Rosacea – sensitive or reactive skin

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Rosacea A Common Condition

A common condition

Rosacea, or sensitive skin, afflicts a growing proportion of our community. Those most affected tend to be aged between 30 – 60, with a naturally paler complexion.

Females are more likely to suffer from rosacea, however, when rosacea does occur in males it is often more severe and advances more rapidly. The causes in either sex, can be genetic predisposition, environmental stress, vascular or inflammatory damage/disease.

Signs and symptoms

Rosacea refers to a range of symptoms that generally begin with some blushing or modest redness on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. As the condition progresses, symptoms typically worsen to include persistent redness of the nose and cheeks. Small blood vessels begin to grow (Telangiectasia), particularly on the nose, and become increasingly visible. Diffused redness may become permanent, often worsening after exercise, consumption of coffee or alcohol or other factors (see below). Redness is also an indicator of collagen loss, which leads to thin skin density and weakened support of the capillary network.

Additionally, vesicles (pustules or papules) may develop in these later stages; a factor which has led to the misdiagnosis of rosacea as “adult acne”.

Types of rosacea

Onset or pre-rosacea

Onset or pre-rosacea
  • Transient flushing, central redness (erythema)
  • Stinging, burning, roughness or scaling

Papulopustular as rosacea progresses

  • Persistent flushing, central facial redness (erytherma)
  • Water or fluid filled vesicles (not to be confused with acne)

Ocular rosacea

  • Photosensitivity, watery eyes
  • Burning, stinging, or the feeling of a foreign body within the eye

Phymatous rosacea

Phymatous rosacea
  • Thickened, course skin (usually nose and or chin)
  • Enlarged pores and nodules present


Aggravating Factors of Rosacea

  • UV exposure
  • Overactive immune system
  • Perfumes and essential oils
  • Fruit acids or chemical peels
  • Over use of lipid substances in topical skincare
  • Alcohol substance of more than 10% concentration in cosmetic skincare
  • Creams containing emulsifiers as they can lead to dissolving of natural lipids
  • Physical exercise
  • Menopause
  • Emotional & adrenal stress
  • Temperature changes (extreme), including hot showers
  • Chemicals (surfactants and preservatives) that can be found in many cleansers, toners and moisturisers
  • Some medications
  • Hormonal fluctuations such as menopause
  • Digestive disorders
  • Free radicals
  • Vitamin A & vitamin C deficiency
  • Diet e.g. alcohol, chocolate, acidic food & hot spicy foods

Correct skin care and treatments to help manage symptoms

While there is currently no cure per se for rosacea, its symptoms can be managed quite effectively. Cellular health is very important to improving the condition. In addition to the ingredients outlined below, a dietary intake of essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 & 6 is beneficial.

Inflammatory symptoms and lesions that may be part of the condition can be treated with the use of Liposome Concentrate Plus. Applied as a pure serum, this fatty acid composition contains up to 80 % linoleic acid, which is metabolized in the skin as 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (13-HODE) with excellent anti-inflammatory properties (omega-6 chain). It also contains azelaic acid which has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and exfoliating properties, making it a great treatment for rosacea as it scavenges free radicals.

Since azelaic acid inhibits melanin synthesis, it is also effective against hyperpigmentation and melasma.

Liposomes are very effective against cornification disorders such as rosacea. The gradual introduction of Linseed Oil delivered via nanoparticles for direct absorption by the skin; contains more than 50 % α-linolenic acid (ALA; omega-3 chain) which is enzymatically transformed in the skin as an anti-inflammatory and Evening primrose Oil (EPO) will further reduce inflammation. It is very rich in γ-linolenic acid (GLA; omega-6 chain). EPO can improve firmness and elasticity and helps your body produce new skin cells. It also helps to smooth out the rough skin and helps in hydrating dry skin without the water phase, which can be contra-indicated for rosacea.

Boswellia Resin: The acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellia acid of Boswellia Resin inhibits the enzyme 5-Lipoxygenase, which can trigger inflammatory processes in the body. Only after processing Boswellia Resin into nanodispersions, can it can be made available for corneotherapeutic skin care.

D-panthenol is the pre-stage of vitamin B5. It calms and relieves itching, increases skin hydration and intensifies the recovery process by supporting the healing phase by aiding the production of new skin cells. Vitamin A promotes the formation of collagen and regeneration of the skin.

Recent research by Richard L Gallo has indicated that rosacea sufferers have abnormally high levels of a peptide called Cathelicidins, which create an inflammatory response in the skin.

It is particularly important to visit a qualified dermaviduals clinician to seek a full skin consultation prior to commencing any tailored home care or clinic program, as the cause of rosacea and the effect of these ingredients means a variety of treatment options are available.

The weakened blood vessels associated with rosacea can be treated with the use of dermal needling using the MTS roller system.  HOW?  By stimulating epidermal growth factors and increasing the density of the epidermis, it lessens the appearance of vessels beneath the skin and reduces overall redness. It will also strengthen collagen in both vessel walls and the connective tissue that support the vessels.

In summary, if rosacea is a concern for you, the use of dermaviduals in conjunction with the MTS Roller system is your solution. It is very important to do this under professional guidance. Locate a stockist near you for further advice.

NOTE: mechanical peelings are NOT recommended for rosacea prone skin or similar skin problems that affect superficial connective tissue. This will cause more disruption to the acid mantle where a compromised bilayer already exists.

Corneotherapy and rosacea

Corneotherapeutic treatments aim to stabilise the disordered skin barrier over the course of the long term. The skin barrier, when strong and intact, can largely stop external rosacea triggers such as environmental stress, chemicals and germs.

As the skin barrier is stabilised, the likelihood of inflammatory processes in the deeper skin layers recurring decreases. Instead, they will gradually regress and you will notice visible improvements to the condition. This treatment is called the “outside-in” strategy. In summary, a stronger skin with intact lipid bilayers will be better able to prepare itself to utilize anti-oxidants to scavenge free radicals.  In short, it can obviate all that rosacea can throw at it.

The skin care products you use should be free of perfumes, preservatives, emulsifiers, mineral oils and silicones, as these substances have the ability to further aggravate a sensitive, inflamed skin condition such as rosacea. Fatty acids, ceramides and phytosterols in combination with saturated phosphatidylcholine and triglycerides, allow skin-identical physical structures and displays excellent tolerance properties.  DMS base creams achieve this – hence dermaviduals is a perfect match for your skin.

The water used for cleansing should be lukewarm and free from hardening components such as calcium and magnesium ions in order to prevent a salt precipitation of the fatty acids of the skin barrier, which can further destabilise the barrier.

Cleansing products should be free from preservatives (sensitizing potential) and re-fattening substances in the form of silicones or surface-active compounds. Appropriate preparations are gels with pH values up to a maximum of 7, without lauryl sulfate or lauryl ether sulfate (due to their irritating potential). Sugar tensides, for instance, are recommended as alternate cleansing substances. Alternatively, tensides or emulsifier-free cleansing milks can be used.

For further reading click here.


  • Dr Hans. Lautenschläger, various publications Beauty Forum & Cosmetic Medicine
  • Dr Lance Setterfield; Concise Guide to Dermal Rolling, 2011
  • Florence Barrett-Hill; Skin Treatment Therapy for the Medical/ Therapeutic Professional, 2008

Photographs courtesy of © Virtual Beauty Corporation

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