I have an ever-increasing redness and very sensitive skin on my face which appear to be changing my skin to more leather-looking while my nose is getting bigger. We can’t afford doctor visits and my boyfriend’s face is worse. What can we peas-in-a-pod do until Obamacare can take care of us?
It sounds like you both could possibly have a common non-contagious skin disease called Rosacea that causes facial flushing, sensitive and easily irritable skin surfaces, papules and pimples, and spider veins. Rosacea affects 16 million Americans and most often afflicts fair skinned adult females between the ages 30 to 60 years old. However, males are not immune, especially those that work outdoors and who don’t protect themselves from the damaging effects from the sun and winter’s elements; these men, such as farmers, tend to have the more severe cases where their noses are irregularly and significantly enlarged and their facial skin is thick & leather-like, strikingly red, and damaged looking. Though troubling, Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown origin that involves the second layer of the facial skin called the dermis where it’s laden with bacteria and houses varying degrees of a white blood cell infiltration and tissue swelling. It usually can involve the cheeks and nose but frequently can travel onto the chin, forehead, neck, shoulders, and upper arms, and occasionally eye involvement.
The new digital computerized facial skin analysis system, called VISIA, has become an extremely helpful tool for both doctor and patient to get an in-depth look at which areas of the face have significant redness, while graphically pointing out visible and also uncovering soon-to-be visible spider veins that the body is growing toward the Rosacea inflamed tissues in its attempt to try to heal the disease process.
In surveys by the National Rosacea Society, more than 76 percent of Rosacea patients said their condition had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41 percent reported that it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements. Among Rosacea patients with severe symptoms, 88 percent said the disorder had adversely affected their professional interactions, and 51 percent said they had even missed work because of their condition. Redness and inflammation can be controlled, reversed, and/or suppressed but not cured. The leather-like skin and skin thickening can be reversed with laser skin peels but suppressing the inflammatory process is the best and most cost-effective approach; this approach can prevent the future emotional burdens associated with facial disfigurements and the ever increasing costs of the make-up to cover the smoldering disease below the skin’s surface.
Cost effective treatments include Cetaphil bar soap or very dilute topically applied white vinegar to cleanse the irritating dirt off the skin’s surface & to help clean out the blocked pores. These over-the-counter products need to be used cautiously three to four times a week, depending on a person’s skin tolerance and his or her Rosacea severity, and can help kill the deeply embedded bacteria which contribute to the Rosacea inflammation process. There are reports that claim topically applied green tea extracts and pure Aloe Vera taken directly from the broken plant’s spout can also help suppress the inflammation. Equally important is the use a non-comedogenic, mineral-based sunblock to physically block the UV rays that trigger, will aggravate, and are known to accelerate the anti-inflammatory process, further aging and wrinkling the skin prematurely by damaging the skin’s supporting collagen fibers. Currently, Colorescience’s SPF 50 mineral sunblock which uses research-proven anti-inflammatory products, titanium oxide and zinc dioxide as its key ingredients to physically block the damaging sun rays, is well tolerated and is considered to be one of the best products for Rosacea sufferers.
Many Rosacea inflicted people will require more aggressive physician interventions like a series of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments and/or oral tetracycline or topically applied Metrogel (metronidazole) antibiotics. Possibly the one of the best treatments that became available in 2011 to maintain a suppressed state of Rosacea, after getting the underlying inflammation under control, is a topically applied cream called Neocutis’ PECHE anti-redness cream. PECHE contains a proprietary combinations of ingredients called Rosaplex that apparently enzymatically stalls Rosacea’s development of inflammatory pathways, leading to future avoidance of costs and potential side effects associated with the long term and repeated use of antibiotics and the costs and inconveniences associated with yearly IPL treatments.