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Do You Have Rosacea?

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic and relapsing skin condition that primarily involves the central face. It can present as mild flushing, areas of veins on cheeks and around the nose, and sometimes as pustules that may appear to be acne but are, in fact, rosacea. Rosacea can also affect the eyes with redness and irritation of the eyelids.

Triggers

It may get worse in heat, the cold, wind, and during stressful times. It can be triggered by hot drinks and alcohol. Some foods also trigger it. Caffeine can actually reduce redness, but hot beverages increase flushing. If you are going to drink coffee, make it a cold coffee drink!

Sensitivities

Rosacea skin tends to be sensitive, and patients often have difficulty tolerating facial products. Rosacea skin also tends to be dry because of chronic inflammation, leading to abnormalities in skin barrier function. Very gentle skincare practices are essential. A gentle cleanser (not soap) that does not impair the skin’s PH, may be used. I find a good emollient cream can often do wonders for dryness and sensitivity.

Products to Avoid

It is essential to avoid products on the skin such as astringents, toners, physical scrubs, and products containing some alpha hydroxy acids. I find that lactic acid, a very mild AHA, is tolerated and can be used for very gentle chemical exfoliation if needed for mild acne. We have seen many cases of “maskne” in the past 18 months.

Products to Use

Gentle lactic acid peels are also able to be tolerated for cleansing and exfoliation of the skin. Sunscreen containing zinc is essential as rosacea can be flared by radiant heat from the sun and UV radiation. Some products may help inflammation, including topical Vitamin C and products containing Thuja, which is a potent anti-inflammatory that comes from the bark of red cedar. Laser and Intense Pulsed Light can be used to treat the vascular features of rosacea – the redness and veins that can appear on cheeks, chin, and often in the area between the eyes.

Prescription Medications

For more severe rosacea, especially if there are pustules, there are now prescription medications available. These include topical metronidazole, azelaic acid, and ivermectin. You will need to consult with your physician regarding these medications.

Feel free to book a complimentary consultation with Dr. Pascoe to determine if your dry, irritated, red facial skin, is rosacea. There are now many options to help with rosacea so that your skin (and you) feel a lot happier.

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Posted in: Skin Conditions

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