According to the National Rosacea Society, rosacea affects approximately 16 million people in the United States. The skin condition is most common in women and usually does not appear until people are past the age of 30. Family caregivers should understand what rosacea is and what types of care are involved if a loved one has rosacea.
Symptoms of Rosacea
Rosacea has four subtypes:
- Subtype 1: Redness and flushing of the face, typically on the cheeks, forehead, and chin.
- Subtype 2: Pimples that appear on the face, especially on the cheeks and chin.
- Subtype 3: Thickened skin that can create bulbous growths on and around the nose.
- Subtype 4: Red, itchy, watery eyes that feel like there is grit or an eyelash trapped under the eyelid, and sties commonly form around the eyelashes.
In some occasions, rosacea spreads to the scalp, neck, chest, and even the ears. Many people associate the flushed, red skin with fever, high blood pressure, and even a sign that someone’s been drinking, so it can lead to embarrassment and lowered self-esteem.
What Causes Rosacea?
There are lots of theories on what causes rosacea, but there are no clear answers. Some researchers and experts believe reactions to mites is an underlying cause. Others believe it’s linked to genetics. Some feel that rosacea may be linked to bacteria on the skin. What ends up being most important is having caregivers find out what triggers an older adult’s flare-ups and skin irritation.
Finding Rosacea Triggers
Prescription medications, both oral and topical, may ease the symptoms of rosacea over time. Family caregivers should be aware that adjustments to the diet and lifestyle are more important. Flushing and redness often link to food triggers like spicy foods, alcohol, acidic foods, or items like wheat and sugar. Skin care product ingredients may trigger a rosacea flare up. Exposure to cold temperatures, extreme heat, high winds, and sun also can lead to increased redness and flushing.
There’s a lot of trial and error involved in finding triggers. Senior care caregivers should keep a journal of what products have been used that day, foods that have been eaten, and even the weather conditions and time spent outside. This helps narrow down rosacea triggers for an aging parent.
Caregivers should make themselves aware of what causes the redness and flushing for the person receiving care. While rosacea is not dangerous, it is uncomfortable both mentally and physically. Learning to adjust a diet plan and products used to clean and moisturize the skin go a long way in preventing flare-ups.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Brick, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
Prior to assuming his current position, Judah served as assistant administrator at Atlantic Coast Rehab (Lakewood, NJ) as well as Hunterdon Care Center (Flemington, NJ)