Is it Rosacea?
My recent blogs have been all about Skincare & Essential Oils. I found so much information, that I am continuing this month with a blog about Rosacea…
This chronic skin condition affects women more than men, & is usually diagnosed between the ages of 30 – 50. Rosacea can be recognized by ongoing facial blushing across the cheeks & on the chin. Your skin may get dry or flaky, feel itchy, or sting. The symptoms of Rosacea have been broken up into 4 sub-categories; they are:
- Erythematelangiectatic Rosacea: flushing of the skin, visible or enlarged blood vessels
- Papulopustular Rosacea: Swelling & redness of the skin, acne-like breakouts (pimples and/or bumps on the skin, but not black or whiteheads).
- Phymatous Rosacea: a thickening or a rough, bumpy texture of the skin; (Men typically get this type of Rosacea, which also may include an enlargement of the nose, a condition known as rhinophyma.)
- Ocular Rosacea: irritated or gritty eyes; eyelids may get red or swollen.
Causes of Rosacea:
The causes of Rosacea are not exactly known. While research is ongoing, what they have found were some common factors that many Rosacea sufferers share.
- Genetics may be a factor. Some think that Rosacea may run in families.
- The Rosacea may be caused by an over-reaction of the body’s immune system.
- The microscopic “Demodex” mite that commonly lives on the skin may be a factor. Studies have shown that some Rosacea patients have a larger than the normal number of this mite on their skin.
- The body’s reaction & ability to process to a protein called Cathelicidin, may cause the redness of the skin & “determine whether a person gets Rosacea.”
Common Triggers: Our daily lifestyle choices may also trigger a Rosacea flare-up. These triggers can vary from person to person. These triggers are:
- Weather conditions like cold & dry winters or hot, dry summers. Sun exposure is also a factor, causing irritation or redness… *** Protect your skin from extreme weather. Apply appropriate lotions to help with dryness & irritation; Sunscreens to protect your skin are highly recommended.
- Stress may trigger some people’s Rosacea flare ups. *** Managing your stress is so important in all aspects of our life. Check out my blog on Stress & Self-Care for more info.
- Extreme exercise along with a lot of sweating may irritate the skin. *** Try less intense forms of exercise. Also, have a cool shower to reduce your temperature & wash the sweat off of your face & body as soon as possible after a workout.
- Your Diet may trigger Rosacea; this includes hot caffeinated drinks, spicy food & alcohol especially red wine. *** Keep a food diary to track of your diet, & your triggers. Then modify your diet as needed. This is an important step because everyone’s triggers are different.
- Make-Up & Skincare may cause Rosacea flare ups. *** Check out the ingredients in your products & avoid abrasive exfoliators. Unfortunately, it is usually by trial & error to find the right products for you. (And you will need to be flexible because your skin triggers can change
When it comes to skincare you may also want to consider using Essential Oils that have been diluted in a Carrier Oil. Like I mentioned in my blogs: ” Love the “Skin” you’re in…” and “Love your Skin Part 2 – Carrier Oil.” Essential & Carrier Oils have different properties that are helpful for different types of skin & skin conditions, which also include Rosacea.
Carrier Oils to consider for Rosacea: Try Jojoba, Camellia Seed, or Rice Bran oils. (You can also add Infused Calendula oil or Rosehip Seed Oil as a 10% additive to your blend.)
Essential Oils to consider for Rosacea:
Geranium: (Pelargonium graveolens) this relaxing essential oil is good for all skin types as it balances sebum production. Geranium’s astringent and antiseptic properties would be helpful for symptoms of Rosacea like redness or enlarged capillaries.
Lavender: (Lavendula Angustifolia) the workhorse of all essential oils, Lavender’s gentle antiseptic & anti-inflammatory properties would be helpful in dealing with Rosacea, as well as calming any stress that you may be feeling.
German Chamomile: (Matricaria recutita) One of the most gentle, calming essential oils, it has properties that help with stress, are helpful for sensitive skin, & help to reduce redness due to enlarged capillaries.
Helichrysum: (Helichrysum italicum) this essential oil, (also called Everlasting), is a gentle oil that has antiseptic & anti-inflammatory properties that are especially good for the inflamed skin that goes along with Rosacea.
Neroli: (Citrus aurantium var amara) this essential oil is from the blossom of the Bitter Orange Tree; it’s thought to reduce redness, soothe dry skin with broken capillaries as well as ease any stress or anxiety that you may be feeling.
Sandalwood: (Santalum spicatum) A gentle oil that has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe inflamed, irritated or dry skin. Sandalwood is a meditative essential oil that helps to calm stress & anxiety. (You can also use Patchouli essential oil)
Bergamot: (Citrus bergamia) to avoid phototoxicity use the bergaptene-free variety of Bergamot for skin care. Its antiseptic properties make it a useful addition to Rosacea blends. Bergamot is also calming/uplifting quality.
Ho Wood ct Linalool: (Cinnamomum camphora ct Linalool) this relaxing essential oil has a similar scent to Rosewood essential oil. Ho Wood is useful for inflamed & irritated skin & smells amazing.
Tea tree: (Melaleuca alternifolia) Its antiseptic properties are helpful for the inflammation & acne-like bumps of Rosacea. ( I also like Niaouli, which is in the Melaleuca family as well, & when properly diluted is considered a non-irritant in skin care.)
Hydrosols for Rosacea: Hydrosols are the by-product of the steam distillation process of essential oils & work well as toners. Anti-inflammatory Hydrosols to consider are Rose Geranium, Calendula, German or Roman Chamomile & Helichrysum.
If you think that you have Rosacea, I would get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. There are different things that you can do to modify your lifestyle as well as types of treatment to consider in the management of your Rosacea; so get informed so you can make the appropriate choice for yourself or your family member.
My Blog is for Information Only & is not meant to diagnose or replace Medical Advice. Essential Oils should not be ingested & always need to be diluted before topical use.
Check out my Essential Oil Safety pages for more info on dilutions. Use caution if you are pregnant, epileptic & for children under 10 years of age.
Battaglia Salvatore. (2003) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia,
Worwood, V. A. (2016). The complete book of essential oils and aromatherapy: over 800 natural, nontoxic, and fragrant … recipes to create health, beauty, and safe home an. New World Library.
Photos from canstockphoto.com/ksuklein/tashka2000/vili45/claudiodivizia/membio/raweenuttapong/spline