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How does stress affect the skin and can stress impact on rosacea?

Aesthetic doctors discuss how stress can have a negative impact on the skin and the increasingly common condition of rosacea

With National Stress Awareness and Rosacea Awareness Months both in April, Aesthetics  Doctor and Oculoplastic Surgeon, Dr Maryam Zamani and Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Amelie Seghers, from The Clinic by Dr Maryam Zamani, discuss the essential factors to consider in dealing with the havoc that stress can wreak on the skin.

Heightened stress and anxiety can increase inflammation which may contribute to rosacea flare-ups. Here, the experts also discuss the nature of rosacea and effective solutions for managing this skin condition.

How stress manifests on the skin 

"Stress can cause the skin to become dry, flaky, sallow, red and generally irritated. When the skin barrier has been compromised, skin can become more sensitive and inflamed. Be cautious with topical skincare products and treatments. Improve the skin barrier, stop using any perfumed skincare products, avoid skincare with strong actives (like retinols or acids) and keep your regimen simple and consistent."
Dr Zamani 
"A good skin barrier is the secret to really good skin. However, repeated stresses to the skin leads to a damaged barrier (a common modern-day skin problem). If at all possible, remove all the stresses that are present. Often the main culprits are active skincare ingredients such as retinol, AHAs and most other acids (one of the exceptions is hyaluronic acid). Avoid frequent facials,  exfoliation,  constantly touching the skin and friction from masks, helmets, and hair on the face e.g. a fringe."
Dr Seghers

What treatments can help stressed-out skin?

"In these situations, repairing the skin barrier is imperative. Stay away from aggressive treatments and over exfoliation. Try products that are rich in hydration and may include ingredients such as glycerol, squalene, hyaluronic acid or ceramides.”
Dr Zamani 

What is rosacea and what are the symptoms?

"Rosacea is a common but poorly understood chronic inflammatory skin condition. It usually affects the face and is more common in fair-skinned individuals. It causes flushing, redness and small bumps that are similar to acne. The first symptoms often start between the ages of 30 and 50. It can also affect the eyes and lead to changes in the skin texture of the nose (called rhinophyma). Common triggers include alcohol, stress, anxiety, exercise, harsh skincare products, cold weather and strong winds, sun, certain foods and menopause."
Dr Seghers

What treatments can people with rosacea try?

"I suggest avoiding aggressive therapies such as ablative lasers and recommend light therapy, Broadband Light, IPL, pulsed dye lasers, and for a little boost – AquaGold Fine Touch, an FDA approved microneedling system combined with a bespoke cocktail of ingredients to improve the quality and health of skin."
Dr Zamani
“All patients with rosacea will benefit from an adapted skincare routine to optimise the skin barrier. The rest of the treatment plan will depend on the type of symptoms the patient presents with. Topical prescription creams and oral antibiotics may be needed if small bumps are present. If only background redness and flushing, topical creams might not be enough to address the problem. Topical treatments can be combined with other treatment modalities like light therapy e.g. intense pulsed light (IPL) and Broadband Light (BBL), and other less-common skin barrier restoring therapies such as Aquagold (decided case by case.)"
Dr Seghers

Treatments explained

AquaGold Fine Touch: An FDA approved microneedling system combined with a bespoke cocktail of effective ingredients to improve the quality and health of skin. 20 gold-tipped needles create mico-channels within the skin to deliver a cocktail of ingredients such as vitamins, peptides, hyaluronic acid, PRP and neurotoxin to brighten skin and improve skin texture.

BBL (Broadband Light): A customisable treatment of light that is absorbed by chromophores in the skin to destroy superficial pigmentation such as brown spots and seal dilated blood vessels. BBL also has a regenerative effect in the skin's dermis, promoting collagen and elastin production to tighten the skin and improve skin texture.

IPL: Applies different wavelengths of light to reduce the appearance of thread veins, redness, brown spots and dilated pores. Commonly used on the face, neck, decolletage and hands, IPL photorejuvenation boosts collagen production to improve skin tone and elasticity.


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