Our skin is our largest and one of the most reactive organs in our body. It will respond to both internal and external factors such as emotions, cosmetics, medications, foods and the environment. The term sensitive skin can often be used when the condition presented is actually rosacea and vice versa. Understanding the two skin conditions usually makes it easier to treat and heal both the sensitive and the rosacea skin.
Signs of a sensitive skin are redness, rashes, irritation, thin skin, reactivity increasing over time, fragile capillaries and compromised immunity. Various elements, disturbances and substances both inside and outside the body make the skin a reactive mechanism. All skin can have some level of sensitivity and often once the irritant is removed the skin can return to a healthy functioning organ. The level of irritation or disturbance to the skin will determine whether skin is truly sensitive. Skin irritants such as smoking, excessive alcohol, medications, parabens, dyes, and synthetic fragrances are some of the things the skin will respond to. Other irritants to aggravate the skin may be extreme environmental elements such as air conditioning, heating, the sun, heavy pollution and the wind. Compromised immunity and health issues at a cellular level along with a thin skin and fragile capillaries can also be the basis for a sensitive skin.
Signs of a rosacea skin might be continuous redness, centralized facial redness, irritated skin, dilated veins, expanded capillaries, papules and pustules, and fibroplasia. Rosacea can appear in 3 stages of progression. Blushing or flushing is part of the first stage of rosacea. In stage one skin irritation can be caused by acne medications, topical products, chemical based sunscreens and improper care and protection. Papules, pustules, and expanded surface capillaries along with continuous reddening are visible signs of stage two of acne rosacea. Enlarged pores, a deeper more persistent reddening and dilated capillaries particularly around the nose are obvious signs of stage three of rosacea. There is much research surrounding the causes of acne rosacea. Some of the possible contributing factors to a rosacea skin are a sluggish circulatory system, emotional stress impacting the nervous system, gut issues created by bad bacteria not being able to release itself from the body and the demodex mite which is substantially higher in those suffering from rosacea. Spicy food, alcohol, certain cosmetics, extreme temperatures, drugs, sunlight or medications can be triggers for acne rosacea.
Restoring compromised skin whether it be sensitivity or acne rosacea is possible, but there is definitely not a one size fits all answer. To restore and strengthen either skin condition there are some topical ingredients that will assist in this process. These may include one of or a combination of ingredients such as mandelic arginine, beta hydroxy acids, stem cells, sea buckthorn oil, omega essential fatty acids, hibiscus acid, vitamins, minerals and flower extracts such as chamomile, purple coneflower and cornflower and edelweiss. These are but a few ingredients that are able to successfully treat rosacea and reduce sensitivity. These ingredients will reduce inflammation, nourish, soothe, provide antimicrobial benefits, strengthen capillary and blood vessel walls and provide wound healing support. All of these ingredients can be used in both home care and clinical treatments and will reduce the visible signs and symptoms of acne rosacea and sensitive skin. IPL can also be added in clinic to reduce the rosacea flare ups.
As it can be seen there are many similarities between both skin conditions. It is paramount to eliminate the aggressors and triggers and to stimulate cell turnover and strengthen the skin both internally and externally in order to restore skin to optimum health.