Rosacea is a chronic and progressive disorder that may first be noticed as redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead that may present and subsequently disappear.  A susceptibility to rosacea, called pre-rosacea, can be detected in the teens or early 20s. Rosacea is even reported in children.

According to medical research, the cause is unknown and incurable. There are many theories as to the cause – poor circulation, sluggish lymph, genetic predisposition, digestive disorders, bacteria, and mites attached to cells.



The first stage is characterized by frequent blushes or flushes, strong family history of rosacea, and facial skin that becomes irritated by topical creams, lotions, anti-acne medications and over-the-counter sunscreens and skin products with irritating ingredients.



In the second stage, redness tends to become ruddier and more permanent. Dilated blood vessels (telangiectasia) may appear and papules and pustules begin to form.

Certain areas of the skin may take on a “baggy” appearance from swelling.



An early sign of the third stage is deep, persistent redness and many dilated veins, especially around the nose, and fibroplasia (growth of excess tissue), which can produce enlarged pores.

At its worst, especially in men, the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue, a condition called Rhinophyma (think of W. C. Fields with the bulbous nose). When the entire face is involved, swelling may produce painful nodules and with fibroplasia, lion-like facial features occur.



  • WEATHER – Sun, strong winds, cold, humidity

  • EMOTIONAL INFLUENCES – Stress and anxiety

  • BEVERAGES – Alcohol (especially red wine, beer, bourbon, gin, vodka and champagne), hot drinks (coffee and tea)

  • FOODS – Liver (high in niacin), yogurt, sour cream, cheese (except cottage cheese), chocolate, vanilla, soy sauce, yeast extract (high in niacin), vinegar, eggplant, avocados, spinach, broad-leaf beans and pods, citrus fruits (tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisins and figs contain histamines), spicy and thermally hot foods, foods high in histamines

  • PHYSICAL EXERTION – Exercise and “lift-and-load” jobs

  • TEMPERATURE-RELATED – Saunas, hot baths and showers, simple overheating, excessively warm environments

  • DRUGS – Vasodilators and topical steroids

  • MEDICAL CONDITIONS – Frequent flushing, menopause, chronic cough, caffeine-withdrawal syndrome

  • SKIN CARE PRODUCTS – Cosmetics that contain dyes, preservatives and fragrances, hair sprays, hydro-alcoholic or acetone substances and cosmetics that cause redness or stinging



Often associated with rosacea, the term “sensitive skin” in relation to skin type is often overused or misunderstood. The skin is a reactive mechanism and does respond to internal and external factors – certain individuals are more sensitive or reactive to environment, foods, medications, and certainly cosmetics.

It has been my observation over many years of working with skin, and being an individual who is also reactive to substances, that most sensitive skins are reacting to inferior products, or products that contain dyes, preservatives, and perfumes. These are the three skin antagonizers and sometimes when they are eliminated, the skin begins to calm down and show less irritation.

It is also important to understand that chemical peels may be one of the best supports for what is termed a “sensitive” skin. As new, healthy cells surface, the skin becomes less irritated and reactive, specifically if the daily regimen is adjusted to what the skin likes.

There are many excellent skin-rejuvenation choices for reactive-skin-types that will support and enhance the health and appearance of the skin for a lifetime.