On a windy winter day, cheeks always look a bit flushed. Between the wind and the cold, your skin responds by sending blood to the surface. But what if your rosy glow doesn’t disappear after a few minutes inside? If you commonly have redness across your cheeks or on your nose, forehead, or chin, you may be dealing with rosacea, a very common skin condition that occurs in both men and women. Rosacea can come and go, but it’s not curable, so learning what you can do to prevent flare ups or treat them makes a big difference. Symptoms Vary From Person to Person
Rosacea isn’t the same for everyone, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to diagnose yourself. Some common symptoms include persistent redness across the cheeks and nose, red pimple-like bumps, and skin tenderness or thickening. The condition can also affect the eyes or cause the skin of the nose to become bulbous (like W.C. Fields, for example).
While rosy cheeks have often been deemed a sign of health, that’s not always the case. For over 16 million Americans, rosacea causes “significant psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated.” The best way to determine if you’re dealing with rosacea is to keep track of your symptoms and visit a dermatologist. Most patients note that their redness has lingered for months, that their skin feels sensitive or hot, and that they have red bumps that are filled with pus. Blood vessels are sometimes visible on their face, and bloodshot eyes are common, too.
The Path to Treatment Starts with Avoiding Triggers
Since no two people share identical symptoms, it may take some time before you recognize what things trigger your rosacea. Sun exposure, stress, and heat top the list, but alcohol, food, and even medication can factor in. Even if you haven’t been officially diagnosed, we recommend keeping a journal to record when your rosacea flares up, so you can scrutinize your activities, meals, and lifestyle habits to find the source of the problem. There are also medications to minimize symptoms, but if you can treat yourself without them, that’s always the best approach.
Tailor Your Skin Care to Minimize Irritation
While you’re working to avoid triggers, it helps to make savvy skin care choices. According to the National Rosacea Society, try to avoid products with alcohol or fragrance, and steer clear of harsh exfoliating scrubs. If you buy a new product you’ve never used before, be sure to patch test it on a less obvious area, like your neck, to make sure it doesn’t cause a flare up. And don’t forget to wear physical, not chemical, sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is gentle and designed for people with sensitive skin, including those with rosacea.
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Having trouble picking skin care products that won’t aggravate your skin? We’re here to help. Just reach out, and we’ll guide you toward products especially suited for your skin.
To your skin health,
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