If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from rosacea, you’re likely always on the lookout for new information on how to treat it. This common (and frustrating) skin condition often leaves people self-conscious about how they look, since it typically affects the face.
There’s a lot to learn about what causes rosacea, how it’s treated, and if you can get rid of it permanently. Here’s your guide to dealing with rosacea and what dermatologists want you to know.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that typically affects the face and often results in redness and flushing that looks like a blush or a sunburn. It can also cause bumps and even pustules. This condition is more common in women than men and specifically affects middle-aged white women the most.
Symptoms of rosacea include flushing or redness that comes and goes, tiny red bumps or pimples on the face, and dryness and roughness of the skin. It can also cause eye problems in some people including burning, dryness, and the formation of cysts near the eyes. If you have rosacea, you might also find that your skin is extra sensitive to sunlight, wind, heat, and cold.
Rosacea often comes and goes in what is referred to as a flare-up. Environmental factors, stress, and even certain foods can make your skin more inflamed for a period of time.
According to Dr. Jenny Liu, a board-certified dermatologist based in Minneapolis, MN, the exact cause of rosacea is unknown. “We know there’s often a defective skin barrier, with sensitivity to skincare products and other external triggers like UV, heat, spicy food, and caffeine,” Dr. Liu told LifeSavvy. “Along with a vascular and neuro component that causes flushing, redness, and a burning sensation.”
If you have a close relative with rosacea, you’re more likely to develop it yourself. People with fair skin are also more likely to develop this condition. Rosacea is not the result of poor hygiene and it is not a contagious skin condition.
There are many factors that can make your rosacea worse, but these will vary for each person. “Everyone’s trigger is different but common factors include fragrance, alcohol, and using too many skin care products,” said Dr. Liu. “Externally, UV radiation, alcohol, chocolate, heat, caffeine, and spicy food are common triggers.”
If you have rosacea, you will need to figure out what your triggers are and do your best to avoid them.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for rosacea. Instead, treatment will focus on how to reduce and manage your symptoms. For some people, this will mean taking special care of their skin and avoiding triggers. For severe cases, medication may be necessary to control flare-ups.
According to Dr. Liu, mild rosacea can be treated at home while severe cases will require the help of a dermatologist. If you can treat your skin at home, choose cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup products that are designed for sensitive skin. “I recommend sticking to more gentle products like cleansers that are creamy and fragrance-free that will not overly strip skin’s natural oil, like The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm, which is great at removing impurities and makeup without over-drying the skin,” said Dr. Liu.
The INKEY List Oat Cleansing Balm
A gentle cleansing balm that melts away makeup without drying or stripping skin.
You should also opt for a moisturizer that will keep your skin super hydrated, as rosacea can leave your face feeling dry and uncomfortable. Cetaphil Redness Relieving Night Cream is highly recommended by people who struggle with redness and flushing.
Cetaphil Redness Relieving Night Cream
A moisturizer specially formulated for redness-prone skin.
Paula’s Choice Replenishing Facial Moisturizer is another popular option that uses antioxidants, emollients, and anti-aging peptides to even out skin tone, minimize wrinkles, and fight the effects of aging. Use it as part of your morning and night routine with your favorite cleanser.
Paula's Choice Replenishing Facial Moisturizer
A daily moisturizing treatment that hydrates and repairs without heaviness or residue.
A face serum can also help manage symptoms of redness and irritation. Cos De BAHA Azelaic Acid Serum contains azelaic acid, which can reduce the look of blemishes, and niacinamide, which can help with skin flushing.
Cos De BAHA Azelaic Acid Serum
A highly effective serum that will reduce the look of redness and blemishes.
Finally, don’t forget to wear sunscreen. People with rosacea tend to be very sensitive to sunlight and need to be extra careful about protecting their sensitive skin. EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen has a devout fanbase thanks to its lightweight formula and skin-calming ingredients.
EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Face Sunscreen
A popular sunscreen for sensitive skin.
If your rosacea is uncomfortable, unmanageable, or interferes with your daily life, you should consider visiting a dermatologist. A professional can help you learn how to care for your skin and finds products that will work best for you.
Rosacea is a common skin condition that can be a pain to deal with. Here’s what experts want you to know, plus which products can help you manage your red, sensitive skin.