These two conditions are often confused; however, they are two diverse skin concerns. Couperose skin presents as red, dry, and tight but is not inflamed. Meanwhile, rosacea symptoms include inflammation, flushing, papules, pustules, and in some cases, changes in the tissue itself.
Couperose indicates the presence of weakened blood vessels, due to the lack of elasticity in the skin. Rosacea is a vascular disorder with the client presenting more blood vessels that are closer to the surface of the skin, so more blood flows through the area. The skin care professional must be able to analyze the skin correctly before recommending a treatment plan and products. Without an accurate assessment, the client may not achieve effective results, or worse yet- no results at all.
Caused by loss of elasticity
Chronic inflammatory disorder
Blood flow dilates the capillary; however, it is unable to contract to its normal size
Hypersensitive skin, burning, stinging, and itching
Thickened skin tissue
Redness, dryness, and sensitivity
Flushing and Persistent Redness
Common in fair skin types
Papules, Pustules, and Rashes
Easily seen when a client has thin skin
Styes and Conjunctivitis (Ocular Rosacea)
Commonly found on nose and cheeks
Presents through the central third of the face (forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin)
Couperose is a vascular condition that affects both large and small blood vessels and appears as localized redness in specific areas.
RISK FACTORS FOR COUPEROSE
Be sure to see a dermatologist as soon as symptoms occur. A treatment followed immediately after the first symptoms can stop the condition and prevent a recurrence. Here are some treatments that have shown to help with couperose skin:
BENEFICIAL INGREDIENTS AND THERAPIES
Avena Sativa Extract
Oat kernel extracts are rich in avenanthramides, bioavailable polyphenols acting as antioxidants, which are known for their anti-irritant and anti-redness properties.
Ascophyllum nodosum extract and asparagopsis armata extract has been proven to increase elasticity in clinical studies.
Elafin, peptidase inhibitor 3 suppresses elastase, the enzyme that destroys elastin.
A plant extract with bioflavonoids (vitamin P) that strengthens capillary walls and reduces redness.
Bisabolol (from chamomile)
A popular analgesic ingredient that also calms redness, irritation, and inflammation.
Nonsetting masks are designed to stay moist and are more hydrating and are also referred to as gel or cream masks, they are not formulated to dry. They nourish or treat the epidermis and are beneficial for sensitive, couperose, aging, or dry skin because ingredients such as collagen, aloe, and seaweed have excellent hydrating properties.
Use a cool misting sprayer on a client with sensitive skin. Today’s steamers have an option of cool or hot mist, and many multifunction machines have a spray mist attachment.
USE CAUTION WITH THE FOLLOWING
To avoid overstimulation and damage to capillaries, do not use excessive hot steam or hot towels on couperose skin. Inform clients why extreme heat is not suitable for the skin.
Advise the client to avoid vasodilators, including heat, the sun, spicy foods, and stimulating products as they dilate capillaries. Steam or warm towels should be used carefully on couperose skin.
Educate clients, so they understand that excessive or deep massage is too rough for facial tissue in couperose skin.
The primary purpose of the rotary brush is to exfoliate the skin lightly. The brush machine also assists in the cleansing process. Brushes stimulate the skin and help soften excess oil, dirt, and cellular buildup. Avoid abrasive brushes and scrubs on acne, couperose, or inflamed skin.
Steam – Hot Towels
Avoid excessive use of steam or hot towels, because they dilate the capillaries and follicles, causing more redness and irritation.
Do not use vacuum suction or microdermabrasion on couperose.
Galvanic, especially desincrustation, should be avoided as it increases circulation. Iontophoresis decreases circulation, so it is okay.
High frequency also stimulates circulation and hot stones cause temperature fluctuation.
Rosacea is a vascular skin condition with four specific subtypes, and one variant that presents with permanent redness in the central third of the face that involves the capillaries, rashes, textural changes in skin tissue, and in up to 50% of patients and can affect the eye.
ROSACEA RISK FACTORS
Females are more likely to develop rosacea than males; however, males often experience subtype three phymatous rosacea, which presents as bumpy tissue. Lighter Fitzpatricks of European descent tend to have a higher risk of development. Still, all ethnicities can develop this sensitive skin condition, and it is less evident on a darker skin tone. Most cases occur in women from 30 to 50 years of age. And, typically most have a family history of rosacea, usually a sister, mother, or aunt. Although extremely rare, it also can begin in childhood and adolescence.
There are three subtypes of pediatric rosacea, including vascular, papulopustular, and ocular. Ocular rosacea and papulopustular disease are common clinical findings in younger patients. Pediatric rosacea tends to persist into the adult years.
Light therapy is an option for those individuals with visible facial telangiectasias. There are two options:
Laser therapy and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). The Mayo Clinic reports that studies have concluded that light therapy may reduce facial redness, flushing, and telangiectasias. Both options involve multiple treatments to achieve and maintain improvements. Minimal side effects include temporary redness, loss of skin color, and bruising.
COMMONALITIES BETWEEN ROSACEA AND COUPEROSE
Both conditions are made worse by specific triggers which vary from person to person, the most common include environmental factors such as exposure to hot or cold temperatures, wind, sun, humidity, and pollution (including cigarette smoke), as well as pollen. Psychological factors, including stress and anger, which can trigger flareups. Adrenaline, a stress hormone, can trigger inflammatory processes in the skin. External factors found in fragrance, detergents, topical medicines (including cortisone creams), hot baths, strenuous exercise, alcohol, and spicy foods affect both rosacea and couperose conditions. Clothing can also trigger inflammation. Skin-irritating dyes and chemicals can trigger skin irritation and allergies.
Both conditions are easy to confuse. The educated skin care professional can differentiate through a thorough medical background consultation and skin analysis.