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Rosacea…Don’t Make Me Blush!

March 23, 2012

I’ve had many clients come and see me for facials and skin care advice thinking they were having a severe acne breakout. They had tried every product out there from proactive to an over the counter and even an expensive skin care line and still nothing cleared up the breakout. After carefully analyzing and noticing red acne-like bumps and visible blood vessels on my client’s skin, I always ask if they have noticed anyone else in their family with the same problem, if flare ups occur when they eat spicy foods, or drink wine, etc. When most of their answers are yes, chances are, that breakout isn’t acne, its rosacea.

Rosacea (say “roh-ZAY-sha”) is a condition in which facial blood vessels enlarge. Some characteristics of rosacea are redness, visible blood vessels on the nose, cheeks and/or chin, acne-like bumps, dry, irritated skin, oiliness, flakiness, and in severe cases, an enlarged nose. Rosacea usually occurs on the face and sometimes on the neck and upper chest. Experts/doctors are not sure what causes rosacea and usually think it’s hereditary. Almost anyone can get rosacea, but it is more common in people that have lighter skin complexions and blush easily. Women are more often affected by rosacea, but the most severe cases of rosacea are usually seen in men. 

Things that can cause a rosacea flare-up are called triggers. Common triggers are exercise, sun and wind exposure, hot weather, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot baths. Swings in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also cause a flare-up of rosacea. There are also many ingredients that can make rosacea worse. Be very careful when buying skin care products that contain large amounts of fragrant plant extracts such as: rosemary, cinnamon, lemon, lime, peppermint, and pine.  Be extra cautious when buying products with synthetic fragrances, large amounts of alcohol and witch hazel, these ingredients will not only increase redness in the skin, they can also dry it out. It is also critical that you eliminate abrasive scrubs, rough wash cloths, microdermabrasion, and aggressive peels. A rosacea skin care regimen should include products that reduce redness, inflammation, and soothing to the skin. Try organic skin care products, they seem to work the best on rosacea skin.

There is no cure for rosacea, but with treatment, most people can control their rosacea and keep it from getting worse. Doctors can prescribe medicines, antibiotic creams, and pills for rosacea. Another popular treatment for rosacea these days is done with laser. The unsightly blood vessels can usually be corrected in few treatments using the combination of laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments. Redness can be greatly improved with 3-6 IPL treatments (depending on how severe your rosacea is), several weeks to one month apart.

For those of you that wear makeup and would like to tone down the redness in your skin, try a sheer green-tinted primer for a makeup base, it can help visually correct redness and even out skin tone. Get one with UVA/UVB protection and you’ll help shield skin from exposure that can aggravate rosacea. A protective base has another bonus, too: it helps your makeup last longer. Mineral makeup is often a good choice for skin with rosacea, as it typically doesn’t contain potentially irritating ingredients. There are also innovative mineral powder formulas specifically formulated to color-correct redness. Dust a yellow-toned mineral powder over foundation, or use it over your protective base instead of foundation to help further tone down the look of redness. Rosacea adds a natural blush to the cheeks, so know need to enhance the redness with applying blush over the area.

If you notice excessive redness on your face and any of the other symptoms I’ve mentioned, you might want to seek a professional for help and skin care advice. Its better to learn how to control your rosacea before it gets worse. If you have tried everything you can to control your rosacea and are ready for laser treatments, I highly recommend scheduling an appointment with Mrs. Candy Garcia over at Sonterra Med Spa (210.545.3327) for a consultation…tell her I sent you! 🙂