Treating Acne Rosacea

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By: Mary Wynne

Interview with Mary Wynne - Treating Acne Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin condition that is almost impossible to hide. In its earliest stages, it is known as couperose. As it becomes more extreme, Rosacea can literally take over the center of your face. What it looks like depends on a number of factors. At its worst it can make the nose appear swollen and purple, and the central area of the face can be inflamed with acne.

Lilipoh: Could you give us a brief description of Rosacea?

Mary: Before I describe the four stages of Rosacea, let me give a brief description of the skin. This will provide a foundation from which to better understand and deal with Rosacea.

The skin is a three-fold organism. Your outer layer or epidermis is, in a way, the brain of your skin. Your nerves and senses are in this layer. You perceive the environment through touch, giving you the ability to feel warmth and cold. You also take in impressions through the epidermis. This layer of the skin is foremost in offering you protection. Between the middle and the outer surface of the epidermal layers live 50% of your T-cells, the cells of immunity. The middle layer or the dermis is connected to the activity of the heart and lungs. For example, the heart activity is reflected through the capillaries. The inner layer is called the subcutaneous tissue. It is the metabolic layer of the skin and corresponds to your digestive and rejuvenating organs. It is where cell growth begins in the skin. The metabolic activity of the skin is seen in the unique balance between the activity of the sweat glands and the sebaceous or oil glands. From a holistic standpoint we associate acne to dysfunction in the metabolic layer as well as the person's own gross metabolism.

Rosacea is an inflammation of the micro-circulation within the dermal layer of the skin. There are four stages or levels of Rosacea. The first is commonly known as couperose. In this stage a few distinct veins will be highly visible around the center of the face and nose. This can also include what is commonly known as spider veins (teliangis stasis), which appear around the nose, especially around the nostril area and the surrounding middle area of the cheek. The second level of Rosacea comes in two forms. One is when there is a total inflammation of the face. The other is when the inflammation is localized as a mask in the middle of the face, including the nose and cheeks. This has been called the pregnancy mask since it occurs before and after pregnancy. It is also referred to as a "strawberry face." The third stage involves acne, which is known as acne Rosacea. The fourth and final stage involves the nose, which appears swollen and purple. The nose is especially sensitive to extreme temperatures and can turn blue or purple in cold, windy weather.

Lilipoh: Who is most likely to have Rosacea?

Mary: Rosacea typically appears between the ages of 35 and 45. Typical Rosacea clients reflect an imbalance in the rhythmical functions of the skin, which also includes systemic dysfunction. Their own daily rhythms may be out of order, so to speak, or they are operating in the extremes. This makes sense since Rosacea is an inflammation within the dermal layer of the skin, which is connected to circulation and breathing - the rhythmic functions. I often think of the bleeding heart plant for this condition. This plant has a very pronounced blossom that droops and is in the shape of a purple-red heart. It is as though this plant is wearing its heart on its sleeve, which is similar to the temperament of many of my Rosacea clients. It could be someone who is very shy and who becomes easily flustered and flushed. This person cannot hide their emotions, especially through their skin. The other end of the spectrum is someone who is extremely passionate and loves stimulation in their lifestyle and from their food. They may adore spicy food, be drawn to all stimulants (coffee, chocolate, liquor) and enjoy a vigorous, athletically inclined lifestyle.

Lilipoh: Is there any way that Rosacea can be prevented or minimized once it appears?

Mary: It is possible to reverse Rosacea to the point where it no longer appears on your face. If you are looking for a quick fix, one that deals only with symptoms, you will probably be combating Rosacea all of your life. The cosmetic industry offers glycolic acids or laser surgery for Rosacea. We must keep in mind that the body fluids are always fluctuating to maintain a balance between acid and alkaline. The body fluids in a Rosacea condition tend to be more acidic. By applying strong acids like those found in facial peels, you are actually encouraging the skin to become more acidic, which encourages the return of Rosacea.

Rosacea is systemic. If you are looking for long-term solutions, I recommend a holistic approach, one that takes into consideration your lifestyle; your nutri­tion and your skin care preparations. In conjunction with treatment from an esthetician, I suggest that my clients find practitioners that can assist them with their diet. I recommend that clients be tested for food sensitivity or allergies. Over the past 13 years every person with acne Rosacea that I have sent for testing has found that they are sensitive or allergic to certain foods. These aren't genetic allergies but rather acquired and a result of metabolic or digestive difficulties.

There is a particular group of foods to which Rosacea clients should pay attention. These are fermented sour foods such as vinegar, pickles, alco­holic beverages like beer and wine (especially red wine) and fermented dairy products. Yeast products, night­shade plants, and certain citrus fruits, which are all high in acid content, should be evaluated and reduced. In an advanced form of Rosacea the person is often allergic to the rose plant family, which includes roses, apples, strawberries and blackthorn.

As I mentioned earlier, Rosacea people love life and stimulation. Even if they are shy, they are passionate about what they do. These people are often drawn to whole groups of stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and sugar. They often love vigorous physical exercise, which can exacerbate their Rosacea condition. In these cases I suggest they practice yoga or tai chi. I am also a believer in keeping logs of the kinds of foods that are digested and what reactions, if any, occur during that day.

Lilipoh: What skin care preparations do you recommend for Rosacea clients?

Mary: Let me begin with the Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Conditioners. The product I start people on is the Rhythmic Conditioner, Sensitive for sensitive skin. Remember that Rosacea is an imbalance of the rhythmic functions within the threefold organism of the skin. It impacts the dermal layer, which is where you have the movement and elasticity of the skin. The extracts of witchhazel, borage and chamomile offer a calming effect to the circulation in the dermis. In fact, if you feel the skin before and after the application of Rhythmic Conditioner, Sensitive, you will notice that it has actually cooled down the temperature of the skin. I tell my clients that they should apply one to two ampules of Rhythmic Conditioner, Sensitive, each day. Rhythmic Conditioner, Sensitive allows the movement of the blood to flow. With couperose and Rosacea the blood vessels are not really broken, even though they make look broken. The vessels are pro­nounced because the circulation is slug­gish, and Rhythmic Conditioner, Sensitive encourages the rhythm and movement of the blood due to the rhythmitized substance of malachite. For a person with acne Rosacea, I also include the application of Rhythmic Conditioner AD, which can only be pur­chased from a Dr. Hauschka esthetician. It contains rhythmitized sulfur. With acne Rosacea you have an imbalance in the metabolic as well as rhythmic func­tions, and sulfur is associated with the metabolism. I have found that applying AD ampules two to three times a week will reduce the pronounced cystic acne around the lymphatic areas of the face.

For daily cleansing, toning and mois­turizing I usually start my clients with Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk as their morning and night cleanser. It is gentler than Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream. As the inflammation becomes reduced, they can shift gradually to Cleansing Cream. I also suggest that a few drops of Dr. Hauschka Lavender Bath be mixed into the water used for cleansing. This has a calming effect. We recommend Dr. Hauschka Sage Bath especially for acne Rosacea.

For toner I direct them to Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Toner. The plant extracts have anti-inflammatory qualities and they work with the metabolic functions of the skin. During the day the most effective moisturizer is Dr. Hauschka Normalizing Day Oil because it helps relax irritation in the circulation. It also protects the skin against excessive exposure to light and cold temperatures. In level one or two Rosacea, you may be able to use Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream.

With acne Rosacea I recommend daily use of Dr. Hauschka Body Powder lightly dusted over the entire face. The rice starch, silk powder and extracts of oak bark, sage and gentian root have an anti­microbial effect and act to normalize the regulation of the skin.

Once a month the Rosacea client should apply Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Clay Mask but only for a short period of time. A better mask to use regularly is Dr. Hauschka Rejuvenating Mask, which provides a soothing effect to the skin. The papules, which typically appear in acne Rosacea, may be spot treated daily with this mask. Along with regular use of the Rhythmic Conditioners, I have found that this spot treatment helps clear the papules within a few days.

I usually recommend that the client take Dr. Hauschka Inner Cosmetic daily for a month or two, then take a break for a month before resuming. This helps the intestinal cleansing. If nothing happens within a few weeks, it may be that the liver needs cleansing, in which case I recommend WALA Blackthorn Elixir and suggest that the client visit a holistic practitioner.

Lilipoh: How long will it take for the treatment to clear up Rosacea?

Mary: Most of my Rosacea clients see me once a month at the beginning. This way I can track their progress. I adjust their treatments accordingly, which means changing preparations and using different colored lights when I work on their faces. The key is that I remain flexible because each person reacts differently to the preparations. Some of my clients have cleared up their Rosacea in a period of a few months and others have taken two years. The thing to remember is that, if you have had Rosacea, you will continue to have a tendency for it. I try to help clients learn how to control it. If they are willing to alter their lifestyle and nutrition, there is every likelihood that by using Dr. Hauschka Skin Care preparations, we can reverse their Rosacea completely.

Mary Wynne became a certified massage therapist in 1974 and a licensed esthetician in 1991. She began working with Dr. Hauschka Skin Care in 1978 and opened her skin care cen­ter, Hauschka Center for Health and Beauty, in 1988.

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