Rosacea : When Redness is More than Blushing

How to rebalance your skin when redness won’t go away

Everyone gets a little flustered sometimes. We blush when shy or embarrassed, get a bit rosy after a strenuous workout or, on a chilly day, we might find ourselves looking a little like Rudolph. But what does it mean when your face is ruddy almost all the time? It could be that you have rosacea but, according to Dr. Boneva, you don’t have to let redness rule your life.

What is rosacea and what causes the redness?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. It’s a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes the face to turn red when facial blood vessels enlarge. It can occur in anyone, but mostly affects women with fairer skin.

It’s not serious but, like acne, it can affect the way we feel about ourselves and if left untreated it can spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin, and even ears, chest, and back. It can also be mistaken for acne or an allergic reaction, so it’s good to have your skin examined by a professional who can properly diagnose and treat the condition.

What is your approach to treatment?

Rosacea is actually a complex disorder with four subtypes and a variety of potential causes and triggers, so each case is unique and must be handled on an individual basis. What causes one person’s rosacea to flare-up may not trigger a flare-up for another person. My general program for redness reduction consists of four parts:

Diet: To tone down redness, I recommend a vegetarian diet and reduction or elimination of dairy, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and, sometimes, certain grains that can ramp up inflammation.

Reducing triggers: Beyond diet, there are other triggers to identify and address, which can include overly warm environments; overexposure to sun, wind or cold; menopause; stress; and certain medications or skin products.

Topical solutions: I have developed my own line of products, which many of my clients use to control rosacea, but I generally recommend products with cooling, soothing ingredients like cucumber and mint.

Resurfacing: A combination of vibradermabrasion (a gentler form of dermabrasion), deep chemical peels, and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy works wonders for many rosacea patients over time.

No one can cure the genetic propensity to developing rosacea symptoms, but by making some lifestyle adjustments, identifying and avoiding triggers, getting the right treatment and using appropriate products, you really can beat the redness!