Rosacea is a troubling skin disease that affects more than 14 million Americans. The largest population afflicted with rosacea is Caucasian women in their 20’s-50’s. However, rosacea can affect skin of color and men as well. As a Board-Certified Dermatologist and member of the American Acne and Rosacea Society, Dr. Kate Holcomb is passionate about diagnosing and treating rosacea in all skin types and races. “We now know that treating rosacea improves patient’s quality of life.” Studies demonstrate that people miss work and cancel social engagements due to their rosacea.
Rosacea can present in multiple ways with pimple-like bumps; broken blood vessels on the cheeks, nose and chin; or persistent facial erythema (red cheeks). Patients often complain of hypersensitive skin with stinging and burning or red flushing of the face due to certain foods, heat, or alcohol. Rosacea may simply flare out of the blue which can be socially troubling. The eyes can also be affected by rosacea with irritation, dryness, redness or that patients describe as the feeling of having something in the eye.
In the last five years, the number of treatments for rosacea has flourished with several, highly effective prescription medications, great over the counter options and new in-office peels and procedures.
Dr. Holcomb recommends that all patients with rosacea use gentle, fragrance-free products and wear sunscreen daily. There are new theories on how heat, in addition to sun, plays a role in worsening rosacea; therefore, Dr. Holcomb recommends that rosacea patients only wear sunscreens that contain physical blockers, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which reflect light away from the skin.
“My favorite over the counter products for rosacea are by Avene, which we carry in the office and can be found online and at some drug stores. They are reasonably priced and are a great starting place before prescription treatments because they have the basics for a gentle skin routine. The Antirougeurs Redness Relief Dermo-Cleansing Milk facial wash contains spring water with anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the appearance of capillaries,” says Dr. Holcomb. The company also has a number of fragrance-free sunscreens.
Aside from prescribing medications for rosacea, Dr. Holcomb performs chemical peels and lasers tailored to the skin needs of each patient. “We used to think that rosacea patients could not tolerate chemical peels, but now there are options that perform well and give beautiful results,” says Dr. Holcomb. She also suggests doing your research to make sure that you are seeing a Board-Certified Dermatologist capable of using combination therapy on sensitive rosacea skin.
AVÉNE ANTIROUGEURS CALM SOOTHING
- Immediately cools and calms irritated skin
- Can be used as an overnight hydrating mask
- Contains botanicals to support the microcirculation of skin
- Facilitates skin recovery