Skin Expert Tips: The Lowdown On Rosacea

Rosacea may not be a life-threatening condition or something that gravely affects your health, but the effect that it has on you mentally and emotionally is overpowering. Having a flushed, bumpy complexion takes a toll on you, similar to the way acne makes can make you feel like a recluse who'd rather hide their skin than be in public.

Symptoms of rosacea include visibly dilated capillaries close to the surface of the skin, severe redness (particularly on the cheeks and nose), little bumps that look like blemishes but never go away, and a persistent blush. While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, it's generally attributed to poor circulation, genetic predisposition (those with Irish, Scottish, English, and Scandinavian heritage are all more susceptible), digestive disorders, a sluggish lymphatic system, and bacteria and mites attached to cells. Sun exposure, extreme temperatures, hot showers, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes are also often to blame for rosacea, so limiting or avoiding exposure to these triggers as much as possible may be helpful.

While the redness associated with rosacea can be bothersome, you can minimize it with proper care. Read on for everything you need to know about keeping this condition under control.

#1. Use products designed for your skin type
While there is no cure for the condition, there are certainly steps you can take to make redness less noticeable and flare-ups far fewer, likebeing conscious of the products that you use According to Dr Low Chai Ling, Medical Director of The Sloane Clinic, "One of the hallmarks of rosacea is that the skin’s barrier protection is somewhat weak, therefore many ingredients that are fine for use on normal skin will be very irritating to rosacea-prone skin." So even if something looks completely harmless in the bottle, it could be making your condition worse. 

Using appropriate products is important no matter your skin type, but it’s especially imperative for people who experience rosacea and have hyper-sensitive skin. Soothing topical ingredients will help to sedate and calm and comfort overactive skin by reducing redness. And, seek out products that are unscented or don't use artificial fragrance. Also listed as “perfume” or “parfum," fragrance is a leading cause of skin flare-ups.  Scrubs, fruit acids and vitamin A products can be potentially irritating to reactive skin as well, if not used under the supervision of a dermatologist.

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#2. See a Derma
One lesson I learnt the hard way is: While skincare plays a role in maintaining a healthy skin barrier and soothe minor irritations, they are more adjunctive, especially when it comes to flare-ups. Since untreated rosacea generally gets worse – more pimples, more redness, dilated broken veins or thickened skin – seeing a dermatologist for early treatment often controls the disease much better and more quickly. Different symptoms of rosacea require different treatments. 

- Perma-Flush and Broken Capillaries: Even after the pimply flare-up clears, you may be left with permanent redness plus/minus a full network of obvious vessels. 3-6 Treatments with vascular lasers like the Vbeam (SGD $642), or in mild cases, IPL, can close up and remove the dilated blood vessels causing the embarrassing facial redness to restore a glowing clarity to your skin. In my case, it took 4 sessions of Vbeam laser to zap away the perma-flush and stubborn broken capillaries around my nose.

- Redness with Breakouts: A course of low dose oral antibiotics or Roaccutane (a oral vitamin A) might be needed to stamp out a severe rosacea breakout and swollen cheeks. Once the pimply flare-up of the rosacea has diminished, or for less severe cases, prescription anti-inflammatory topicals such as azelaic acid cream or metronidazole gel may need to be continued for a year or longer. Because for some people rosacea is a life-long problem, but for others once it’s under good control with treatment, the skin generally behaves with only occasional flares.

Dr Low Chai Ling recommends Sloane Inc Skin Rescue (USD $70) as a survival salve to quell rosacea breakouts. "Our Skin Rescue product is great for long term maintenance. It helps to reduce facial flushing, lighten pigmentation and combat acne without over drying out skin. It contains power ingredients such as azelaic acid for a more targeted anti-redness solution.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.