Skin Care Bible Review: Rosacea
Skin Care Bible Review: Rosacea
It’s Tina here again with another review piece of Dr. Mahto’s amazing Skincare Bible. Have you ever noticed someone with red cheeks or a red nose? Well, this is nothing unusual when the temperatures drop. However, if the problem persists, it could be that this person suffers from rosacea - an inflammatory condition of the skin, which is usually paired with sensitive skin and appears in the central areas of the face – on the nose, chin and cheeks.
Usually, women are affected, most commonly adult women with fair skin. It can occur on darker skin as well, however, here the diagnosis is a bit tricky, as the redness might be less visible. Men are more prone to skin thickening as the effect of rosacea, particularly of the nose.
The cause of the disease is unclear. What is clear, however, is that rosacea is a chronic condition that often comes and goes (or becomes “worse” and then “better” again). There are specific triggers, such as sun exposure, emotional stress or temperature changes, wind, alcohol or spicy food. But some skincare products can also be culprits!
The good news is that there are a number of options for treatment. Number one is to control sun exposure and wear suitable sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection, at least with 30 SPF. Then there are topical treatments – creams and gels containing azelaic acid, ivermectin, brimonidine, or metronidazole.
Inflammation can also be controlled by the oral use of antibiotics, such as tetracyclines or erythromycin. In extreme cases, isotretinoin can be used. However, these can be used only under the supervision of a medical professional. There are even tablets that help reduce blushing and flushing – a particularly uncomfortable social effect of the disease.
Redness can also be treated by laser and light: commonly, intense-pulsed light or pulsed-dye laser are used. The treatment needs several sessions and usually should be repeated in a maintenance session, as rosacea can return.
Clearly, an essential part of the treatment is to avoid the triggers. Apart from those I mentioned above, skincare products can trigger redness, so if trying a new product, it is always good to test it on a small area of the skin first – behind your ear, on the neck, or on the inner, soft side of your forearm. You just put a little bit of the product and wait 24 hours to see if irritation appears.
Common ingredients causing irritation are alcohol, witch hazel, camphor, eucalyptus, peppermint, menthol, propylene glycol, fragrance, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, salicylic and glycolic acid. Retinoid creams can also be problematic. Quite a number of them, right? And so many of them are used in our everyday products – just check the nearest bottle on your bathroom shelf.
We have mentioned the importance of sunscreen above. So, which sunscreen is the best one? The one you put on, of course! But, jokes aside, for rosacea-affected skin, it is good to find one that is tolerated by the skin, since you want to wear it every day (yes, even on cloudy days! We have talked about it here – where we do a review of the Skincare Bible – chapter 2, on routine). For many people, sunscreens with mineral filters, such as titanium dioxide, or zinc-based, work better than those with chemical filters. Often, products containing dimethicone or cyclomethicone are less irritating than those without.
Skincare regime with rosacea
The less the better applies here. Keep the number of products you use to a minimum to prevent irritation. And touch your skin only if you absolutely need to. Cleanse twice a day with a non-comedogenic cleanser with a neutral or slightly acidic pH (Dr. Mahto also gives examples of specific products suitable for rosacea-affected skin in her book. Use lukewarm water and avoid scrubs and toners. Moisturize regularly to maintain elasticity and softness of the skin and enhance the barrier function of your skin. Usually, creams are better than lotions.
Using makeup can help camouflage the redness, especially the products which contain a green tint. Generally, mineral make-ups are not irritating, oil-free foundations can also work well. Waterproof products should be avoided, as you need to use special products for putting them off and some ingredients contained in those can cause irritation.
You can also control the triggers in your diet. In addition to spicy food, citrus fruits and tomatoes can cause redness, as well as – somewhat surprisingly – cheese. You can try omega-3 fatty acids as supplements and flaxseed oil for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Do not let things get out of control
Similar to acne, rosacea can impact one’s emotional wellness and psychological conditions quite significantly and the effects should not be underestimated. If your skin condition starts affecting your daily life and over-the-counter product do not help, see a doctor. There is no need to suffer when there is treatment available.
I hope you enjoyed this reading! Next time, we will talk about pigmentation, so stay tuned!