Article Objective: To discuss the prevalence of high blood pressure in the 21st century and its deleterious effect on rosacea symptoms and triggers. We will also discuss the normal oscillations in blood pressure that occur during a normal day and the effect that stress and anxiety have on blood pressure. We will also detail ways to monitor chronic high blood pressure and blood pressure spikes to determine if they have a direct effect on your particular rosacea symptoms.
Understanding High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (HBP) is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke and other problems such as damaged blood vessels throughout the body, internal organs and the skin. The American Heart Association states that nearly one in three US adults have high blood pressure and most go untreated for years or even decades!
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways, especially the vascular system.
Blood pressure is measured as systolic (sis-TOL-ik) and diastolic (di-ah-STOL-ik) pressures. You most often will see blood pressure numbers written with the systolic number above or before the diastolic number, such as 120/80 mmHg. The mmHg is millimeters of mercury—the units used to measure blood pressure. “Systolic”, the top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (i.e. when the heart muscle contracts to pump blood throughout the body). “Diastolic”, the bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (i.e. when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).
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CATEGORY SYSTOLIC NUMBER (top number) DIASTOLIC NUMBER (bottom number)
Normal Blood Pressure 120 or less 80 or less
Borderline High Blood Pressure 120 to 139 80 – 89
High Blood Pressure 140 – 159 90 – 99
(Hypertension Stage 1)
High Blood Pressure 160 or higher 100 or higher
(Hypertension Stage 2)
Important Fact. The constant pressure exerted on blood vessels in Borderline High Blood Pressure states and High Blood Pressure states is extremely damaging to small arteries, arterioles and fragile capillaries throughout each organ in the body — to the extent that it can cause permanent dilation, hyper-reactivity and complete breakage (telangiectasia). Externally, some may notice broken or dilated blood vessels throughout the whites of their eyes, the upper cheek areas and the sides of the nose. This can occur even if one does not have rosacea and can sometimes mimic rosacea possibly resulting in a false positive medical diagnosis.
High Blood Pressure and Rosacea
High Blood Pressure is one of the most damaging diseases for rosacea sufferers due to the negative effects that the high pressure has on the inner layers of the blood vessel wall (endothelium and basement membrane) and the chronic stretch that this pressure places on vascular smooth muscle which causes vascular hyper-reactivity to rosacea triggers, permanently dilated blood vessels in the skin and breakage of the small arterioles and capillaries in the facial region. Borderline High Blood Pressure and High Blood Pressure control should be a priority for all rosacea sufferers because it can catapult a simple pre-rosacea case into a moderate-to-severe case. You must monitor your blood pressure and take active measures to try to get your numbers down to 120/80 — and even lower at 115/75 if possible — as the American Heart Association now recommends.
Adverse Effects of Borderline High Blood Pressure and High Blood Pressure on Facial Rosacea:
- Broken blood vessels in centro-facial area (telangiectasia)
- Dilated blood vessels that cause a blotchy appearance
- Hyper-reactive blood vessels that flush easily to triggers
- Stimulates new growth of blood vessels caused by the increased vascular pressure (angiogenesis)
- Leakage of fluid, proteins and inflammatory compounds through damaged capillaries that result in facial swelling
- Damage to the inner lining of the blood vessel wall so extensive that endothelial cells that help control vascular tone are damaged beyond repair and even ripped off the inner blood vessel wall
- Chronic stretching of the vascular smooth muscle in the blood vessel wall can cause permanent damage and dysfunction
- Significant progression of the entire rosacea process
Blood pressure has a daily pattern — depending on the time of day blood pressures can normally change significantly based on diurnal variation of hormone release and nerve activity. According to the MAYO CLINIC, blood pressure is normally lower at night while you’re sleeping. Your blood pressure starts to rise a few hours before you wake up. Your blood pressure continues to rise during the day, usually peaking in the middle of the afternoon to early evening. Then in the late evening, your blood pressure begins dropping again.
Important Note: Many rosacea sufferers complain of spontaneous flushing or facial hyper-reactivity during the afternoon.
While there have been no clinical tests on this phenomenon — and, in fact, usually go completely unrecognized by the medical community at large — it is highly probably that high blood pressures that normally occur during the middle of the afternoon to early evening as described above contribute significantly to rosacea flares and facial hyper-reactivity that seem to occur without any stimulus or provocation. Measuring your blood pressure with the new digital self measuring systems may help answer many questions about spontaneous flares and natural oscillations in your blood pressure that could increase your propensity to flush.
Please do your homework before purchasing a self-measuring digital monitor for blood pressure as you want to purchase the most accurate one possible that can self calibrate. www.ConsumerReports.org has an excellent list of independently tested blood pressure monitors.
For those of you with Borderline High Blood Pressure and High Blood Pressure.
You may want to discuss further evaluation with your doctor. Your doctor can tell you if an abnormal daily blood pressure pattern may need treatment. He or she may recommend a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring test. The device used for this test measures your blood pressure at regular intervals (every 30 minutes) over a 24-hour period and provides a more accurate picture of blood pressure changes over a typical day and night. This may be quite helpful in determining if blood pressure fluctuations affect your rosacea especially if you journal your flare times as they occur which over time may give you a better 360 overview of contributing factors.
Stress Raises Your BP – It is important to emphasize that blood pressure can increase significantly during times of stress (emotional and physical) and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are near the top of the National Rosacea Society’s list of “Most Common Rosacea Triggers”. This rise in blood pressure can last for several hours after the incident and can stimulate severe rosacea flares as well.
Stress reduction helps your rosacea
- Meditation, gentle yoga and thi chi are awesome at helping you though breath and movement to learn how to calm and relax yourself. See article from AMA
- Laugh & Hug it out – A good laugh and a good hug have been shown to be great for you and your health. See this article on hugging.
- Remove or distance yourself from toxic situations and people… Listen to your body and your inner voice. Focus your energies on positive situations and people.
- Find a purpose – volunteer or being service to others can actually have a impact on your health and outlook on life.
- Journal – Not only is it good for tracking your rosacea (triggers and progress) writing about your feelings, situations and thoughts is a great way to see the awesome positive things in your world but also helps you to work out things you may be struggling with.
- Make a vision board – these are goals, wishes and what do I want and desire my world to look and be like… it helps you to focus on positive things and beneficial actionable items .
- Sleep and eat well – Sleep is when your body recharges and repairs its self, eating a well balanced nutritious diet low in sodium and inflammatory foods goes without saying and is a key component to you and your all over health. Fill 3/4’s of the plate with veggies and 1/4 a protein. (meat should be a side dish vs. main focus) and avoid
Rosacea and Blood Pressure
Do you have High Blood Pressure that seems to effect the state of your rosacea?
If so, have you noticed a reduction in your blood pressure or rosacea symptoms while on Rosadyn?
Thank you for your important feedback and wishing you a rosacea-free future!
Health Disclaimer: Informational article above not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have or think that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. Before adding in or considering alternative supplements and treatments please consult with your medical practitioner first. We do not claim to “cure” disease, illness or conditions, but to simply provide you with additional information and education nor is any product sold or discussed to be considered to replace your medical treatment, diagnosis, treatment or preventative recommendations.