Rosacea and Stress – Is There a Connection?

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5 Year evaluation done by Pulse Light Clinic and Nutritional therapist

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Since 2002 The Pulse Light Clinic has specialized in IPL treatment for Rosacea and has pioneered IPL techniques including multiple passes of Intense Pulsed light (IPL) to reach errant vessels under the skin.

Over the past five years the Pulse Light Clinic working closely with Lisa Borg a nutritionist whose speciality is Rosacea, have observed the effect of stress on the condition of Rosacea. Clients report that Rosacea onset began either with a stressful incident or with a traumatic event or a stress of some magnitude. Sometimes as the Rosacea worsened they experienced a reduction in their ability to handle stress.

When an individual experiences stress, the body responds by releasing a series of hormones and neurotransmitters that create internal changes to meet the challenge of that stress. The body responds to all stress as though it required physical action, whether the stress is physical or mental in nature. At this initial stage, several internal changes occur.

Sufferers of Rosacea know just how stressful this condition is to live with on a daily basis.

The long term effects of coping with Rosacea result in a reduced ability to handle everyday stresses, even those unrelated to Rosacea.

Internal changes:

1. Digestion is switched off (it is not a good time to be sitting down to eat).

2. The heart beats faster, blood is transported to the periphery of the body, and blood vessels are dilated to facilitate this.

3. The blood and muscular system is flooded with glucose to provide a high level of energy, power and stamina. This initial response is called The Alarm Stage and can easily be imagined as how one feels mentally and physically when one is fearful or shocked.

If stress persists over a period of time, the body can then be said to be in a second stage, The Resistance Stage. This is 'coping' with the stress by merely 'getting through the day'. Eventually, if this stage continues, the body becomes depleted of resources including nutrients, stamina, mental alertness, and the ability to be objective – things become very subjective and mood changes occur very often resulting in anxiety and depression.

Finally one reaches The Exhaustion Stage where the body cannot maintain normal function and the immune system begins to fail. This is the stage of onset of disease.

The majority of clients are in the Resistance Stage and addressing the adrenal glands through nutrition and lifestyle factors helps to prevent the progress to the final stage and disease onset.

Rosacea has no known cause but stress most certainly plays a role in its progression through the four stages. It appears to be that vessel walls are compromised to begin with, which suggests nutrient deficiencies and faulty digestion. Whether Rosacea began with a stressful event or not, stress is most certainly a part of living with Rosacea.

Pattern of development of Rosacea:

1. Poor vessel wall integrity + stress (vessel dilation) = excessive force of blood flow through weak vessels = inflamed or broken vessels.

2. Digestive: shutdown via stress response + food still entering the system =inflamed stomach / intestinal lining. Long term effect = mal-absorption of nutrients and toxin build-up (undigested food) in the gastrointestinal system.

Most people take antibiotics prescribed to them by their GP when they first develop Rosacea. This leads to further imbalances in the digestive system and its integrity becomes compromised, this leads to a reduced immunity and further digestive imbalances resulting in reduced production of B vitamins which are essential to the stress response!

3. Food sensitivity develops and certain foods that one always ate previously now cause flushing. This is typically due to a compromised intestinal lining which allows larger than usual food molecules into the blood stream; in turn this stimulates the immune system to respond as though the food particles were foreign invaders. Over-activity of the immune system, as described here, results in inflammatory compounds being released which further exacerbates Rosacea.

Conclusion:

Stress and Rosacea are intimately connected. Rosacea exacerbates stress and vice versa. Therefore, if the Rosacea sufferer has become less resistant to stress, has digestive problems, and feels Rosacea is out of control, it is time to get onto a combination programme of Nutrition and IPL to address Rosacea, Digestion and Stress.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) TREATMENT

The best Rosacea treatment outcome has proven to be the combination of IPL and a 3 month nutritional control programme.

IPL was carried out by an IPL specialist nurse practitioner who had pioneered IPL techniques including multiple passes of Intense Pulsed light (IPL) to reach errant vessels under the skin.

These contribute greatly to facial flushing and redness and surface capillaries. Multiple passes and individually tailored programmes achieved good to excellent clearance of telangiectasia and the chronic red face, as well as significantly decreasing the intensity and duration of the facial flush.    

The successful outcome of IPL treatment for Rosacea is determined by the experience and training of the IPL practitioner. A perfunctory IPL pass of the face using the same preset parameters for every client will not eradicate the spread or depth of blood vessels seen in Rosacea. Specific parameters geared to each individual Rosacea sufferer was used not just at the beginning of treatment but through each successive session of IPL.

Call the Pulse Light Clinic to book your free consultation: 020 7283 8191.

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