Rosacea is a relatively common disease. It may begin with a very simple symptom: blushing easily. But as it progresses, the symptoms become more severe than flushing.
There are four subtypes of rosacea, with increasingly severe symptoms:
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, with redness, visible blood vessels, and frequent flushing
- Papulopustular rosacea, which includes swelling and bumps that look like acne
- Phymatous rosacea, where your skin thickens and becomes bumpy
- Ocular rosacea, which affects your eyes
Having rosacea doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to perpetual redness, though. There are effective treatments available, and it’s possible for the disease to go into remission. By following these five tips, you can manage your symptoms.
1. Figure out your triggers
Working with our staff at Skinworks Dermatology, you should be able to identify situations, products, or other things that trigger your rosacea to flare up. Once you know what your triggers are, you can work to avoid them. Some common triggers include:
- Hot weather
- Cold weather
- Spicy foods
- Hot drinks
- Some skin and hair care products
According to the National Rosacea Society, about 96% of people with rosacea who responded to the survey had identified personal triggers and reduced the number of flare-ups they had.
Since you’re a unique individual, your triggers and flare-ups behave differently than anyone else’s. You may have a flare-up immediately after being exposed to a trigger, or it may take some time for your flare-up to develop. This is one reason it’s important to work with our staff as you begin to determine what your triggers are.
2. Develop an appropriate skin care routine
Your skin needs an extra-gentle touch when you have rosacea. Many common skin care products are far too harsh for your delicate skin and can make your condition worse.
Cleansing your skin properly can feel like walking a tightrope when you have rosacea. You want to clean your skin, but without irritating it. The first step is finding a mild cleanser that works for you.
Gently apply your cleanser with your fingers, and thoroughly rinse it away using lukewarm water. Rinsing completely is a critical step. Use a clean cotton towel to gently pat your face dry.
Caring for your skin also includes using an appropriate moisturizer daily. Studies have shown that using a moisturizer can both make your skin feel more comfortable and lead to less dryness and peeling.
3. Be very careful when choosing cosmetics and other products
Your skin is sensitive, and some ingredients that are commonly used in cosmetics can irritate it. Some ingredients you should avoid include:
- Glycolic acid
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Lactic acid
- Various fragrances
Generally speaking, it’s better to use a cream rather than a lotion or gel. You should also avoid any kind of astringent, toner, or exfoliant.
4. Protect yourself from the sun
Sun exposure is one of the most common rosacea triggers. Wear a hat, lightweight long sleeves, scarves, and sunglasses to protect your skin. Stay in the shade when possible.
Considering the list of ingredients you want to avoid, it may seem like an impossible task to find a sunscreen that won’t irritate your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends finding a sunscreen that meets the following standards:
- Contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both
- Contains silicone, which may be called dimethicone or cyclomethicone
- Is labeled as “fragrance-free” and not “unscented”
- Offers broad-spectrum protection
- Has an SPF of 30 or higher
5. Make and keep appointments with your dermatologist
At Skinworks Dermatology, Dr. Javier Zelaya is knowledgeable about rosacea and an expert in treating it. By working closely with him, you can stay one step ahead of the disease’s progression, suffering fewer flare-ups and enjoying overall healthier skin.
Regular appointments give you the opportunity to ask questions, learn about new research, and keep your skin healthy. We’re always happy to see you, too.
If you’d like to learn more about rosacea, avoiding flare-ups, and what you can do on a day-to-day basis to protect your delicate skin, book an appointment using our convenient online scheduling tool, or give us a call at one of our three locations.