For the millions of people who suffer from the redness, facial flushing, and even acne-like symptoms of rosacea, it's easy to feel like there is little or nothing you can do to treat your condition. While not curable, there are many ways you can manage your rosacea so that it doesn't interfere with your life. It is important to note that while some severe forms of rosacea can look like acne, traditional acne treatments will only aggravate your condition. If you suspect you have either acne or rosacea, make a quick trip to your doctor so you can treat your condition properly.
To see some treatments and behaviors that can minimize the discomfort of the condition,
- Go easy on your skin: Rosacea can make already-sensitive skin even more so. If you are having a bout of redness and inflammation, treat your skin like you would a baby's. Stay out of the heat (that means no steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzi... you get my drift), and especially avoid the sun. If you do have to venture outdoors, use a baby sunblock with the highest SPF that you can find, and wear a wide-brimmed hat. It can also help to avoid exercise, and moving quickly between hot and cold temperatures. Use only an alcohol-free, gentle cleanser twice a day, and steer clear of facials, microdermabrasions, etc.
- Watch what goes into your body: Staying away from spicy foods, alcohol, cigarettes, and hot drinks can help avoid triggering symptoms.
- Topical treatments: A topical prescription antibiotic can help reduce moderate inflammation and red bumps. Check with your dermatologist about which one is right for you. Topical Azelaic acid gel is a non-antibiotic option, but it can also only be prescribed by your doctor.
- Oral Antibiotics: Severe acne rosacea can also be addressed with the oral antibiotic, Oracea. This is a low-dose, anti-inflammatory drug that has typically lower side effects than traditional antibiotics. These are typically administered for a short-course of treatment that is usually followed up with topical treatments if needed.
- Retinoids: Like cystic acne, severe rosacea can be helped with retinoids, which help renew the surface of your skin. Be careful, though; this regimen will double your skin's sun sensitivity, so a high-SPF sunblock is an absolute must at all times.
If any of you have battled rosacea, I would love to hear your stories, and in particular what treatment options worked best for you. For more information on rosacea, you can go to The National Rosacea Society.