Pharmacist Laura Dowling didn’t realise she had rosacea until she went to a dermatologist about her acne. Here, Dowling outlines the best course for rosacea treatment – and why it’s so more more than a dreaded ‘bit of flush’.
Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes blushing and flushing, and it can be accompanied by pustules of pus which is why it’s called acne rosacea. It can be as mild as facial flushing, there can be swollen bumps, and you may experience a burning sensation. It can flare up and down, last for weeks or months and it mainly affects middle-aged white women, as there is a hormonal element to it, too.
Rosacea can also cause dry, irritated and swollen eyes and eyelids which is known as ocular rosacea. The eye symptoms can often come before the skin symptoms. You may think you are treating something for the eye, when it can be the skin itself that’s causing the problem.
Identify Your Triggers
With rosacea treatment, it’s important to identify your triggers, such as hot drinks, temperature extremes, sun and the wind, red wine, emotions, stress, or humidity. Medications can dilate the blood vessels as well, and some cosmetic products can cause irritation.
Consider a Dermatologist
Some people may think, ‘it’s just a little bit of blushing or sunburn,’ but if you have facial flushing, you should consider visiting your pharmacist or GP who can refer you to a dermatologist if you don’t get anywhere with the normal prescription medications. I have mild rosacea and I wasn’t aware of it until I went to a dermatologist about my acne. There are so many options and remedies out there for skin that it’s a shame for people to put up with something like facial redness when it could be rosacea.
There are so many options and remedies out there for skin that it’s a shame for people to put up with something like facial redness when it could be rosacea.
Be Informed About Products
With rosacea treatment, be gentle on the skin. Don’t rub or touch the face too much as our hands can transfer dirt and bacteria. Avoid harsh treatments and active ingredients. Look for products that are fragrance-free and don’t contain irritants such as alcohol, camphor, urea or menthol. Use a mild soap-free cleanser and a gentle moisturiser twice a day. RELIFE Relizema lipid-replenishing cleanser (€18) is soap-free and fragrance-free with ceramides to repair the barrier of the skin, and vitamin B3 (niacinamide) to even out and smooth the skin. Laser therapy can help with the redness and visible blood vessels. With acne rosacea, less is more: it isn’t ideal to layer on lots of ingredients. There are prescription creams that work really well, and mineral-based makeups can reduce the redness.
Invest in a Silk Pillowcase
Protect your face from the sun with a hat and a good sunblock. In winter, a light cotton scarf will keep windburn at bay. A silk pillowcase can be a good investment. It’s a natural fabric so it’s gentle against our skin. They irritate the skin less and don’t dry it out as much, and for menopausal women who experience sweating or hot flushes, it doesn’t stick to your skin. They certainly keep the blow dry better!
We don’t view our skin as the exceptionally important organ that it is, it’s the largest organ in the body. We can be very harsh on our skin without realising what an important role it plays.
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