Rosacea and COVID-19

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Mask During COVID-19

Oh, corona virus look at what you are doing to me. All this disinfecting and hand sanitizer to smell. This puts my olfactory system into overdrive. I haven’t seen a disinfectant or hand sanitizer without alcohol. Alcohol is a rosacea trigger. 

April is Rosacea Awareness month. I had plans that have changed due to COVID-19 (please refer to CDC & WHO websites for current updates). Cleaning and disinfecting are a priority which has triggered my rosacea. At least I still have my sense of smell. 

I buy “natural” cleaning products these days. These don’t have an EPA number, usually not a top-grade disinfectant. To rely on products that are alcohol based is torcher for the rosacea face. But until COVID-19 is gone this is the way it has to be. When I clean, I open a window for the fresh air. I can also do this in my car applying the hand sanitizer. Safety against the virus is more important. 

I had been working two essential jobs. Friday afternoon my full-time job put me on furlough through July. (Stress) I now join the unemployment line. 

My part-time job I started wearing a mask that was the surgical at first, which caused some irritation. I had been breaking out. I currently wear the 2 layer cotton mask that you see.

Staying home as much as possible helps some with the stress. Stress can make my disorder worse. 


Stress Management  

How ironic, April is also Stress Awareness month, COVID-19 and the stress it has brought. 

I have blogs pertaining to relieving stress. If you are interested, they are under What Have you Done for You Lately? 

Now more than ever it is important to practice stress management. And COVID-19 has changed things up a bit. Our routines have been turned upside down. And what will the new norm be? 

The salon/spa and beauty industry are hurting due to being closed. They are vital to our well-being and mental health. Whether you go to have your hair done, a much-needed massage or that maintenance facial, we need them. (I could use some pampering now). 

Please remember their services once we are safe and things open up again. Many businesses will need our help getting back on track. 

Rosacea Connection to Allergies 

I am so sensitive to fragrance these days. Fragrance is #1 allergy. We put it in so many products. 

Rosacea may be caused by the innate immune system, one theory according to NRS. Our body’s first defense when faced with an infection. Our immune system triggers this response when encountered with bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. 

According to studies, the rosacea person innate immune system may not work properly. This sounds like I am compromised and at high risk for COVID-19. (Pretty scary). Our primary reaction is inflammation. 

The anti-microbial molecule, (cathelicidians) in our immune system may actually cause the inflammatory bumps and pimples. And they may also be responsible for vascular flushing and telangiectasia, all symptoms of rosacea. The cathelicidians were in larger numbers.  

Our innate immune system includes the skin and mucous membranes in our throat and gut. 

Rosacea Patients May Be Prone to Allergies Fall 2009  accessed 04/19/2020

Ingredients May Aggravate Rosacea Spring 2005 accessed 04/19/2020

Separating the Good Alcohol from the Bad in Skin Care Products summer 2019 04/19/2020

These blogs are found on NRS website.

How We Smell 

Very similar to our sense of taste. They actually work together. As we breathe in, the olfactory receptors in our nose, turn chemical signals into electrical signals. The signals then travel along nerve fibers to our brain.  

As inhaled odors enter our nose they dissolve in the mucus-coated inside. We have around 40 million olfactory receptor cells in our mucus membrane. These are found on the roof of our nasal sinuses. 

These special nerve cells respond to odors at a concentration of a couple areas each trillion. At the tip of each olfactory cell there are about 20 “hairs” (cilia). These float in the nasal mucus. Cilia can increase the cells surface size enhancing the ability to detect chemicals. 

Scientist think an odor molecule can activate different receptors. Some are very attentive to a certain odor while others have a weaker response. This activity is communicated to our brain recognizing this certain smell. 

Nerve impulses initiate after the odor molecule joins the receptor protein on the olfactory cell. These cells inform other nerve cells in the olfactory bulb. Finally carrying this information to the rest of our brain. 

There are branches of our olfactory nerve that send messages straight to areas of our brain that control emotions and memory. Others travel first through our cortex, the area responsible for development of conscious experience. Some smells are attached to a flood of memories. 

Losing Our Smell 

I have seen information on COVID-19 causing a loss of smell (anosmia). This loss of smell can be caused by a nasal infection affecting the olfactory receptors. It is important not to have a dry nasal cavity.  

Dry Nose 

The alcohol in disinfectants and hand sanitizer dry my nasal cavity. The inside of our nose needs to remain moist. Mucus that dries up can be irritating and can cause infections. A dry nose can occur due to lack of humidity or medication taken. 

To moisten I usually apply tap water inside my nose. Using a syringe and hot water usually helps moisten the inside of the nose also. 

To Treat a Dry Nose 

  • Stay hydrated 
  • Add humidifier 
  • Get Steamy- turn on shower until steam is produced for short period or boil pot of water 

  (Be careful of kids or pets getting near this) 

  • Coconut oil-in nose with cotton swab 
  • Limit heat 
  • Use nasal sprays or drops 

We have been using breathe easier essential oil in diffuser. And other oils for stress relief. Multi-tasking with oils. 

Stay well and safe. Please practice social distancing and stay home if you can.

Disclaimer: No endorsements are included in this blog for pay. This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis.



How the Body Works A Comprehensive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Anatomy General Editor Dr. Peter Abrahams Metro Books @2007 by Bright Star Publishing pic  How We Smell pgs. 96-97, How We Sneeze pgs. 98-99


Researching content: (for kids) accessed 04/19/2020 accessed 04/19/2020

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