Does ageing make rosacea worse?
In order to understand more about how ageing can affect psoriasis, it’s important to have a little understanding about the main components of your skin. In the picture below, for example, you are given a good idea of how your skin is formed, including the 3 main layers, the location of your sebaceous glands and melanocytes. All of these layers rely in the steady flow of nutrients and collagen, the main building block of your skin.
As you age, though, your production of collagen gradually slows down which can weaken your skin. However, collagen isn’t the only thing that declines with age, your levels of sebum oil will also start to dip while your stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin) will gradually lose its ability to retain moisture – not good news for your rosacea which may become more prone to inflammation!
Even for normal skin, this loss can result in drier, frailer skin that’s more vulnerable to oxidative stress and free-radical damage. UV radiation or sun damage is a real problem that rosacea sufferers need to be more aware of as they age – your production of melanocytes, the cells that help to protect your skin from ultra-violet radiation, will diminish which can make you more vulnerable to UV radiation – a real red flag for rosacea!
The bad news is that the nutrients you rely on to counteract this damage may not reach your skin as your circulation to this area can slow, depriving your skin of the antioxidants it needs to combat premature ageing. In addition to this sluggish circulation, you also have to consider that, as you age, you blood capillaries will weaken and become more prone to bursting or breaking beneath the surface of your skin.
If your skin is constantly becoming victim to invasive pathogens and free radical damage, your body will stimulate an inflammatory reaction that will dilate your blood vessels and place more stress on these fragile capillaries, leading to the tell-tale redness associated with a rosacea flare-up!
What about my hormones?
Your hormones won’t be doing you any favours either I’m afraid. While it’s not unheard of for fluctuating levels of progesterone and oestrogen to stimulate your sebaceous glands into producing more oil, the low levels of oestrogen you may experience during menopause can make your skin itchier, drier and more prone to irritation.
If you have a skin condition like rosacea you also have to consider an additional problem – hot flushes. Research has indicated that rosacea sufferers do produce greater nerve and sweating responses as well as a higher surface temperature of facial skin. If you are suffering from menopausal hot sweats, these heightened sweat responses could be triggered presenting another challenge.
What can you do for your skin condition as you age?
Right now the picture might look quite bleak if you have rosacea; your skin is only going to become drier, more inflamed and more vulnerable to infection as your skin barrier function is impaired. However, don’t abandon home just yet – there’s still plenty you can do to support your skin during this tricky transition!
First, I’d start by taking a look at what you’re putting on your skin. The right skincare products can make a huge difference, as I discussed in your skincare routine. Although it might be tempting to lean towards conventional anti-ageing creams, most of these are loaded with harsh ingredients and abrasive chemicals which may agitate your dry, sensitive skin even more.
Instead, I’d still recommend sticking with Salcura and their Zeroderm Skin Repair Moisturiser. Free from parabens and specifically tailored towards skin condition like rosacea, it’s also rich in natural ingredients like Jojoba oil, which can help your epidermis to lock in moisture, providing your rosacea-prone skin with some much needed hydration! Don’t be afraid to use it a bit more liberally – remember, your skin will need all the TLC it can get!
It also pays to remember less is more when it comes to your skin so don’t use ageing as an excuse to pile a plethora of make-up on your face in an attempt to disguise fine lines, wrinkles and flaking skin – not only will this approach just irritate your skin even more, it may also emphasise the problem you’re drying to conceal! If you are going to use makeup, always choose a natural brand like PHB, who infuse their foundation with SPF30, helping to shield your skin against UV radiation!