Archive for September, 2008

Rosy Cheeks – NSIDE Medical Journal

Rosy Cheeks

Written by Brooke LaRue Miceli
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Image Remember Bashful, the cute, shy dwarf in Disney’s Snow White? His blushing rosy cheeks were such a charming quirk. But for those who experience the permanent “Bashful” cheeks, life can be less charming.

Incredibly, over 14 million Americans agonize over their permanent ‘rosiness’. This skin condition is called Rosacea. It can affect anyone, but, not surprisingly, is most common in those fair-skinned individuals of Northern European descent. Individuals with Rosacea flush or blush easily and often complain of skin irritation. It is most often diagnosed in women, but may be more severe in men.

Unfortunately for some, the permanent redness and bumpy skin can affect their self-esteem and impact social interaction. Being well-educated on the condition and its outbreak triggers can keep the disorder from intruding on daily life.

Characterized most commonly by redness of the cheeks, nose, and chin, symptoms may come and go throughout life. If left untreated, the redness may lead to visible blood vessels, bumps, and pimples. Surveys have shown that women experience the symptoms on the cheeks and chin, while men are more likely to have redness and swelling on the nose. When blood vessels become visible during the primary stages of Rosacea they contribute to the overall ‘red-faced’ look for which Rosacea is known. Skin may begin to look rough and dry in more advanced stages and facial discomfort is common. Signs and symptoms may also occur beyond the face on the neck, chest, and scalp.

The cause of Rosacea is still unknown. However, researchers continue to find triggers and possible causes but not one single source has been found to blame. The most common triggers are sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, and spicy foods. Some physicians believe that Rosacea may be a vascular or nervous system disorder since there is a direct correlation between flare-ups and the above triggers. There are also theories that a microscopic mite called Demodex folliculorum could be a contributor.

While promising new products might grab your attention for a quick fix to treat Rosacea, treatment options are varied and relatively simple. If you think you are a candidate, keep track of those possible triggers. The National Rosacea Society recommends keeping a ‘Rosacea Diary’ in which weather, consumption, and activities are charted on days when flare-ups are experienced. Avoiding the triggers will reduce flare-ups that could deter Rosacea’s progress.

As with any skin disorder, a customized skin care routine is vital to ensuring the treatment of the condition as well as the prevention of further damage. Cleanse twice daily with a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser and lukewarm water. Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skincare makes a milky, chamomile cleanser that is gentle enough for Rosacea patients while still providing anti-aging benefits. It is important to read the ingredients in the products, noting if there are any ingredients that have caused flare-ups before. After a thorough cleanse, blot the face dry, avoiding pulling or tugging on the skin.

Other skin care products such as redness serums, moisturizers, and topical gels may also be applied to treat specific concerns. If skin discomfort or tightness during the day is a concern, consider carrying a hydrating mist, such as Eminence Organics Stone Crop Mist with you during the day. The mist is organically produced from the Stone Crop plant, which is known for its healing and hydrating properties.

As with all skin care regimens, applying daily sunscreen is imperative. Look for a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. UV light is known to be the #1 trigger of rosacea and will ultimately contribute to skin cancer as well.

For most of us, the appearance of flawless skin is a priority, so cosmetics may be used in addition to effectively conceal redness. Sue Devitt Studio has formulated a Microquatic Blue Primer, which is especially helpful for camouflaging skin discoloration. The blue primer counters the redness, can be used under foundation, and even contains SPF 30 for complete protection. When choosing makeup, look for natural yellow tones, avoiding foundations and powders with pink or orange hues.

If you think you may have Rosacea, we invite you to experience a complimentary skin analysis by a licensed esthetician at Facelogic Spa. We will be happy to consult with you on your triggers and regimen, share information from the National Rosacea Society, as well as recommend dermatologists for more advanced cases. So whether it’s a cute “Bashful” quirk that sets off your rosy cheeks, or it’s a something more, Facelogic Spa is here to make your walk down the skincare aisle a confident one!

Brooke LaRue Miceli is a graduate of Texas State University. Brooke gained experience in skin care, cosmetics and the spa industry while working abroad in Costa Teguise, Las Canarias and Torino, Italy. She is the owner of Facelogic Spa at 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., Suite 209. Services include customized facials, peels, microdermabrasion, waxing, and cosmetic consultation. Call 210.248.9415 for more information.