Rosacea can be an embarrassing skin condition to have as you age. With youth, people tend to give you more leeway for imperfect skin, but by adulthood it’s expected you know how to take care of your skin.

There is no easy fix for rosacea though; It’s treatable, but not curable. Rosacea usually presents as facial redness with pimples, but can also develop in the eyes. This inflammatory skin condition can also make your skin more sensitive and dry. 

Video curtesy of @RoseGallagher on YouTube

Rosacea affects 3 million Canadians, and is more commonly seen in people with fair skin, though researchers are unsure why. 

The specific cause is unclear, but it’s believed to be a combination of genetics and environment. You are more likely to develop rosacea with a hyperactive immune system, impaired skin barrier, or if a relative has it. 

Researchers have been looking into the role of demodex mites on the condition. Though researchers don’t believe demodex mites cause rosacea, it appears that these mites do aggravate it. 

Demodex Mites

Demodex mites are harmless microscopic bugs that live in peoples hair follicles and oil glands. Though the mites are completely normal, people experiencing rosacea have 15-18 times more mites than people without it.

Currently, some researchers believe that these mites carry bacteria which can cause a reaction on your skin. Treatments that get rid of the mites help clear rosacea symptoms like sensitivity, but need to be reapplied regularly for the effects to last.

Treatment Options in Canada

Do not try to treat rosacea on your own. Many over the counter products will simply worsen the condition. Instead, talk to a dermatologist to learn the best way to care for your skin and level of severity.

Finding a dermatologist early can be key to keeping symptoms at a minimum. Rosacea will not resolve on its own and will get worse without treatment. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to control. 

Dermatologists will usually prescribe various lifestyle changes along with medications to effectively treat your symptoms. 

Treatments offered may include topical ointments such as Ivermectin cream or oral medications like antibiotics. Taking these regularly can help reduce the symptoms of rosacea. 

But there are more intensive options as well, usually best for severe cases of rosacea. Laser resurfacing can be administered by a dermatologist or physician to reduce redness and break down excess skin around the nose, ears, and/or chin that can be caused by rosacea. 

Laser resurfacing is not typically covered by health insurance and can cost anywhere between a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars depending on the type of laser and severity of symptoms. 

Though not a form of treatment, the Canadian Dermatology Association recommends using camouflage makeup if you want to hide symptoms more thoroughly. Camouflage makeup has extremely high coverage and can be used to cover tattoos and bruises as well.

Be careful of using makeup too often though, as it can clog pores and irritate sensitive skin. 

Read The Health Insider’s article about sunscreen to learn what harsh ingredients to avoid.

Living with Rosacea

It’s hard to feel stared at or alienated because of a skin condition. It can negatively affect a person’s personal, professional, and romantic life. People with rosacea are five times more likely to develop depression. 

With dwindling doctors and appointment slots, finding a publicly funded dermatologist nearby can be a challenge, but advocating repeatedly and loudly for yourself can help you snag a coveted spot if you’ve been turned down before. 

If you have insurance coverage or available funds, it may very well be worth visiting a private clinic.

Take control into your own hands and get the care you deserve. 

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