What exactly is rosacea? What causes skin redness and how do I treat it? What skin care routine or treatments help reduce redness? When is it time to see a dermatologist?
Skin redness or rosacea is a common skin condition that poses many questions. Although it can be “tricky” to treat with lots of unknowns, it is not impossible. Knowledge is power and I would like to share with you tips on how to identify, prevent, and treat redness in the skin.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face. It may also produce small, red, pus-filled bumps. These signs and symptoms may flare up for weeks to months and then go away for a while. Rosacea can be mistaken for acne, other skin problems or natural ruddiness. Rosacea can affect anyone but it’s most common in middle-aged women who have light skin. It is important to understand that there is no cure for rosacea, but treatment can control and reduce the signs and symptoms.
How do I know if I have rosacea?
If your face looks like you’re blushing and you get bumps that are a bit like acne, you might have a skin condition called rosacea. The biggest thing I see in patients is redness on their cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Less often, the color can appear on your neck, head, ears, or chest. This redness may accompany broken blood vessels that show through your skin, which can thicken and swell up over time.
Other symptoms you may get are:
- Hot & tender skin
- Patches of rough, dry skin
- Swollen, red bumps
- A swollen, bulb-shaped nose
- Larger pores
- Broken blood vessels
- Bumps on your eyelids and/or vision problems
Your rosacea symptoms can definitely come and go. They might flare up for a few weeks, fade, and then come back. Being able to identify and treat rosacea is important so that your symptoms do not continue to worsen over time.
What are triggers for rosacea?
It is crucial to be able to identify what triggers your rosacea. This is the hard part for most. The most common triggers for rosacea are sun exposure, stress, heat, wind and cold weather, alcohol (wine is a big one), spicy foods, certain skin or makeup products, and even exercise or sauna. I encourage my patients with redness to keep a diary of foods and daily activities so that they can isolate what could have possibly triggered a flare up. Over time, looking at those patterns can help you identify what causes your rosacea to flare. No two cases of rosacea are exactly the same, and thus what triggers you may not trigger your best friend. One thing is for certain: we have to know our triggers in order to avoid them.
How to Treat Rosacea
1. Use the right skincare
How we care for our skin will have a major impact on the appearance of rosacea. When it comes to the redness, we need a very gentle and hydrating plan to help calm redness and rosacea. I like to customize plans for my rosacea clients and oftentimes that includes a gentle cleanser, vitamin C, Hydration Serum, Rescue Cream, and Moisturizer. Hydration is KEY!
Some of my favorite Redness Relief/Overall Skin Health Options:
RFA Gentle Cream Cleanser: This dual purpose product helps to calm redness and gently cleanse the skin without stripping vital oils, which can promote irritation and dryness. The non-reactive formulation includes soothing Evodiox, which is derived from the Chinese evodia rutaecarpa plant and reduces redness, as well as two additional key ingredients – Ginger Root to promote even skin tone and radiance, and Bisbolol, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Used as a mask, it may remain on the epidermis for 3-5 minutes before rinsing off. Great for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Fragrance Free, Propylene Glycol Free.
Radiant Vitamin C Serum: Helps reduce redness and even out your skin tone. Vitamin C is used to treat a huge variety of inflammatory skin conditions. Minimizing redness can create a more even complexion.
HA Peptide Serum: This hydrating, soothing, oil-free moisturizer is a great choice for acne prone skin, post-treatment, or anyone looking for potent hydration. Formulated with Sodium Hyaluronate, which pulls moisture into the dermis to lock in hydration, added Peptides to stimulate collagen production, soothing Green Tea and Niacinamide, plus anti-inflammatory Vitamin B5. The serum may be layered under makeup, SPF or other moisturizers for added hydration.
Rescue Cream: This aloe based hydrocortisone cream helps soothe and calm irritated skin. Formulated specifically for the face, this 1% hydrocortisone cream temporarily relieves itching caused by minor skin irritations, rashes, and post-procedure treatments. Squalane and Glycerin help hydrate the skin barrier while protecting against dryness. Gluten, Oil, and Fragrance Free. Non-comedogenic, will not clog pores.
HydraLipid Moisturizer: Richly textured, luxuriously hydrating moisturizer helps replenish moisture and guard against dehydration while revitalizing skin’s appearance. This moisturizer helps replenish skin’s natural moisture barrier with cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides. Helps smooth appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while renewing the feel of suppleness and softness. Fragrance free, steroid free to use daily for continuous moisturization.
2. Diet & Supplementation are Key
Gut Health = Skin Health
It is without question that our diet affects our skin. Our skin is actually our largest organ and if it’s presenting blemishes, rashes or discoloration it can often be a result of something being off in our gut. If we eat foods we might be intolerant too, or foods that are toxic to our body they can actually ruin the lining of our intestine. If the lining of the intestine is compromised then particles from our food may get into our bloodstream and cause irritation and inflammation which can show up as skin problems. Crazy right?! I find a ton of success with gut health and systemic support with supplements. There is a big link between gut health and skin inflammation. To keep my gut health in check I take Opti-Greens 50 and Full Mega Fish Oil every day.
Opti Greens 50 an immune-boosting greens powder which includes a superfoods blend of powdered vegetables, a powerful digestive enzymes blend and trademarked probiotics all designed to help you achieve better overall gut health. For me, it is essential for helping me with bloating and or any type of upset stomach. Opti Greens 50 is basically the equivalent to taking a 4oz shot of juiced greens + a probiotic + digestion support all in one drink! A healthy gut will not only help you feel less bloated it will be a key contributor in helping improve healthy skin.
Full Mega is a very highly concentrated fish oil with high amounts of EPA and DHA. When you buy a fish oil supplement you’re buying the quality which is measured by the amounts of EPA and DHA as well as total Omega 3s. Fish oil has been proven to be very beneficial for a multitude of reasons and recommended by almost every Physician for its multitude of health benefits. Heart health, brain health, skin health, and overall inflammation in the body are just some of the benefits that you will receive when taking a high quality fish oil like Full Mega.
3. Consider In office treatments to boost results
When appropriate, lasers, intense pulsed light sources or other medical and surgical devices may be used to remove visible blood vessels and redness. If you want to really boost results and see improvement quickly I suggest giving these treatments a try.
IPL – reduces hyperpigmentation, redness, and broken vessels. This is best done in a series of 3-4 treatments spaced one month apart. This treatment also stimulates a ton of collagen production (Bonus!)
VBeam– Vbeam is a type of pulsed dye laser that treats skin issues related to blood vessels. Whether you have rosacea, spider veins, or port-wine stains, a Vbeam laser is a great treatment option. This is the gold standard treatment for targeting blood vessels and vascularity problems in the skin.
Hydrafacial – This facial treatment does not necessarily get rid of rosacea, but it really helps calm down inflamed skin. During this treatment I recommend the Rozatrol Booster Serum to calm redness. A nice hydrating hydrafacial can be wonderful to minimize pores, hydrate the skin from deep within, and allow the skin to shine. Hydrafacials cleanse, extract and hydrate the skin.
When is it time to see a dermatologist?
If you have exhausted treatment options with your aesthetic provider and your rosacea is not improving or is worsening, it may be time for a dermatology referral. There are a range of oral and topical medications that dermatologists prescribe. The treatment plan will vary depending on the severity and type of rosacea. Some patients may need medical therapy for redness control. When it comes to skin bumps and pimples, we often try oral and topical therapy to get the condition under immediate control, followed by long-term use of an anti-inflammatory therapy to maintain remission.
When it comes to redness and rosacea it definitely takes a multi-faceted approach, patience, trial and error, and commitment to the plan. Knowing and identifying your triggers, avoiding your triggers, using appropriate skin care, diet, and getting specialized treatments are all key in the treatment process. If you need help with your redness or rosacea I would love to help you. You can fill out a form here and I will create a customized skin plan just for you. I take virtual clients all over the USA and can ship right to your doorstep. I know how frustrating this skin condition can be, and I would love to help.