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Rosacea

Do you blush or flush easier than most people? Blushing occasionally is one thing, but constantly turning red is simply not enjoyable.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea, pronounced “roe-ZAY-she-uh,” is a chronic skin condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It is estimated that up to 10% of people in the United States are affected by rosacea. It is characterized by redness, bumps, and sometimes facial pimples. While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, it is thought to be related to genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices.

The symptoms of rosacea can range from mild to severe and may include redness, flushing, bumps, pimples, thickening of the skin on the face or nose, eye irritation or dryness, and burning or stinging sensations. In some cases, it can also cause psychological distress due to its visible effects on the skin.

Rosacea is estimated to affect up to 10% of people worldwide, and it appears to be more common in fair-skinned individuals with a family history of rosacea. It typically begins in adulthood between 30-50 years old but can start at any age.

Expert Advice

Trying to manage rosacea symptoms? We have some recommendations to help make sure that your flare-ups are less frequent and less intense.

Know your triggers

While there is no cure for rosacea, identifying what triggers your rosacea can help you to take steps to reduce flare-ups. Understanding what triggers your rosacea can also help you find ways to manage it better and prevent flares in the future. Knowing what causes your rosacea can be the first step in getting it under control. Keeping a journal of what triggers your rosacea is one of the most effective ways to identify and avoid potential triggers.

While the exact cause of rosacea remains unknown, certain triggers can exacerbate it. Common triggers include exposure to sunlight, stress, alcohol consumption, hot or cold weather, spicy food, certain medications, and some skincare products. Understanding these triggers can help you manage your rosacea symptoms more effectively.

Use warm water

For those who suffer from rosacea, water temperature is an important factor to consider. Hot water can aggravate rosacea, while lukewarm or cool water can help reduce inflammation and redness. The optimal temperature for washing your face should be slightly cooler than body temperature, around 37 degrees Celsius.

It’s recommended to avoid taking very hot showers and baths as this can worsen your condition. Taking shorter showers with cooler water can help reduce the severity of your rosacea symptoms. Warm water helps to soothe the skin and reduce any inflammation caused by the condition. Additionally, warm water helps open pores, making it easier for skincare products to penetrate the skin and provide better results.

Gently clean your face

People with rosacea often shy away from washing their face because they fear it will worsen their condition. However, proper skin care is essential for managing your rosacea. Washing your face with a gentle cleanser can help reduce flare-ups and keep your skin healthy. It can also help reduce the appearance of redness and inflammation associated with rosacea.

Anything that aggravates your skin can make rosacea worse therfeore you should refrain from rubbing or scrubbing your face. Instead, use a gentle, circular motion when cleansing your skin with a mild cleanser to avoid further skin irritation. It is recommended to avoid using wash cloths, face sponges, or exfoliation.

Moisturize daily

Moisturizing is an essential step for people suffering from rosacea. Not only does it help to lock in hydration, but it can also reduce redness and inflammation caused by the condition. Moisturizers also help create a barrier to lock out irritants that can aggravate your skin.

A research study conducted in 2020 showed that moisturizers were more effective than metronidazole gel in reducing redness and inflammation associated with rosacea. Therefore, using moisturizers on a regular basis can help reduce the symptoms of rosacea and keep your skin healthy.

Make sure to read your labels. The fewer ingredients in your skincare products, the better. It’s also a good idea to use a cream moisturizer rather than a lotion, and avoid using an astringent or toner.

Choose wisely

If you suffer from rosacea, paying attention to the ingredients used in your skincare products is essential. Some ingredients can cause irritation and flare-ups, while others can help soothe the skin and reduce discomfort. Knowing which ingredients are best for you can be challenging, but avoiding certain ingredients can help keep your skin healthy and calm.

Common ingredients to avoid include alcohol, fragrances, menthol, camphor, retinoids or vitamin A derivatives, urea, sodium laurel sulfate,  alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), witch hazel and other astringents.  All of these can irritate the skin and worsen rosacea symptoms. It is also good to look for natural ingredients such as aloe vera or chamomile, which have calming properties for the skin.

Protect yourself from the sun

Unfortunately, the sun is one of the most common causes of flare-ups for those who suffer from rosacea. To protect yourself from the sun if you have rosacea, it is important to take proactive steps such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing outdoors.

According to the National Rosacea Society, wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and seeking shade are two key ways to reduce your risk of a flare-up when exposed to sunlight. Additionally, wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses can help protect your face from direct sunlight exposure. We also recommend avoiding tanning beds altogether. These steps can help you stay safe in the sun and reduce your risk of a rosacea flare-up.

Keep it simple

If you have rosacea, it’s important to be mindful when choosing skincare products. Reading labels and researching the ingredients in each product can help you find the right products for your skin. Knowing what ingredients to look for and which to avoid is key to finding the best products that will not aggravate your skin condition. Keeping your skincare routine simple and sticking with gentle, fragrance-free products can also help minimize flare-ups associated with rosacea.

Natural soaps and cleansers are the best choices as they are gentle on the skin and can help reduce inflammation. Natural ingredients such as aloe vera, honey, oatmeal, and plant oils can help soothe irritated skin while also helping to stimulate cell renewal. They also help to lock in moisture, which helps protect your skin’s natural barrier against environmental damage. Regularly using natural soaps allows you to control your rosacea while keeping your skin healthy.

Always do a patch test

If you suffer from rosacea, taking special care of your skin is essential. One of the most important tips for caring for rosacea is to do a patch test before using any new product. A patch test will ensure that your product suits your skin type and won’t cause irritation or adverse reactions. Doing a patch test can help you avoid potential problems and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

A patch test involves applying a small amount of the product on an area of your body, such as behind your ear or inside your elbow. After leaving it on for 24 hours, check for reactions such as redness, itching, or burning sensation. If any of these occur, the product is unsuitable for you and should be avoided. If there is no reaction, then using the product is safe. Doing a patch test will help you find out which products are suitable for your skin type and prevent any further irritation or flare-up of your rosacea.

Our Recommendations

Rosacea can be a complex condition to manage. Explore our selection of physician-formulated solutions designed to provide relief from the symptoms of rosacea while still being gentle on your skin. Start your journey towards healthier skin today.

Ask Dr. Emmons

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