A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but when someone suffers from rosacea, the painful burning and embarrassing redness can make anyone feel like less than a beautiful flower.
Rosacea is a cyclic inflammatory skin condition that usually affects the face, although it rarely can affect the upper body. It also tends to be a progressive problem, meaning that it gets worse over time. Rosacea will flare up for a few weeks or months, then appear to get better before flaring up again.
Rosacea symptoms are redness on the face, red bumps (pustules) on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead, thickening of the skin, visible blood vessels (telangiectasia), burning sensation in the eyes, and flushing/blushing. Another rosacea symptom common in older men is a bulbous, red nose (rhinophyma). When rosacea is severe, patients often also develop redness, dryness, grittiness, and inflammation of the eyes that can eventually lead to partial vision loss.
In addition to the possible inherited predisposition for rosacea, consumption of alchohol, especially in large quantities, can also trigger the problem. Experiencing extreme heat, due to sun exposure or contact with hot air or water, may also cause or exacerbate the disease. Exposure to cold wind or water can also make the condition worse, as well as stress and spicy foods. For rosacea patients, chemicals in soaps and cleansers can irritate skin and should be avoided.
Rosacea, like acne, appears on the face. This is not a part of the body that can be hidden, and there are significant negative effects of rosacea on self-esteem and self-confidence. The actual cause of rosacea is unclear, and treating rosacea in Western medicine is geared toward managing the acne and inflammation, and involves the use of topical and oral antibiotics or anti-infectives. But it doesn’t help solve the underlying problem.
In Chinese medicine, rosacea is considered to be a kind of heat in your body. Like heat anywhere, it tends to rise upward, and in the case of rosacea, it affects your face. Interestingly, a great many people who have rosacea also suffer from migraine headaches, which also tend to be caused by heat moving upward and creating symptoms. (Acupuncture helps with migraines, too!)
Acupuncture treats rosacea by cooling red, inflamed skin, clearing pustules and helping to reduce the appearance of blood vessels. Part of the treatment for rosacea is to determine and eliminate the source of the heat and causes of flare-ups. This involves an assessment and history of the condition, lifestyle factors, diet, and triggers.
As each person is unique, and each set of symptoms is unique — therefore, each treatment is unique. Acupuncture works best alongside dietary therapy and lifestyle modifications to help treat rosacea. You don’t have to suffer through this skin problem! Acupuncture is a wonderful way to treat rosacea holistically.
For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com
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Photo: Roses by Maliz Ong
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