Do people often ask you if you are blushing? Or ask “why are your cheeks red?” You might be like me and have a common skin condition called Rosacea. The blood vessels in the face may become visible and cause persistent redness. Rosacea can start as a tendency to blush or flush easily. The redness and visible blood vessels can involve the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin and ears.
There are different types and severity of Rosacea but symptoms can include redness, flushing, bumpy thick texture, swollen skin and acne-like breakouts. Left untreated it can gradually get worse over time and cause persistent redness of the face.
Here are some tips and tricks I use to reduce flare ups.
Identify the triggers that cause the blood vessels to dilate and the skin to flush. These may include exposure to heat, wind, cold, certain foods and alcohol. Everyone is different so notice when your skin begins to flare and what might have been the cause. Mine has flared when I am skiing so I have started using a full face mask under my helmet with goggles. It has made a significant difference.
Sun protection. Having Rosacea can lead to increased sensitivity to sun exposure. Be sure to apply sunscreen every day and multiple times while outside. I wear a wide brimmed hat and sum protective clothing. Seek shade while outdoors and avoid the harshest rays at midday, between 11am-3pm.
Skin care is very important and can have a vital role in decreasing flare ups. Excess exfoliation and harsh product ingredients can irritate sensitive skin. Consider using mild skin care products and being extra gentle with your skin. My favorite products for Rosacea include Epionce tinted sunscreen and Soolantra. The sunscreen protects my skin and the tint evens out my skin tone. While the Soolantra controls breakouts.
There are a number of treatment options for treating Rosacea including prescription medications and lasers. I would recommend consulting a board certified Dermatologist for a treatment plan that best suits you and your lifestyle. There is no known cure for Rosacea but I have found I can successfully control my flares with some lifestyle changes and laser treatments.
Kristin Baird, MD