Ruddy, red cheeks are the hallmark of rosacea, but the 16 million people who live with it often have other symptoms too, including red pimples and pustules, flushing and dilated blood vessels, swelling and eye irritation. And it can get worse as you get older.
Rosacea symptoms tend to act up as winter turns to spring due to temperature changes, according to the National Rosacea Society. But getting your rosacea in check could be as easy as 1, 2, and 3.
1. Preventing Flares
Know your rosacea triggers, and take measures to avoid them. For some people, triggers include sun, spicy foods, alcohol, stress, or hot beverages. Keep a diary to get a better handle on yours.
2. Smarter Skincare Shopping
If you have rosacea, be extra careful about anything that goes near your skin. Some products can be friends, but others are foes.
For example, sun exposure is a huge rosacea trigger for many people, but sun protection can also make rosacea worse if you don’t choose the right product. “Choose a non-irritating sunscreen with a physical blocker like zinc oxide or titanium,” suggests Chris G. Adigun, MD, an assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
Want some suggestions? Beauty in the Bag likes Lumixyl MoistureLock Sunscreen SPF 30 ($58) and Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 50 ($13).
Exercise the same care and caution when choosing your moisturizer and any other skincare products including makeup, says Dr Adigun. Buzz words to look for on labels should include oil-free, non-irritating, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free.
Beauty in The Bag recommends DDF Ultra Light Oil Free Moisturizing Dew ($42), B. Kamins Revitalizing Booster Concentrate ($75), and Murad Recovery Treatment Gel ($48).
When it comes to cleansers, “avoid anything abrasive including scrubbing agents of any kind,” Adigun says. If you have rosacea, cleansers should be devoid of all things retinoid and salicylic acid. “Choose a gentle cleanser and wash your face with cool water,” she says.
Also, Adigun warns, just say no to chemical peels, facials, and other treatments. No matter how refreshing and luxurious they sound, if you have rosacea, they will make things worse. Guaranteed.
3. Chatting with your Dermatologist
There may be more you can do to treat and beat rosacea. If you have acne-like bumps, for example, antibiotics may help get rid of them. These can be taken orally or applied to the inflamed skin. One of the newest drugs is Oracea from Galderma, which is taken once daily, lauded for having far fewer side effects when compared to high-dose doxycycline.
Lasers, such as gold standard Candela VBeam Perfecta, and Intense pulsed light (IPL) can also really help get the red out. Are they cures? No, but they can make a big difference.
Don’t wait for your next flare. Talk to your dermatologist about your rosacea sooner rather than later.
For more info, visit rosacea.org