Rosacea is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive skin problem, which presents as red splotchy skin and sometimes papules and can lead to thickening of the skin which can be very painful. It is now estimated by the National Rosacea Society that 16 million Americans suffer from the signs and symptoms of rosacea, and millions more may be in temporary remission.
Every person with rosacea has different triggers or things that make their rosacea worse. This can include some ingredients in skin care products, wine, spicy food, heat, and sun.
For a person suffering from rosacea it is very important to learn what NOT to use, sometimes more than what to use. Check out labels on skin care products, and watch out for ingredients that can dry out your skin like Alcohol, Witch Hazel, Peppermint and Fragrances. In general, look for products with mild ingredients and no added fragrances. The more ingredients in a product, the more likely it will irritate your skin!
Sunlight and heat is a trigger for many people with rosacea. Using sunscreen every day can help, but many ingredients in sunscreen can irritate the skin. This means you have to be smart about which sunscreen you use. Look for physical sunscreens with Micronized Zinc Oxide which will not irritate even the most sensitive skin and can actually help to combat inflammation.
A good moisturizer can help ease redness and irritation, but choosing the right kind is key!
One with niacinamide can help reduce redness in the face. A barrier repair cream, such as one that contains ceramides, can help prevent water loss and prevent the skin from drying out leading to a rosacea flare. Look for heavier emollient options like creams as lotions tend to be more drying.
If your rosacea is more serious or doesn’t respond to any of the above, your doctor might suggest antibiotic pills or topical prescriptions which can help with rosacea. Some popular ones include MetroGel, MetroLotion, Tazorac, Renova, or Azelaic Acid (like Finacea). Any of these topical medications should be applied as directed, on cleansed skin, before moisturizing. There is no cure for rosacea so you will need to use your treatments long term, but remission may be in your near future!