If you’re seeing red every time you look in the mirror, it might be a common medical condition known as rosacea. Causing red blotches, swelling, and bumps, rosacea is a vascular disorder characterized by blood vessels near the skin surface that dilate suddenly, increasing local blood flow and resulting in flushing and redness to the skin.
A chronic medical condition affecting more than 3 million people, rosacea can appear on the skin for a short time, several years, or be a lifelong problem. It can be caused by anything from food allergies and sun exposure to environmental toxins and genetics.
Commonly mistaken for acne or other skin conditions, rosacea can affect just about anyone, but is more common among middle-aged women with fair skin. For many people, rosacea causes more than just facial flushing and redness. Symptoms of the skin condition may also include acne-like bumps, eye irritation, and thickened skin. Although there is no consensus among medical professionals about the reasons some people develop rosacea when others do not. It cannot be cured and left untreated, this skin condition can get worse with time.
Though various treatments can control symptoms of rosacea, this chronic condition is ultimately best managed by avoiding certain triggers.
Rosacea Triggers to Avoid
Rosacea triggers vary from person to person, but heat, cold air, extreme exercise, sun exposure, stress, and medications that increase blood flow to the surface of the skin can aggravate rosacea.
Foods do not “cause” rosacea, but some ingredients are known triggers.
Adding hot peppers or ordering food with an extra kick, spicy foods may be one of many underlying causes of rosacea flares. Cayenne pepper, red pepper, black pepper, curry, paprika, and other spicy ingredients can cause tiny blood vessels underneath your skin to dilate, resulting in flushing. By substituting other ingredients like oregano, sage, and basil, your dishes will get that added flavor without triggering rosacea symptoms.
Red wine, bourbon, gin, vodka, champagne, and beer can all be triggers for certain people prone to rosacea symptoms.
Basking in the sun might be fun, but if you suffer from rosacea, it might not be a day at the beach for you. Sun exposure is the most common trigger of rosacea that stimulates the blood vessels to dilate.
Stress is among the things that make rosacea worse. And though you can’t always avoid stressful situations, you can help minimize their effect on your life and your skin.
Exercise is good for the body and the soul, but it’s also a factor that can aggravate rosacea. Exercise elevates your heart rate, which causes flushing from increased blood flow to the skin. Instead of exercising during the hotter peak hours of the day, working out during off-peak hours when the sun is low and temperatures are cooler could help to alleviate symptoms.
36% of rosacea sufferers point to hot drinks as their primary trigger. Hot chocolate, tea, and coffee, which cause the blood vessels to expand, can cause flushing and redness.
Heat is among the things that make rosacea worse. And it’s not just a challenge during the summer — it can be a year-round problem. The winter is the time we close our windows and turn up the heat, so open some windows to keep your living spaces cool and less dry. In summer, seek out air conditioning whenever possible. Avoid saunas and hot tubs.
Winter winds and cold temperatures are common things that trigger rosacea. Cover your face with a scarf or ski mask, be sure to wear sunscreen, and limit hot beverages if that’s a trigger for you. Ask your dermatologist about a skin barrier ointment that could protect your skin from the cold weather elements. Get to know your personal rosacea triggers, advises Stuart. “Avoiding triggers does not seem to slow the progression of this skin condition, but a thorough knowledge of them will help you coexist with this disease more easily,” she says.
Applying makeup can be a double-edged sword for people with rosacea. On one hand, it can cover up redness, but on the other hand, it can aggravate rosacea. Using water-based, non-allergenic,fragrance-free makeup helps. Cosmetics that contain alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, and eucalyptus oil tend to be irritating for people with this skin condition.
To avoid cosmetics that trigger your condition, test all new products on your neck before putting them on your face. If you have a reaction, take note of the product’s ingredients to try to isolate which ones aggravate your rosacea.
Maskne, or mask acne, is caused by excessive wearing of PPE face protection and has become problematic for people of all age groups, especially those on the front line. Caused by breathing and talking under the mask which produces a wet heat, causing excess oil and sebum production, rosacea sufferers may experience flare-ups when wearing masks for prolonged periods of time.
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Tips to Help Reduce Symptoms
Moisturizer is an essential skin-care product for rosacea sufferers. They create a barrier that locks out irritants and can help keep symptoms at bay, but choosing the wrong one can actually make your condition worse. When choosing a moisturizer, opt for one that’s oil-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic-–the fewer ingredients, the better.
Use Gentle Cleansers
The type of cleanser you use can also affect rosacea symptoms. Harsh cleansers and astringents can actually make rosacea much worse. Although rosacea might look like acne, it’s not. Many acne treatments will irritate rosacea, including products that contain retinoids or salicylic acid. Your cleanser should be fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and free of harsh exfoliants as scrubbing can make the condition worse and cause scarring.
Be Wary of Facials
Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and spa facials may be good for your best friend, but they could be your skin’s worst enemy. Many of these medical-grade treatments can irritate the skin, which can aggravate rosacea. If you want a rejuvenating treatment to make your skin look younger or smoother, you can work with your dermatologist to find other skin-care options.
Opt for Mineral-Based, Fragrance-Free Makeup
Makeup may be used to help cover up ruddy cheeks, but products containing certain ingredients could worsen rosacea symptoms. The formula of any makeup specifically for rosacea matters too. When choosing a foundation, opt for pressed powder over liquid which can clog pores and make rosacea symptoms worse.
Practice Sun Safety
The top trigger for rosacea flare-ups is sun exposure. So, whenever you’re in the sun, practice sun safety. Apply sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and stay in the shade as much as possible. Be wary of sunscreens containing harsh chemicals, however. Opt for sunscreens with physical barriers such as zinc oxide or titanium instead and apply generously and reapply often.
Get to the Bottom of it
Finding ways to reduce stress and minimize situations that increase blood flow to your face can help minimize rosacea symptoms.
While there is no cure for rosacea, there are ways to avoid triggering its symptoms and treatments available that can be tailored to the individual’s needs.
Taking notice of which make-up causes breakouts, paying attention to foods that trigger symptoms, and keeping track of external factors can help you get to the bottom of the cause of your rosacea. Treatments that prove effective include everything from topical medications like creams, lotions, and gels, and medications that may help reduce inflammation and redness.
Oral antibiotics can be effective for more serious symptoms. For patients with dilated blood vessels, permanent redness, and other changes on the nose and cheeks, there are advanced procedures such as Laser Genesis available.
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At Specialist Skin Solutions, we offer a range of services that provide the best treatment for rosacea. Choose from our tailored and comprehensive 8-session program involving peels, laser, and home care or mix and match products and services to help find your own balance.
Our 8-session program for comprehensive treatment for rosacea includes a full facial assessment, 4 sessions of Vitamin C peels, and 4 sessions of Laser Genesis. We also provide medical-grade products and Actinic sunscreen to continue your recovery journey.
If you’re ready to stop seeing red when you look in the mirror, call Specialist Skin Solutions @(02) 4934 1500 today to book an appointment. Reduce rosacea symptoms with our range of medical-grade in-office or at-home treatments by contacting Specialist Skin Solutions and booking your free consultation.
We’re dedicated to helping each one of our clients feel their best by bringing out their natural beauty and loving the skin they’re in. We look forward to speaking with you!
Offering a thorough consultation prior to treatment, we’ll discuss the areas of concern and the range of treatment options suggested to produce optimal results. The amount and type of product, as well as our pricing structure, will also be discussed during the consultation process so there are no surprises.