We all get red-faced, perhaps when embarrassed, following strenuous exercise, or after spending too much time in the sun. It’s a normal reaction to external factors that we can’t control. But, some people suffer from red facial skin on a regular basis when these outside factors aren’t in play.
Chronic red facial skin is commonly referred to as rosacea. If you feel that your face consistently looks flushed, read this article to learn more about how rosacea occurs and what you can do to combat embarrassing red skin.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is chronic, inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects the face. Rosacea redness is actually a cluster of pustules or bumps that manifests into an overall red and irritated appearance.
Around 14 million Americans, or 1 in 20, are affected by this skin disorder, and unfortunately even more Americans don’t know about the disease and it’s symptoms. In fact, according to the National Rosacea Society (NRS), 49 percent of participants in a study said they misidentified their rosacea for acne before being diagnosed by a professional.
Who Does Rosacea Affect?
There are no exact causes of rosacea since sufferers tend to be fairly diverse. Rosacea was once solely associated with fair-skinned individuals. In more recent years, more cases developed in Asian and Middle Eastern countries, perhaps due to socioeconomic development which allows for better detection of skin disorders like rosacea. Other experts speculate that the increased number of racially diverse patients is due to lifestyle changes.
Although specific causes are unknown, there are trends to be considered when diagnosing a patient potentially suffering from rosacea. Abnormalities in blood vessels can cause a patient’s rosacea. Another potential cause is demodex folliculorum, a microscopic mite. These mites are usually harmless, but they may cause blood vessel abnormalities in high numbers. H. pylori bacteria, bacteria found in the gut, produces proteins that cause blood vessels to dilate. Finally, much like other skin disorders, genetic predisposition might be the cause of rosacea outbreaks.
The main physical complication associated with skin rosacea is ocular rosacea, where the eyelids become inflamed. Oral antibiotics and/or topical antibiotics are applied to decrease swelling so vision is not impaired. Otherwise, the biggest issue is compromised self-esteem and embarrassment. In a 2014 survey conducted by the NRS, 90 percent of 1,675 participants said rosacea lowered self-esteem and self-confidence. Eighty-eight percent said they had suffered embarrassment, and 43 percent cited depression as a side effect. Fifty-two percent of the respondents claimed they have avoided in-person contact due to rosacea.
Tips for Dealing with Rosacea
Rosacea is a common skin condition. It often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than others. Over time redness may become permanent. To help manage rosacea, Miami dermatologist, Dr. Mariano Busso offers these tips:
- For many people, caffeine, red wine spicy foods, and hot drinks cause rosacea to flare. Learn what foods and drinks flare your rosacea and avoid accordingly.
- Extremely hot and cold temperatures or wind often aggravate rosacea. Prevent yourself from overheating by keeping the air conditioning on or avoiding activities like hot yoga.
- Avoid scarfs made of wool or rough fabrics that tend to irritate the neck and facial skin.
- Sun exposure can flare rosacea. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Use sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as these ingredients are the least irritating. Ingredients like silicone or dimethicone or cyclomethicone minimize stinging and redness.
- Avoid rubbing, scrubbing, or massaging the face too often.
- Keep your skin care routine simple. The fewer products you use, the better. When using hair spray, cover your skin so the spray does not get on your face.
Rosacea Treatment in Miami
If you’re suffering from chronic red facial skin, contact dermatologist Dr. Mariano Busso at 305-857-0144 to discuss prevention, treatment, and living with rosacea. You may also schedule an appointment with Dr. Busso online.