by Trudy Despain
(last updated August 23, 2013)
Rosacea is a common skin disorder that is believed to affect 14 million Americans. The first symptom of rosacea is sudden, occasional redness of the face, usually on the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. The redness can be mistaken for sunburn or blushing but as the condition progresses the redness becomes more persistent and apparent. Some people experience burning or tingling sensations in the affected areas and small red bumps appear that look similar to pimples. There is no cure for rosacea but there are treatments that will help control symptoms and prevent further damage. Unfortunately, because the symptoms of rosacea are common to other skin aliments like sunburn and pimples, rosacea often goes untreated until symptoms become sever.
It is important that you see your doctor to determine if your symptoms are rosacea. You doctor can recommend prescription medications to treat the symptoms but there are also things you can do at home to alleviate and manage your rosacea.
The most important thing you can do is protect your skin from the elements like sun and severe heat. Find a sunscreen that blocks UVA, UVB and ultraviolet sun rays with an SPF of 15 or higher. Chances are, because of your rosacea, your skin is sensitive to new creams and lotions. If you choose a sunscreen that causes burning or itching, keep trying until you find one that works for you. Talk to your doctor and search the internet for dermatology clinics that offer cosmetics and sunscreens specifically for rosacea.
Sometimes the soap, lotion and makeup that you use on a daily basis can be causing your rosacea to flair. Skin care products with added perfumes and alcohol can irritate rosacea. Search for products that are noncomedogenic (won't clog your pores) and non-abrasive. When you wash your face, avoid scrubbing as it irritates the skin.
The key to treating your rosacea is determining what causes flairs and then avoiding those triggers. Keep a daily journal that tracks skin care products, foods eaten, sun exposure, detergents and soaps used and anything else that you think might be contributing to your rosacea. Common triggers for rosacea include spicy foods, hot foods, sun, hot temperatures, abrasive soaps and cleansers, stress, caffeine, exercise, hot baths and cold weather.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and about treatment options. Keep in mind that there are numerous medications and creams available. Keep trying until you find a solution that fits your needs. Additional help can be found by contacting the National Rosacea Society at 1-888-no-blush.
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