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Redness and Rosacea Treatments at Skin Medical

We provide effective treatments for redness and rosacea at Skin Medical.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition characterised by a red flush across the forehead, nose, cheeks, or chin. It can range from light reddening to severe, angry redness accompanied by spots. It is more common in women, particularly the middle-aged, but tends to be more severe in men. People with pale skin are more commonly affected, making it particularly noticeable among them. As a result, it has been described as ‘a curse of the Celts’. Although the origins or causes of rosacea are debated, recent research suggests it is an inflammatory response by the body’s immune system to a neurovascular dysfunction

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Frequently Asked Questions about Rosacea

What Causes Rosacea?

Rosacea is a fairly common condition, but unfortunately, the mechanisms behind its cause are not fully understood. Medical research has made some progress over recent years, and a clearer picture is beginning to emerge. A favoured theory involves a dysfunction in the nerves around the blood vessels in the face. This results in an imbalance, possibly of the molecules that enable nerve cell communication, which stimulates an immune response and consequently causes inflammation seen as a red flush.

Is Rosacea Caused by Mites?

A microscopic mite called Demodex lives on our facial skin, consuming dead skin cells. This is perfectly normal, but an unusually high concentration of these mites may play a role in rosacea. This theory has not been conclusively proven, and further research is needed.

What Does Rosacea Look Like?

Rosacea manifests in various forms, making it difficult to identify. It can appear as raised red bumps or pustules resembling acne, or thread veins on the face. The condition tends to come and go, making diagnosis challenging and often delaying treatment. Rosacea can range from mild, with slight flushing, to severe and persistent redness. It typically does not appear before the age of 30 and worsens with age. If left untreated, it can thicken the skin, particularly on the nose, leading to rhinophyma. Rosacea often makes the skin feel rough and dry, rather than greasy, despite the presence of spots. The condition is widely under-diagnosed.

What Makes Rosacea Worse?

Rosacea episodes can be triggered by various foods, activities, or environments. Common triggers include coffee, alcohol, spicy food, hot baths, and sunlight. Surveys show that 85% of rosacea sufferers find UV light to be a major factor. High-factor sunscreen is recommended for these individuals.

Is Rosacea Worse in Heavy Drinkers?

Rosacea around the nose can sometimes lead to the misconception that the sufferer is a heavy drinker. While alcohol consumption can cause blood vessels to dilate and exacerbate the condition, it is not the primary cause of rosacea.

Is Rosacea Contagious?

Rosacea is not an infectious disease. It cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Is Rosacea Genetic?

Research suggests a genetic component to rosacea, as it tends to run in families. However, lifestyle and environmental factors also play a role.

What Skincare Works for Rosacea?

Consulting a dermatologist is essential, as not everyone responds to the same products. Rosacea can be managed with specific skincare preparations and redness-reducing light treatments. While these treatments do not offer a permanent solution, they can provide some respite. Gentle cleansing and daily use of a moisturizing sunscreen are crucial. Products marketed as ‘anti-redness’ or ‘calming’ are worth trying, particularly those from medical ranges such as Epionce, Neostrata, SkinMedica, PCA Skincare, iS Clinical, ZO Skincare, and Jan Marini. Ingredients like niacinamide, which has anti-inflammatory properties and strengthens the skin barrier, can be beneficial.

Can Make-Up Be Used to Hide Rosacea?

Make-up can be used to disguise the appearance of rosacea. Fragrance-free products designed for sensitive skin are recommended. Additionally, many products and treatments can help manage the condition.

How Do Light Treatments Work to Help Rosacea?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) reduces skin redness by destroying tiny thread veins on the skin surface. Fewer thread veins make the redness less noticeable. While some patients find IPL uncomfortable, it is effective. A course of treatment may involve three or more sessions a month apart, depending on the severity.

Is Laser Treatment Effective for Rosacea?

Laser treatment, when used with skill and care, reduces redness by targeting the pigment within thread veins. It is usually more expensive than IPL.

Is LED Light Treatment Effective?

LED red light therapy can help rosacea sufferers, although it is not as intense as laser or IPL treatments. A course of LED therapy can reduce inflammation and strengthen the skin barrier by boosting collagen and hyaluronic acid production. A home LED mask may also be useful, though it is less intensive than professional systems and requires persistence for results.

What are the other causes of redness?

Exertion, stress, embarrassment, and even eating spicy food – there can be many reasons for the reddening of the face as the blood vessels in the skin become dilated. In normal circumstances, the redness subsides quickly, but when it persists, becomes unsightly, or recurs frequently, it can be a problem. The difficulty often lies in determining the cause.

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Frequently Asked Questions
about Redness

Could My Medication Be Causing Redness?

The medication you are using could also be the cause of facial redness. Some medications, such as hydrocortisone cream, can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, leading to easier sunburn. Others have a vasodilatory effect, which increases blood flow to the surface of the skin, causing redness. If you have concerns about a red face, it is important to consult your GP, who can refer you to a dermatologist or other specialist.

Can Skincare Get Rid of Redness?

Red skin is prone to further irritation, so it is important to use skincare products that will not exacerbate the condition. Only products that have a calming effect and are designed to strengthen the skin barrier are recommended. The gentle use of cotton wool to wipe off make-up cleanser is much preferred to using a wet flannel. A cream or lotion cleanser should be fragrance-free and not remove the natural skin oils. Fragrance may be listed as ‘parfum’ in a product ingredient list and should be avoided.

The most effective skincare products designed to reduce redness tend to be available only on prescription and must be obtained from a GP or dermatologist. Ranges described as ‘calming’ or ‘soothing’ are the ones to be preferred. Products containing azelaic acid may reduce redness, with the added bonus of cleaning pores and reducing the appearance of dark spots. Products with niacinamide can also reduce redness and blotchiness.

Skincare products that lessen the appearance of acne can help reduce redness caused by the acne. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation following acne will fade over time if the skin is protected from the sun, but the rate of fade depends on the individual.

Creams and ointments are available for the treatment of eczema and seborrheic dermatitis. There are some creams for rosacea, but these don’t suit everybody. See the section on rosacea below for more details.

For redness caused by permanently dilated or broken blood vessels, such as thread veins, only laser treatment, intense pulsed light (IPL), or thermocoagulation will be effective in causing the blood vessels to shrink.

Could the Redness Be Caused by an Allergy?

Contact dermatitis can make skin red and painful. Common allergic reactions are often caused by exposure to substances like latex, nickel, and fragrances. Removing the cause of the reaction will help the condition subside, but finding the exact trigger in the modern environment can be a challenge. It is advisable to consult a medical professional for advice on which substances or product ingredients to avoid.

Can Redness on the Face Be Controlled Naturally?

Natural remedies have not been found to control redness effectively. Fresh aloe vera gel may feel cooling on the skin, but a well-formulated hydrating serum would be more beneficial. Staying cool and spending less time exposed to the sun is the best course of action. For severe or persistent problems, the first port of call should always be a medical practitioner.

How Does a ‘Cool Laser’ Help Reduce Redness?

Unlike conventional lasers that create heat on the skin surface, ‘cool lasers’ use a gentler wavelength of light to target redness. The light breaks up and disperses red blood cells without damaging the surrounding skin. This method is more comfortable for patients, though multiple sessions may be needed, especially for persistent redness.

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