Topical Rosacea Treatments
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A representation of nerve conduction. The electrical connections result from the release of numerous neurotransmitters (short acting) and neuropeptides (long acting) crossing the nerve junctions. More inflammatory neurotransmitters and neuropeptides means more nerve activation. For flush zones of your skin this can mean more dilation of blood vessels and greater flushing.
Uncontrollable facial flushing and redness are prime concerns of both rosacea patients and dermatologists, who recognize that which each episode of flushing and prolonged redness, more damage occurs, leading to worsening rosacea which is harder to treat.
What is flushing?
Flushing is the result of the body's attempt to regulate temperature by dilation of blood vessels.
Normally, this process isn't noticeable, however in rosacea an excess of inflammatory chemicals accompanies the process, leading to an exaggerated response involving the generation of free radicals in excess of what the body can neutralize.
The patient without rosacea may have to undertake substantial aerobic exercise to begin to turn transiently pink.
The patient with rosacea can turn red for hours at a time with very little provocation.
In fact, often the cause of the redness reaction is impossible to pin-point.
How do episodes of flushing worsen rosacea?
During episodes of flushing, more blood flows through the blood vessels because facial nerves release chemicals to dilate blood vessels.
These chemicals also activate other facial nerves.
When the characteristic redness of flushing in rosacea occurs for an extended period of time the blood vessels themselves also release chemicals which promote further dilation of capillaries.
In response to the increased blood flow the body begins to grow new blood vessels to replace those damaged by the extreme and sudden blood flow and to develop a new infrastructure of capillaries to handle future surges.
These are normal processes activated to regulate body temperature, destroy infections and repair tissues after damage.
In rosacea, these processes are pathological, leading to an excessive growth of capillaries and nerves.
The result is an increased tendency to flush which gains momentum with each episode, and sensitivity of the facial skin, resulting in prickling, burning and stinging.
In many cases, the eyes are affected in a condition called ocular rosacea.
With each episode of flushing more blood vessels are damaged, more new vessels and nerves begin forming and the skin's reactivity and sensitivity are increased.
Left untreated or poorly managed, the skin becomes increasingly prone to symptoms and will eventually become permanently pink or red and highly sensitive.
Later stages of rosacea are characterized by permanent changes in skin texture, tissue thickening, problems with vision and rhinophyma.
More blood vessels (angiogenesis) + more nerves (axonogenesis) = more capillary dilation, more flushing and more free radical damage to the skin structure.
For further information concerning treatment, see How To Prevent Flushing.
Author: Peter Wilson.
Reviewed: Wednesday, 19 February 2014.