Why is My Face Red?
by Christina Burr, PA-C in Dermatology at the Specialist Clinic at Southwest Health
Redness or flushing through the cheeks and nose is a common symptom that patients ask me about. While there are many potential dermatologic causes of redness and it is always important to rule out any potential worrisome causes such as lupus or dermatomyositis, one of the most common causes of redness through the face which we will talk about today is a condition called Rosacea.
Rosacea is a benign, chronic condition that typically develops between the ages of 30-60 years. While more common in women, it can occur in men as well. There is a genetic component to Rosacea and it is most frequently seen in fair skinned patients of European or Celtic descent. Symptoms can vary from mild pinkness through the cheeks and nose, to superficial blood vessels, pimples, pustules, cystic lesions and enlarging of the nose. Some people will experience a “burning” or “stinging” sensation, others report flushing easily, feeling “hot” or having frequent pimple outbreaks. While this condition is not worrisome, it can be quite frustrating and bothersome. Many people notice that their Rosacea “flares” or symptoms worsen when exposed to certain triggers. Common triggers for Rosacea flares include sunlight, wind, extremes of heat and cold, spicy food, alcohol, exercise, caffeine and stress.
So What Can I Do?
Here are some tips for reducing the flare ups and symptoms of your Rosacea:
- Avoid known triggers (i.e. sunlight, wind, extremes of heat and cold, spicy food, alcohol, exercise, caffeine and stress)
- Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF 30. Look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in it.
- Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser such as Cerave, Cetaphil or Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Cleanser.
- A non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) makeup can be used to help cover/reduce the appearance of pinkness. There are even some make up lines such as Clinique available over the counter that offer specific products designed to help combat the appearance of redness.
If you continue to have bothersome symptoms despite making the above simple changes, then see your dermatology provider to discuss further treatment options geared toward better controlling your Rosacea. These options might include prescription washes, prescription topical creams, oral medications and laser treatments.
Call us today at Southwest Health Dermatology 608-342-5060, we’d be glad to help!
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