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Thread: Confused about flushing

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    Question Confused about flushing

    Got the diagnosis of rosacea from my GP this week, but I'm skeptical. I have an appointment with a dermatologist in October. Until then I'm proceeding with the assumption that my GP is correct (he performed NO tests, however,) but from reading this forum I think at minimum, if I do have rosacea, it's either very mild or atypical.

    I'm 58 and post-menopausal. My skin is red and blotchy. I have small broken blood vessels on and around my nose. I have flaky dry skin around my nose and on my cheekbones. My skin is very oily in the T-zone, resulting in pimples and blackheads. I have no family history of rosacea that I'm aware of, and I'm Jewish, with light olive skin that tans quickly and deeply. I have brown hair and brown eyes.

    Flushing seems to be a critical symptom to the dx of rosacea and I don't think I flush. I don't even blush. I occasionally feel a little overheated for no apparent reason but my face and chest don't get red when that happens.

    Can someone explain flushing to me in greater depth? And how critical to a dx of rosacea is flushing?

    Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Got the diagnosis of rosacea from my GP this week, but I'm skeptical. I have an appointment with a dermatologist in October. Until then I'm proceeding with the assumption that my GP is correct (he performed NO tests, however,) but from reading this forum I think at minimum, if I do have rosacea, it's either very mild or atypical.

    I'm 58 and post-menopausal. My skin is red and blotchy. I have small broken blood vessels on and around my nose. I have flaky dry skin around my nose and on my cheekbones. My skin is very oily in the T-zone, resulting in pimples and blackheads. I have no family history of rosacea that I'm aware of, and I'm Jewish, with light olive skin that tans quickly and deeply. I have brown hair and brown eyes.

    Flushing seems to be a critical symptom to the dx of rosacea and I don't think I flush. I don't even blush. I occasionally feel a little overheated for no apparent reason but my face and chest don't get red when that happens.

    Can someone explain flushing to me in greater depth? And how critical to a dx of rosacea is flushing?

    Thank you!
    Flushing is just acute inflammation. The capillaries dilate and this causes an increase in blood flow to the surrounding tissue. It can result from many things, e.g., tissue damage, microbes (bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc.), anxiety and stress, etc. For someone like yourself, i.e., someone with a mild case of papulopustular rosacea, I would recommend the following treatment protocol:

    1. Stop using any facial "cleansers", period. They are damaging your epidermis and dissolving the acid mantle that protects your skin.
    2. Stop applying makeup to the effected area. It will only serve to irritate your skin.
    3. Reduce your skin's water loss by regularly applying a moisturizer. My recommendation would be coconut oil applied generously in the evening and rinsed gently with cool water in the morning. PAT dry with a paper towel, DO NOT wipe or scrub.
    4. Resist the urge to scratch or pick at your acne. It will scab and fall off on its own. Prematurely picking the papule or the pustule will just make things worse.

    If you follow this protocol consistently, I think you will see significant improvement within a week, that is, assuming your case is as mild as you say. Within two weeks, you could be back to normal. Of couse it could take longer, depending on the severity of your condition, but over time, you will see improvement if you follow my advice.

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    I think Scottish explained flushing well.

    There aren't really any tests for rosacea, or even universally accepted diagnostic criteria as far as I can tell, so whether you have rosacea can depend largely on who you ask. In my estimation, it's a bit of a diagnosis of exclusion (or maybe default diagnosis) for 'patient has a red face'. The National Rosacea Society's diagnostic criteria are here; flushing is not required. Patients with flushing are arguably worse off and more likely to appear on a forum like this since flushing can be very difficult to treat.

    Personally, with your symptoms, I would probably want a second opinion from a dermatologist and would also be looking into nutritional factors like intake of vitamin A and essential fatty acids like DHA & EPA, as well as whether something topical could be causing problems. I have no medical or scientific background, though, just experience with my own skin problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrlhamcat2 View Post
    I think Scottish explained flushing well.

    There aren't really any tests for rosacea, or even universally accepted diagnostic criteria as far as I can tell, so whether you have rosacea can depend largely on who you ask. In my estimation, it's a bit of a diagnosis of exclusion (or maybe default diagnosis) for 'patient has a red face'. The National Rosacea Society's diagnostic criteria are here; flushing is not required. Patients with flushing are arguably worse off and more likely to appear on a forum like this since flushing can be very difficult to treat.

    Personally, with your symptoms, I would probably want a second opinion from a dermatologist and would also be looking into nutritional factors like intake of vitamin A and essential fatty acids like DHA & EPA, as well as whether something topical could be causing problems. I have no medical or scientific background, though, just experience with my own skin problems.
    This is a good point as well. Generally speaking, most people have very nutrient-poor diets, and this causes what Dr. Mark Hyman refers to as "smoldering inflammation", something which is killing many people slowly. A poor diet could definitely exacerbate your condition, so rectifying it is something we should all look into.

    For a more specific and authoritative view on this subject, please read the following link at Dr. Hyman's blog: http://drhyman.com/blog/conditions/h...ibrant-health/

    He has a wealth of information on functional medicine and reducing inflammation. I would highly recommend perusing his website.

    Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in Dr. Hyman's website, nor am I affiliated with him in any way. I am just one of his many admirers.

    P.S. - Just to clarify, the above is meant for everyone, not just the poster I was responding to.

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    Thanks for all the info about flushing. I guess I was hoping to hear that if you don't flush you don't have rosacea. Wishful thinking!

    I bought a jar of coconut oil yesterday and applied it lightly last night as an experiment. It didn't antagonize my skin so I'll give it a try. I'm curious though, what properties does coconut oil possess that makes it helpful?

    We have very hard water in our area so we have a water softener to treat our well water. I suspect that the water is over-softened because it's very difficult to wash off soap. When we travel my symptoms improve greatly. The water softener doesn't have a feature that would allow us to regulate the pH of the water. We also have a chlorinator that treats iron reducing bacteria in our well water. I would turn the water softener off except that it would result in water that's too drying. Has anyone found a solution to water pH issues aggravating their skin?

    I'm allergic to aspirin and I've been unable to find a dandruff shampoo that doesn't contain salicylic acid. Can anyone recommend a shampoo for me? I'm currently using Beauty Without Cruelty products.

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    You might try Thursday Plantation tea tree oil shampoo.

    Or put essential tea tree oil into the shampoo you're now using. Maybe start with 5 drops per shampooing (bit challenging to do it in your palm, so use a little plastic dish). You can also add it the same way to your conditioner.

    Now tto is good, and so is Thursday Plantation. You can get huge bottle of the Now on line for a reasonable price if you search.

    You can also perk up your shampoo/tto mixture with lavender essential oil and eucalyptus. (Huge bottles of these available, too.)
    "It's all illusion anyway."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Thanks for all the info about flushing. I guess I was hoping to hear that if you don't flush you don't have rosacea. Wishful thinking!

    I bought a jar of coconut oil yesterday and applied it lightly last night as an experiment. It didn't antagonize my skin so I'll give it a try. I'm curious though, what properties does coconut oil possess that makes it helpful?
    It's really hard to say, exactly. There are several plausible mechanisms of action (occlusive, antimicrobial, structural, etc.) that could explain coconut oil's general efficacy as a skin protectant but the available evidence is not totally clear on which one(s) is/are responsible and to what extent they are responsible. My hypothesis is that its probably all three of the aforementioned factors, among others. First, coconut oil forms an occlusive layer on your skin. This helps to reduce your skin's rate of water loss. Second, there is some good evidence that coconut oil has antimicrobial properties. This helps to prevent delays in the healing process. Third, coconut oil is somewhat similar to your own sebaceous secretions in terms of acidity and fatty acid content, both of which contribute to epidermal barrier function.

    Basically, the oils from your own skin are designed by natural selection (think of evolution and how it engineers living organisms to adapt) to protect and heal your skin. In a way, coconut oil is like an analog for your own skin oils.

    We have very hard water in our area so we have a water softener to treat our well water. I suspect that the water is over-softened because it's very difficult to wash off soap. When we travel my symptoms improve greatly. The water softener doesn't have a feature that would allow us to regulate the pH of the water. We also have a chlorinator that treats iron reducing bacteria in our well water. I would turn the water softener off except that it would result in water that's too drying. Has anyone found a solution to water pH issues aggravating their skin?
    Just stop using soap and warm water on areas that are prone to drying. Cool water only and you will experience less drying.

    I'm allergic to aspirin and I've been unable to find a dandruff shampoo that doesn't contain salicylic acid. Can anyone recommend a shampoo for me? I'm currently using Beauty Without Cruelty products.
    Try no shampoo. Let the oils just on your skin and rinse with cool water when take a shower. Oil is not the enemy, harsh cleansers are.
    Last edited by Scottish; 27th August 2012 at 04:53 PM.

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    I get that soaps and detergents are aggravating my sensitive skin, but I think I'm going to try Ghost's suggestion of adding tea tree oil to my shampoo first. Fortunately my scalp isn't terribly itchy, it just flakes. The lavender and eucalyptus suggestion cracked me up because those are the scents (natural of course) in the 7th Generation laundry soap I use. Don't worry. I'm not going to try shampooing with that (although it does smell really nice.)

    Thanks Scottish for explaining about the properties of coconut oil that support healthy skin.

    Okay, couple of things I decided to try on my own, because as I'm sure many of you have experienced, asking a doctor about nutrition doesn't always yield useful answers. I had suspected that I had a mild systemic yeast infection resulting from a long course of antibiotics last year when I got Lyme disease. So I'm now drinking kefir for breakfast and I'm drinking one to two cups of green tea each day. Definitely helping with bloating and probably overall immune system health. Has anyone else tried this? Results?

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    Rhea, scalp flakes are, IMHO, the result of mite activity on the scalp.

    There are other home grown recipes for this, including a pack using borax (the detergent booster) mixed with conditioner (leave on for 10 mins). People also "wash" their hair with borax and/or baking soda (mixed with water or combo of water + ACV).

    + always change your pillow cases daily.

    G
    "It's all illusion anyway."

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    Scottish, you mention that you believe makeup irritates and rec. coconut oil as a moisturizer. I had trouble with coconut oil, and really any oil, either breaking my face out in bumps or aggravating my seb derm. What to do? Also, what about sunscreen?

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