Couperose Skin: Causes and Treatment Methods in 2022
What is couperose skin?
Couperose skin is a chronic skin condition where the blood vessels that supply the face cannot constrict or dilate as supposed because they are weak.
After taking a cup of coffee or alcohol, or if you are cold, angry, or happy, your face turns red because the blood vessels on your face dilate (open up). This makes more blood get to your face and makes it red.
However, when you no longer feel excited or angry, or several hours after you have taken some alcohol, your face would not be red anymore. This is because the blood vessels on your face constrict back to their initial sizes.
In some cases, the blood vessels might not constrict back to their normal size. They would stay open and cause long-lasting redness on the face. This condition is called couperosa and the victims are said to have “couperose skin”.
Symptoms of couperose
The common symptom of couperose is facial redness. In the early stages, the redness might go away after some time, but as the condition progresses, the redness becomes permanent.
Asides from this, other symptoms of couperose skin are;
- Tight and dry skin
- Over sensitivity to things that were negligible before
- Burning skin accompanied by painful stings
- A web-like pattern is formed by the capillaries of the face.
- Red spots on the face
What is the difference between couperose and rosacea?
Similar to couperose, rosacea is also a chronic skin condition that is associated with facial redness. However, they are different.
The symptoms of rosacea include;
- Facial redness
- Burning and stinging sensation
- Acne that might contain pus
- Rhinophyma (swollen nose)
- Swollen eyelids
- Difficulties in seeing properly
One difference between couperose and rosacea is that couperose skin affects only the cheeks and nose, while rosacea affects the cheeks, nose, forehead, eyes, and chin.
Also, couperose might come in episodes in the early stage, it would turn permanent in the future. On the other hand, rosacea is not a permanent condition as it comes in episodes.
Couperose affects both large and small arteries of the face, but rosacea affects only the small arteries of the face.
There is only one form of couperose skin, but there are four types of rosacea. These include ocular rosacea, rhinophyma rosacea, papulopustular rosacea, and erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.
What is the cause of couperose skin?
The causes of couperose aren’t entirely clear. However, other factors might cause couperose skin if they are combined.
The possible causes of couperose are;
Couperose skin is mostly seen in women than men. Specifically, women in their 30s that are light-skinned.
This condition can also occur in women with darker tones, but the redness might not be so apparent.
Genetics is the most possible cause of couperose skin.
If the blood vessels of your face are structured to be thin and lack elasticity, you are bound to have couperose sooner or later.
Apart from genetics, you can also condition your capillary walls to be thin. This happens when you expose your face to extreme cold, heat, or harsh winds.
● Immune-system response
Sometimes, couperose skin is one of the visible effects of your immune system’s actions.
This is most common after you’ve been exposed to an allergy.
● Environmental Factors
Some pollutants like cigarette smoke, pollen, and car emissions can cause couperose skin.
Exposure to UV rays from sunlight and extreme weather conditions could also cause couperose .
There is a digestive hormone that can trigger couperose , this hormone is called gastrin.
This hormone can be raised above the usual amounts by a bacteria called H.Pylori. Thereby increasing the effect of gastrin hormone on the arteries of the face.
Mites are tiny insects that normally live on our skin. The type of mite that lives in the skin is called Demodex folliculorum and they are not harmful.
However, some people might have too many mites in their skin, or be hypersensitive to the little in their skin. Either scenario could lead to couperose skin.
● External factors
Some other things like detergents, fragrances, and medications can cause couperose skin.
Also, hair and skin products might irritate the facial skin, thereby instigating facial redness.
What are the triggers for couperose skin?
The most common trigger for couperose skin is sunlight and hair spray. If exposed to these substances, the symptoms of couperose manifest almost immediately.
Other triggers for couperose skin include:
- Extreme emotions (happy, angry, crying)
- Extreme cold or heat
- Hot drinks, like coffee
- Spicy food
- Foods that are made with tomatoes, chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, or any other ingredient that contains cinnamaldehyde compound.
What is the treatment for couperose skin?
No treatment can completely cure couperose . However, these remedies could reduce the symptoms.
● Intense pulsed light (IPL)
This treatment method, pulsed light therapy, involves using heat from laser beams to shrink the dilated blood vessels.
The procedure is simple. First, a gel would be applied to the affected areas, then the machine would be used to wave over the face.
The side effects of this pulsed light therapy are mild bruises, temporary redness, and loss of skin color.
● Avoid triggers
This is one of the easy ways of managing couperose skin. Staying away from these triggers (as mentioned above) would reduce the rate at which you have flares.
To avoid UV rays from touching your skin, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or more before you step outside.
● Couperose skin creams and gels
Some creams and gels can reduce the symptoms of couperose.
Some of these creams include brimonidine which can reduce facial redness by constricting the blood vessels of the face.
Other creams for couperose are azelaic acid and metronidazole.
● Kanuka honey
Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to reduce redness, itching, and other symptoms of couperose skin.
According to one research study done in 2015, rubbing kanuka honey on couperose for eight weeks would yield significant improvements.
This involves using an electric current to close up dilated blood vessels. By closing up blood vessels, the facial redness would be reduced.
Couperose skin is a skin condition associated with facial redness because the blood vessels are weak and unable to constrict.
The causes of couperose are not entirely clear, but some factors might cause this condition if they are combined. These factors and possible triggers are mentioned above.
There is no perfect treatment for couperose but some of the treatment methods discussed above might help reduce the symptoms.
However, the easiest way to manage couperose skin is by avoiding the triggers.
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