Stepping into the world of rosacea can be confusing.
I know because I've been there. My name is Finola, the founder of Finca Skin Organics and I have rosacea.
If you’re newly diagnosed or suspect that you might have rosacea, there’s a lot to navigate; different subtypes, causes, treatment.
You might feel overwhelmed in the beginning and not sure where to even begin but you are not alone, research has shown that 1 in 10 people have rosacea.
Let’s dive into the first rosacea subtype. The official name is erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR rosacea for short). It’s a bit of a mouthful, so it's better known as subtype 1.
It’s characterised by a few things:
- Facial skin that’s easily irritated
- Prolonged bouts of flushing and blushing on the central areas of the face
- The appearance of telangiectasia (small, widened blood vessels on the skin). This is another tell-tale sign, but not essential for a diagnosis
- Skin may feel tight, especially after showers
When people think of rosacea, they tend to picture subtype 1 where redness is seen on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. "Identifying and avoiding lifestyle and environmental factors that trigger rosacea symptoms in individual cases can be especially effective in controlling the flushing and redness of subtype 1" according to Dr. Jonathan Wilkin, chairman of the National Rosacea Society medical advisory board. Jonathan also says that gentle skincare is important, as well as certain medical options depending on your case.
What are the symptoms of ETR/subtype 1 rosacea?
Persistent redness in the central areas of the face
Visibly broken blood vessels (spider veins aka telangiectasia)
Stinging or burning sensation on the skin
Dry, rough, flaky, or scaly skin
Flushing or blushing easily
What is the cause of ETR rosacea?
The root cause of this rosacea type is still not known. What is known is that the redness is a direct response to an increase in blood flow through the capillary veins across the face. This is known as flushing. If the rosacea condition worsens, the redness can become more persistent and remain for longer periods.
The cause could be a number of reasons. It’s thought that rosacea could be hereditary and down to genetics. It is however proven to affect fair-skinned people the most.
Is there any cure for ETR rosacea?
With all forms of rosacea, there is no known cure, only treatments.
However, dermatologists agree that subtype 1 rosacea is the most difficult to treat.
There are currently no drugs approved to treat the persistent redness associated with rosacea but there are solutions like Brimonidine (Mirvaso) and oxymetazoline (Rhofade) which constrict blood vessels and reduce flushing. Results can be seen in as little as 12 hours, but these results are temporary. It’s not a long-term solution and most people prefer not to put chemicals on their skin forever. Mirvaso has also been associated with “rebound” flushing. The skin whitens initially and then ends up redder than before. This isn't ideal. Mirvaso can be useful for once-off important events but perhaps not daily.
How can I manage my ETR rosacea symptoms?
There are several things you can do to manage the condition and keep your symptoms under control.
Food diary: One of the best things is to keep a rosacea diary. This is a diary where you will keep a note of all your foods, drinks, activities, the weather, etc. so that you can identify your personal triggers. Some of the most common rosacea triggers related to flushing include sun, stress, weather temperature, wind, strenuous exercise, alcohol, hot baths/showers, hot drinks, and spicy foods
Laser: Laser therapy is a treatment you can look into to reduce visible blood vessels and redness. It has been proven to be an effective option for some of the symptoms of subtype 1. Several sessions are usually needed as well as touch-ups. Bear in mind, this is not usually covered by your health insurance as it is seen as a cosmetic procedure
Diathermy needle therapy: This is a relatively inexpensive solution for broken veins or thread veins
Skincare routine: A good skincare routine can help with the appearance and discomfort of rosacea. Rosacea sufferers tend to have very sensitive skin so it’s important to avoid potential irritants
When looking at ingredients lists a good rule of thumb is: the less, the better. Look for ingredients that contain soothing, calming, and anti-inflammatory properties. Browse our range of products formulated specifically for subtype 1 ETR rosacea. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin improved significantly*.
- Cosmetics: These can also help with the appearance of flushing and redness. Products with a green tint have been found to counteract redness, such as our anti-redness primer which instantly colour corrects redness and evens skin tone.
At Finca Skin Organics we have taken the global dermatology advice for rosacea.
We've formulated our products using a short ingredient list made up of plant-based oils and actives. We avoid the use of harmful chemicals and additives so that people with very sensitive skin can reduce their symptoms without creating more irritation.
Our Calming Serum 1 has been developed specifically to soothe the symptoms of ETR rosacea. It is a soothing and anti-inflammatory serum with ingredients, containing organic rosehip oil and hyaluronic acid, to calm and plump the skin.
When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone.
With love from Ireland,
*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.