Rosacea is a common but often misdiagnosed (as adult acne) disorder of the facial skin. Rosacea appears to be quite common, with some estimates suggesting up to over 16 million Americans affected and yet most of them don’t know it. This condition causes redness in a patient’s face and is capable of producing small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules. If left untreated, rosacea tends to be a very progressive condition that eventually will become worse over time.
It most commonly affects people with fair skin, but can also occur in people of Asian and African origin. Rosacea occurs in both men and women, but tends to be more common in women.
Most cases are first diagnosed in people aged 30 to 50 years. Because of its red-faced, acne-like effects on personal appearance, it can cause significant psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated. More than 90% of rosacea patients said their condition had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41% reported that it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.
The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time. With time, people who have rosacea often see permanent redness in the center of their face.
Symptoms of rosacea
The first signs of rosacea may be redness or blushing that comes and goes initially. Rosacea symptoms can vary from one person to another, and there is no predicting severity. Others may include:
- Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead.
- Small visible blood vessels on the face.
- Bumps or pimples on the face.
- Watery or irritated eyes.
- Dry skin.
- Burning, stinging, or itching
Causes of rosacea
Experts are not certain about what specifically causes rosacea but they believe that it is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are several theories about a potential cause:
A family history, chronic sum exposure is a known risk factor for rosacea. A bacterium associated with gastrointestinal ulcers, called Helicobacter pylori, may play a role. Although they are not thought to be direct causes of the condition, several triggers have been identified that may make rosacea worse. These include: exposure to sunlight. Stress, strenuous exercise, hot or cold weather, hot drinks, alcohol and caffeine, and certain foods, such as spicy foods.
There is currently no known cure for rosacea, but treatment can help control the symptoms. For most people, treatment will involve a combination of self-help mesures and medication such as: Metronidazole, antibiotics (tropical and oral), steroid creams, isotretinoin, tretinoin cream, and suphur. However, when used for a long time steroid creams make the condition worse.
In some cases, procedures such as laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment may be helpful. These involve beams of light being aimed at the visible blood vessels in the skin to shrink them and make them less visible.
Marijuana can improve your skin
Whether its topical (applied directly to the skin), or systemic (oral), the therapeutic effect of cannabis can be a welcome treatment for rosacea.
Its turns out, marijuana’s medicinal ingredients are not only useful in treating certain skin conditions, but also offer the potential to make skin look younger. According to the Huffington post, Dr. Bobby Buka and Dr. Ariel Ostad explain that chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Like red wine, Dr. Buka says moderate marijuana use could be good for the skin. Vaporizers, which heat marijuana to a lower temperature than joints or bongs, are probably the best way of consuming it. However, bongs are believed to filter at least some of the harmful by-products of smoke, and so may be a better choice for those without a vaporizer.
In addition, marijuana’s ability to make you feel better can actually have a positive impact on skin health too. Those THC receptors actually can lead to increased production of neurotransmitters that make us feel better, like serotonin. Just being able to reduce stress can help with certain skin conditions. According to research, people who use marijuana are by and large a mellower group of patients.
One of the effects of rosacea is the mental aspects of lowering the sufferer’s self-esteem. This type of behavior can translate into depression and anxiety. This may be one of the most compelling reasons to try cannabis, while it can help alleviate the symptoms of skin conditions; it is also known to be effective with depression and anxiety.
Many of the symptoms of rosacea can be controlled to a degree with treatment. Even with no cure, cannabis is proving to be a great solution to the illness. Keep this in mind that the next time that nasty itch flares up again, and remember that you have an excellent alternative to that old prescription your doctor gave you.