Red Face Solutions
At the age of 16, I had my first experience with a horribly red face. I was in Algebra II, sitting under the intense overhead fluorescent lighting. My teacher looked at me and said: “Do you have a fever? Why are you so flushed? I don’t want a sick person in my classroom. Go to the nurse now!”
In the nurse’s office, I was still flushed, but she found no signs of a fever and assumed I was simply sunburned, which I knew I was not. Yet, the redness persisted throughout the school day. The minute I left for the day, my skin was back to normal. I quickly learned to associate my episodes of flushing with the fluorescent lighting. Little did I know at that time that many people with rosacea are extremely sensitive to artificial lighting.
By the time I turned 30, I was dealing with rosacea’s subtype 1 and subtype. In my 40s, ocular rosacea kicked in. I’ve heard all of the comments that people with a flushed, red face hear. “Have you been drinking? You look like you’ve been drinking.” “Someone spent way too much time out in the sun yesterday.” “Do you feel okay? You’re really flushed. Should I call a doctor? Have you had your blood pressure checked recently? Maybe you need to sit down?”
I’m not here as a medical expert. In fact, I urge you to see your doctor about your concerns with facial flushing and facial redness and asking to see a dermatologist for help. While rosacea is incredibly common, it’s not the only disease or condition that can cause facial redness. I’m here to share and hopefully get others who are dealing with a red face to share their stories and offer suggestions on what helps them.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin disorder consisting of four subtypes. These subtypes are:
- Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea: With subtype 1, persistent flushing and redness of the face are clearly visible. Sometimes the blood vessels on the face become visible.
- Papulopustular Rosacea: In addition to the facial redness from subtype 1, those with subtype 2 develop what looks like acne. Pimples and bumps form on top of the red facial skin.
- Phymatous Rosacea: Subtype 3, also known as rhinophyma, is one of the most disfiguring forms of rosacea. The skin thickens, especially over the nose, and causes the nose to look bulbous and deformed. This form of rosacea is more common in men.
- Ocular Rosacea: Finally, there is subtype 4, a form of rosacea that gets into the eyes. Those with ocular rosacea frequently feel like there is some sand or an eyelash in the eye. They are also more likely to develop painful styes on the eyelid.
There is no cure for rosacea, and there does not seem to be any specific cause. It is more common in people with fair skin, and it’s more common in women. According to the National Rosacea Society, approximately 16 million people in the United States have rosacea. It can appear at any age, but studies by the National Rosacea Society found that 43 percent of rosacea sufferers stated their rosacea appeared between the ages of 30 and 50.
What Causes Rosacea?
No one has found any single cause for rosacea. Based on research, there seem to be a few possibilities. One thing to realize about rosacea is that every case is different. Four generations of my family (Irish/English heritage) have had rosacea. Some do find that your genetic makeup and even your heritage can determine if you will end up with rosacea, but it’s not always the case.
There’s also evidence that the Demodex mite, the same mite behind demodectic mange in dogs, can lead to the flushing and red faced appearance.
As there is no cure for rosacea, treatment of the symptoms is of the utmost importance. There are five components to treatment:
- Finding Your Triggers
- Skin Care
- Prescription Medications
- Homeopathic Treatment Options
- See a Dermatologist
Finding Your Triggers
Finding your triggers is essential to easing the facial redness caused by rosacea. Learn more about common triggers and what you can do to avoid flushing and the red face appearance by finding out what your specific triggers are.
Many foods trigger the symptoms of rosacea, so it’s important to know what foods you should and should not be eating. Every person with a persistent red face will find him or herself having to change their diet. From time to time, I’ll share recipes that are suited to people with rosacea. I welcome readers to do the same.
Natural is better when dealing with a red face from rosacea. Most rosacea sufferers find that products with chemicals and perfumes irritate the face. This is another area where trial and error is necessary to find what helps you. I will be recommending products that work for me and encourage others to share their favorite products.
A range of prescription medications help reduce the redness of the face. Learn more about these medications and see if they might be something you want to talk to your doctor about.
Homeopathic Treatment Options
Many rosacea sufferers prefer to try homeopathic treatment options for rosacea. First, the cost is often more appealing than paying for a prescription medication, and second, over time some prescriptions simply stop working effectively. In here, you will find a number of oils, creams, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that have helped people with rosacea.
See a Dermatologist/What to Expect at a Doctor Visit
I highly recommend seeing a dermatologist to make sure you do have rosacea and not something that can seem similar to rosacea, such as adult acne or eczema.
Research into the causes and treatments for rosacea are ongoing. Find information on the latest news and studies here.