Our faces are mirrors of our emotions and thoughts, it is the first thing we notice about one another. That is why maintaining healthy and good-looking skin is so important – it helps to boost our self-confidence and ensures our physical well-being. But on a daily basis our skin is exposed to external factors such as weather conditions, ranging from winter colds to hot summer sunlight, and also influenced from within by the food we eat, stress we endure and our genetics. Hence, why we usually put so much effort to keep our "business card" - our face – looking the best it can.
While for many the primary goal is to find different ways to keep the skin youthful (here, we explain how collagen can support our skin as it ages), for all any visible skin condition can influence how they feel and present themselves to the world. So, in this post we will focus on rosacea – a fairly common skin condition (estimated to affect some 415 million people worldwide1), especially prevalent among people with fair skin complexion or Celtic and Scandinavian origin, that can become a cause for discomfort and decrease in self-confidence. We will look at what rosacea is, where it comes from, how it can be treated, and why collagen can be useful.
WHAT IS ROSACEA?
Rosacea is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by abnormal redness on the face, primarily in nose, forehead and cheek areas. Rosacea is primarily affecting people with fair skin complexion and most commonly appears in people between ages 25 and 60 and affects mostly women. Based on the symptoms, rosacea is divided in 4 different types, though several types can appear at once:
1) erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – features flushing, and sometimes stinging or burning, or rough or scaly skin;
2) papulopustular rosacea – characterized by mild papules or pustules, and is often confused with acne;
3) phymatous rosacea – leads to thickened skin and irregular surface, as well as bumps on the nose;
4) ocular rosacea – most serious subtype leading to inflammation of the eyelid and the eye.
Consequentially, scientific research identifies four different stages of progression of rosacea, whereby in stage 1 it is characterized by frequent blushing and irritation of the skin, progressing to persistent blushing (Stage 2), papules and pustules (Stage 3). Stage 4 of the condition is characterised by disfigurement of the nose and development of ocular inflammation – the whites of the eyes become red. Rosacea can often go undiagnosed for long periods of time, due to being confused with acne, sunburn, allergy to cosmetics or because symptoms in the initial phases of rosacea occur only periodically.
WHAT INFLUENCES OCCURRENCE OF ROSACEA AND HOW IT IS TREATED?
The exact factors influencing occurrence of rosacea are not well established. Though, it is generally assumed that several factors could be contributing, and abnormalities in immune system, which may increase the skin's susceptibility external environment, and neurovascular dysregulation have been considered as the primary causes. The 2016 review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences groups the influencing factors as follows:
1) Predisposing factors – such as genetic predisposition and other diseases, e.g. inflammatory bowel disorder ("IBD"), cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurological diseases;
2) Abnormalities in immunity – such as epidermal barrier dysfunction, increased levels of vitamin D and others;
3) Neurovascular dysregulation, which can primarily cause flushing and burning sensations;
4) Triggering factors – such as ultraviolet ("UV") radiation, heat, stress, as well as mites and microbes.
A bit more on the triggering factors: studies suggest that UV radiation in inflammatory skin diseases like rosacea can lead to dermal collagen degeneration. UV exposure can also lead to hypervascularity – meaning that higher concentration of blood vessels can occur, thus contributing to worsening of rosacea. Exposure to heat and stress can also become influencing factors in worsening of rosacea symptoms.
So, while you might be pre-disposed to rosacea through genes, it can also occur because of abnormalities in immune and neurovascular system. However, there are a number of triggers, such as exposure to UV light, heat and stress, which can definitely be avoided.
HOW IS ROSACEA TREATED AND CAN COLLAGEN HELP?
According to different sources, if detected early and treated properly, rosacea and its symptoms can be made more manageable, and the progress of the condition can be slowed down or even stopped.
Treatment and prevention options include, first and foremost, avoidance of triggers. Those include hot drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, stress, sunlight, UV exposure and heat – all of these triggers increase blood flow and cause small blood vessels in the face to dilate. Cleansers and moisturizers that do not burn or irritate the skin can and should be used. For more severe cases and depending on the symptoms, also other treatments, such as medications and creams can be considered.
Where does collagen fit into all of this, you may ask? Well, at the moment collagen has not been found to be particularly influential in treating rosacea - whether collagen has any properties that could help those with rosacea, has not been studied to say definitively. However, collagen's existing properties can contribute to easing some of the symptoms, as well as improving our skin condition overall.
Collagen is the main building blocks of our bodies, and it also contributes to the health of our skin. Collagen contributes to replacement and renewal of damaged connective tissue, which can be especially significant for rosacea. Collagen also helps in the process of moisturizing the skin and helping with dryness and irritation, which are typical rosacea symptoms.
Collagen is also important component in providing structure and strength to blood vessels, and it creates strong and flexible blood vessels that help maintain a healthy blood flow. The capillary blood vessels are connecting arteries and veins, and fulfil function of delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body cells, including the skin.
Last but not least, in this post, we have already looked at the ways in which collagen can help our gut health. Glutamine, one of the primary amino acids in collagen, can contribute to repairing and healing of gut wall in cases of occurrence of IBD, which, as seen earlier, is one of the contributing factors of rosacea.
WHY MARINE COLLAGEN?
Col Du Marine™ marine collagen peptides have low molecular weight, and thus, are easily digestible and absorbed by the body, and is directed to the areas of our body where collagen is needed the most, including our skin. Col Du Marine™ marine collagen peptides are easy to use, and can be taken with any drink or food, at whatever point of your daily routine most convenient to you. Also, Col Du Marine™ marine collagen peptides have neutral taste and smell.
For more on how collagen can improve our bodies, read other posts on our blog. While there, check out this post, where we tell you all about our new and exciting Col Du Marine™ product in a brand-new gold sachet – it now contains even more goodness for you – low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, silica from the bamboo extract, and vitamin C!
Check out our store and try out Col Du Marine™ collagen peptides for yourself today!
1. Data provided by the National Rosacea Society, available at: https://www.rosacea.org/press/2018/july/new-study-finds-415-million-people-may-suffer-from-rosacea-worldwide.
2. University of Rochester Medical Centre, Health Encyclopedia, "Rosacea", available at: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=85&ContentID=P00311.
3. Pizzorno, J., Murray, M., & Joiner-Bey, H. (2016). Rosacea. The Clinician's Handbook Of Natural Medicine, 894-899. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-7020-5514-0.00080-4.
4. Best Practice Journal, " Rosacea: seeing red in primary care", Issue 75, May 2016, available at: https://bpac.org.nz/BPJ/2016/May/docs/BPJ75-rosacea.pdf.
5. Baker, S. (2007). Advances in the Discovery of Acne and Rosacea Treatments. Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry II, 957-968. https://doi.org/10.1016/b0-08-045044-x/00236-4.
6. Woo, Y., Lim, J., Cho, D., & Park, H. (2016). Rosacea: Molecular Mechanisms and Management of a Chronic Cutaneous Inflammatory Condition. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, 17(9), 1562. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17091562.
7. Best Practice Journal, " Rosacea: seeing red in primary care", Issue 75, May 2016, available at: https://bpac.org.nz/BPJ/2016/May/docs/BPJ75-rosacea.pdf.
8. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, "Rosacea", available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/rosacea-a-to-z.