototype (degree of sensitivity towards the sun) and certain chemicals (Artificial Fragrances, Toxic ingredients in Skincare, Detergents etc.), which aggravate the underlying sensory nerves, causing skin redness to occur. There is a growing body of evidence implicating Environmental Pollution and Chemical Excitotoxins as perhaps the biggest contributory factor in Urban settings leading to the alarming uptick in recent years of seriously hypersensitive skin.
People with hypersensitive red skin may or may not show outward symptoms, especially in the early stages of the condition, although they may complain of unpleasant symptoms such as burning, stinging and itching. This is why is so incredibly important to catch the problem before it progresses into a full-blown serious chronic skin issue.
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Follow this checklist for the things you should/shouldn’t do if you suffer from Facial (or Chest/Neck) Skin Redness:
- Don’t use a foaming cleanser that contains chemicals such as SLES or SLS as surfactants as they can strip the natural oils (sebum) from your face and make it dry and irritated.
- Don’t use too may Exfoliating products as vigorous exfoliation can traumatize the blood vessels under your skin, making the capillaries more exposed, dilated and prominent.
- Don’t try to cover up your flares with comedogenic cosmetics as they can further aggravate the condition.
- Make sure you use only pH balance products containing no harsh chemicals on your skin.
Ready to learn about Solutions? Follow our post next week: The Path to Natural Rosacea Treatment : How to Reduce Facial Redness.