Rosacea- What exactly is it?
Did you know April is rosacea awareness month? Probably not, because neither did I – but it makes sense. April has a lot of changes with the weather, humidity, allergies, and sunlight. Those aren’t all the triggers to rosacea, but it’s a lot of the list, so it’s appropriate that the worst month for those issues, April, is the awareness month assigned.
Do people tell you you’re red all the time or ask if you just got sun? You may have sensitive skin or possibly a red undertone – OR – you may be in the early stages of having a chronic skin condition that effects roughly 16 million Americans called rosacea.
What is it?
Rosacea is the inflammatory response of your skin to specific triggers. What does that mean exactly? Think redness, heat, bumps, breakouts and rash. Rosacea usually starts at the cheeks, nose and chin areas but is not limited to those. It differs from person to person and most see an onset after the age of 30. Men and women of all skin colors are affected by rosacea but usually fair, light-skinned patients are more prone to more extreme cases, men usually ignoring the concerns and worsening the condition. You may see one day it looks like the lupus butterfly rash and others it’s barely noticeable. “Flair-ups” and remissions are often common with rosacea because of the location. Our face takes a beating because it’s constantly exposed and goes through trial and error testing of products like creams, scrubs, sunblock’s and makeup. Products that have higher concentrations of chemicals and preservatives, as well as fragrance and exfoliating properties, usually irritate skin and can trigger a flair up. Direct heat, prolonged sun exposure, spicy foods, stress, and red wine can also be inducing for rosacea and should be limited. (Yeah, avoid that stress, it’s bad for your rosacea!)
Can You Fix It?
So now that you know what it is, what can you do about it? Well, for starters, switch up your skincare. Toss products with retinol and high volumes of fragrance/chemicals. Finding a gentle milky cleanser (think Cetaphil or Skinceuticals Gentle Cleansing Milk), a calming serum (hello Phyto Corrective gel -my fav!) and a nourishing moisturizer without SPF (the SPF should be applied as a separate step). Makeup specially designed for redness like a green concealer or powder gives instant toning down of redness and a primer can even the texture if bumps and breakouts are concurring in your flare-up. There are lasers on the market that help with broken capillaries that contribute to redness and usually give a good response when done in a 5 treatment series. Chemical peels can help if used correctly (I would recommend the CO2 Micro-Peel treatment by Skinceuticals) but physical exfoliation like microdermabrasion should be avoided at all costs! Facials with cold compresses and anti-inflammatory products can work wonders before a big event and are usually the safest bet.
Think you may have rosacea or need help with an in-person evaluation? Stop by our office, located in downtown Melbourne, for a free consultation with our skincare experts! (321) 821-4778
Till next time Melbourne!
Love the skin you’re in.