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What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition that primarily affects the face and is characterized by redness, visible blood vessels, small red bumps (papules), small pus-filled lesions (pustules). It may also include thickening of the skin around the nose and dry, red eyes1.
How long does a rosacea flare up last?
According to Dr. Mohta, soothing your skin after a rosacea flare up depends on several factors, including the type of rosacea you have, the severity of your symptoms, your individual response to treatment, and your adherence to the advice given by your dermatologist.
Dr. Mohta says that if you have a mild flare up, you may see an improvement after 5-7 days, if you follow the instructions and use the treatment given by your dermatologist and practice strict sun protection. However, if the flare up was particularly severe, with onset of pustules or phymatous changes, it may take several weeks or even months of treatment before you can see a significant improvement in your symptoms. Cases with phymatous rosacea might also require laser therapy or surgical intervention, which could take a few months to show results.
It is important to know that many individuals may require ongoing maintenance treatments to keep their symptoms under control, therefore it is essential to work closely with an online dermatologist or healthcare provider who can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs.
They will be able to prescribe appropriate medications, recommend lifestyle changes, and provide guidance on skincare routines to help you manage your rosacea effectively over the long term.
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Rosacea flare up symptoms
According to Dr. Mohta, the symptoms of rosacea can vary from person to person, but if you have rosacea, you may experience a combination of these symptoms:
- Facial redness persistent redness on the central part of the face, including the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin
- Sudden episodes of facial redness, often triggered by sun exposure, heat, cold, spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine or stress
- Skin sensitivity to multiple skincare products or cosmetics
- Small, visible blood vessels (telangiectasia) on the face, appearing as thin red lines or patterns on the skin
- Red bumps and pustules that resemble acne but without any comedones (blackheads or whiteheads) Thickening of the skin, especially on the nose, with dilated pores leading to an enlarged and bulbous appearance (this is more common in men)
- Some people may also notice enlarged pores over cheeks
- Eye Irritation such as redness, dryness, itching, burning, watering, sensitivity to light, and the sensation of a foreign body in the eye. It can lead to complications if left untreated
- Many individuals with rosacea report sensations of burning or stinging on the affected skin
- Changes in skin texture, which can include dryness, oiliness, or a combination of both
- Swelling of the face, especially in the morning2 3
What is the best rosacea flare-up treatment and how to get it?
There are several rosacea medications that can help you get rid of your rosacea flare-up fast. If you suspect you have rosacea, you can have a virtual photo consultation with an online dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment. Consultation is only $59 and you will get your prescription and treatment in less than 48 hours.
How to calm a rosacea flare up fast?
Managing a rosacea flare-up requires a combination of strategies to soothe your skin and reduce your symptoms. Here are some steps you can take during a rosacea flare-up:
Cleanse your skin
Use a mild, pH-balanced, fragrance-free cleanser to wash your face. Avoid hot water and harsh scrubbing, as these can exacerbate redness and irritation.
Apply a gentle, hypoallergenic fragrance-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Moisturizers with niacinamide, ceramides, oat-meal or chamomile, are great to soothe rosacea flare ups4.
Use sun protection
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, 15 minutes prior to sun exposure, to shield your skin from UV rays, which can trigger or worsen rosacea symptoms. Sunscreen is particularly important during a flare-up.
Use your prescribed medications
Your dermatologist will prescribe you some medications, such as metronidazole, azelaic acid, or ivermectin, to reduce inflammation and control redness. Apply these as directed.
Use a cool compress
Apply a cool, damp cloth or compress to your face to help soothe inflammation and reduce redness. Be gentle when applying the compress to avoid further irritation.
Manage your stress
Stress can worsen rosacea symptoms, so practice stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Identify the things that worsen your rosacea symptoms and try to avoid them. Common triggers include sun exposure, certain food and beverages, alcohol, caffeine, extreme temperatures, and skincare products containing fragrance or alcohol.
What causes/triggers rosacea flare ups?
There are certain things that although they are perfectly normal to do under any other circumstances, they may cause your rosacea to flare up. Some of these things include:
- Sun exposure
- Spicy foods
- Dairy products
- Citrus fruits
- Hot drinks
- Alcoholic beverages (red wine and hard liquor)
- Caffeinated beverages
- Aerobic exercise
- Saunas and hot baths
- Extreme weather conditions (hot or cold)
- High humidity
- Strong winds
- Stress or anxiety
- Skincare or make-up products containing fragrances or alcohol
- Certain medications like topical steroids and vasodilators5
Although you cannot get rid of rosacea permanently, with adequate treatment and a few lifestyle changes you can minimize your symptoms on a more or less permanent basis. However, it is essential to have a consultation with a dermatologist so they can give you a proper diagnosis and treatment for your specific symptoms and your type of skin.