Rosacea is a disorder that causes redness, dilated capillaries and sensitivity in the skin. It can sometimes be accompanied with inflamed blemishes that are often mistaken for acne, however they are usually more red and don’t result in blackheads or whiteheads. Because of the sensitivity associated with rosacea, it is important to avoid acne medications as they can be too harsh on the skin and worsen the condition. Those with a combination of rosacea and oily skin tend to experience flakiness as well, but should consider using an enzymatic exfoliant rather than strong acids and physical scrubs.
Although it can occur at any age, rosacea typically begins in your 30s or 40s. If left untreated, it can get a lot worse with age. Rosacea begins on the nose and cheeks and moves outward overtime, progressing more rapidly on women in menopause. This is due to the fact that estrogen is a natural anti-inflammatory, thus, when estrogen levels drop during menopause, symptoms of rosacea increase. Delicate, more fair skin types are more susceptible to rosacea than others. Thicker skin types, such as those of Mediterranean descent, have more of a protective barrier in their skin, which makes their skin more resilient and far less prone to rosacea. Sadly, there is no magic cure for rosacea, but by identifying and avoiding what triggers your rosacea, it can be controlled and maintained.
Triggers of Rosacea
Extreme changes in temperature, high levels of stress, strong chemicals and certain foods and drinks need to be avoided as mush as possible. Below is a list of common triggers:
Extreme Weather Conditions
- Sun Exposure
- Strong Winds
- Extreme Cold
- Extreme Heat
- Dry Heat
- Emotional stress
- Aerobic exercises
- Hot showers
- Spicy foods
- Certain medications
- Certain medical conditions
- Alcohol consumption (especially red wine and beer)
- Caffeinated beverages (tea, coffee and soft drinks)
- Citrus fruits
- Dairy products
- Hot foods and drinks (that make you flush)
- Spicy foods
Many people prone to rosacea swear by an alkalizing diet, which consists of reducing acidifying foods that change the body’s pH levels to become more acidic. Foods that should be avoided include meat, processed grains and sugars, soft drinks and caffeine. Stick to more alkalizing foods such as fruits (except for citrus fruits), vegetables and sprouted grain. The idea is that rosacea is the result of too much acid in the body.
Products and Treatments to Avoid
- Soap (drying and irritating)
- Granular exfoliating cleansers (too rough on the skin)
- Cleansing with hot water (heat is a trigger)
- Wash cloths (too rough on the skin)
- Toners with alcohols (drying and irritating)
- Occlusive ingredients (petrolatum, mineral oil trap heat in the skin)
- Physical scrubs (too abrasive)
- Microdermabrasion (too abrasive)
- Cleansing brushes (ex: Clarisonic)
- Perfumes (known irritant)
- Strong alpha hydroxy acids (ex: glycolic acid)
- Benzoyl peroxide (very harsh)
- Using too many products at the same time (sensitive skin can react)
Quick Tips for Managing Rosacea
- Immediately after finishing a strenuous work out, rinse your face with cool water. This will help to subside the redness and flushing that can occur after physical exertion.
- When removing unwanted facial hair, opt for tweezing or threading rather than waxing. Waxing can cause redness, burning and inflammation, and those with thinner or ultra sensitive skin can also experience scabbing and ripped skin.
- Gentlemen, opt for an electric shaver instead of a blade, which minimizes unnecessary friction against sensitive skin.
- Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Besides the obvious reason of shielding your skin from harmful UV rays, ingredients such as silicone (commonly listed asdimethicone or cyclomethicone) can actually reduce inflammation associated with rosacea.
- Many people with rosacea shy away from wearing makeup, for fear of further irritating their skin. Rather than staying away completely, look for cosmetics without added fragrances that are formulated for sensitive skin.
- Choose a moisturizer with soothing, anti-inflammatory properties such Circadia’s Rose-Ease Relief Cream. This calming, lightweight moisturizer was specially designed to help combat rosacea while promoting moisture retention and supporting skin’s protective barrier function.
These extra precautions can be especially effective in reducing symptoms of rosacea when combined with advanced treatment methods. At NewDermaMed, we have a broad range of laser treatments available to address the redness, flushing, and broken capillaries commonly associated with rosacea. Because different skin types have different needs, our clinic offers complimentary consultations using our VISIA Complexion Analysis to determine the exact underlying cause(s) of your rosacea, allowing us to provide you with a customized treatment plan.
Schedule your appointment with one of NewDermaMed’s medical professionals today and see which rosacea treatment is right for you!