Rosacea- Sensitive Skin, Part 2

What do Renee Zellegwer, Cameron Diaz, Mariah Carey, and Bill Clinton have  in common?  They are four of the  16 million  Americans  who  have to deal with a form of sensitive  skin called rosacea.  For reasons that  are not clear, the skin tends to flush easily and stay red.  It is more common in women with fair skin, but its also seen in men and people with darker eyes and coloring.

There are two  main  forms of rosacea:

1– The most common and mildest form consists primarily of bright red skin and numerous small broken blood vessels on the skin’s surface.  Why this happens  is not clear ( genetics?)  but certain triggers seems to bring trigger flare-ups.  Sunlight is the biggest culprit, followed closely by alcohol, spicy foods, stress,  chocolate, coffee and hot showers.

2– The second form of rosacea has similar redness but now the skin also  has pimple  like breakouts that don’t respond to traditional care.  There is some evidence that bacteria and yeast  microorganisms  are part of the problem.  Sunlight and the other well-known rosacea trigger also  contribute to outbreaks of this  type of rosacea.

Treatment of Rosacea 

Treatment starts with trying to avoid  factors  which provoke flushing.  This type of sensitive skin   is very suseptible to cosmetics  and should avoid  irritating ingredients  including alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, and menthol.  Many experts advise against exfoliating agents such as scrubbing grains, glycolic acid  and complexion brushes.  Effective sun protection is key.  Use an oil-free  physical  sunscreen with  zinc or titanium oxide like Sensitive Skin SPF30 by Neutrogena.  As good as they are, chemical sunscreens can be  too irritating for rosacea-prone skin. To reduce  inflammation, bathing the skin with fresh milk and oatmeal solutions can  provide relief.   Lasers, especially IPL,  have proved to be extremely helpful to reduce redness.  They close off the tiny blood vessels in the skin,shutting off the source of the flushing.

There are  additional treatment options for  the acne like form of rosacea.  Topical antibiotics like  MetroGel or anti-inflammatory lotions like Finacea can reduce  break-outs.  Cleansing pads with sulfa   like Prascion will also get to the micro-organisms that can be part of the problem.  For  severe rosacea, doctors can prescribe low-dose oral antibiotics like Oracea.

One final word:  Cortisone creams which are used for  so successfully for so many  skin problems   actually make  rosacea worse. They  have actually been known to provoke its  one type of rosacea.  While steroids can temorarily  improve the skin, the  problems rebound when  they are stopped

For   more information on   visit  the National Rosacea Society

Next  post– Just because its red doesn’t mean its rosacea.

7 thoughts on “Rosacea- Sensitive Skin, Part 2

  1. Extremely useful info. I’m not a typical rosacea victim, but I do sometimes have to cope with serious redness and flaky, once in a while mildly sore, skin. Guess it is a good start if I can be patient enough to read through the ingredient list and make sure it does not contain all kind of bad triggers mentioned in your articles 🙂 Keep it up, seriously, keep it up!!!

  2. Unfortunately, according to a survey done by the National Rosacea Society, a full 82% of rosacea sufferers are also sensitive to many common skin care products!

  3. Thanks for the post and this info! I have bad rosacea too and found out over the many years that certian anti flushing medication helps me to keep things sort of under control. Clonidine, prapranolol and mirtazapine help me, you can read more about it on
    Thanks and good luck for all rosaceans out there!

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