Clinical redness can be a drag on your confidence. Here’s how to make things a little easier

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Rosacea is a very misunderstood skin condition. And while it’s not one that you hear of as often as acne or eczema, that doesn’t mean it’s uncommon. In fact, according to the latest stats, 1 in 20 people in the UK can develop it. And while a lot of cases are pretty mild, many people don’t actually show symptoms until they’re in their 30s.

There’s no permanent cure for rosacea. There’s also nothing you can do to prevent it taking root. But there are a few things that can help calm and soothe it. So, we sat down with some of London’s best facialists, nutritionists, and skin experts to chat about what you should to solve rosacea.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a long-term skin condition that’s been around for thousands of years. In most cases, it presents itself as redness, flushing, and visible capillaries (delicate blood vessels that exist throughout your bod). However, while it mainly affects the forehead and cheeks, it can appear on your nose and chin too (also known as a butterfly rash), and on your neck and chest.

“Some may also experience hyperpigmentation or textural damage with enlarged pores and visible bulging sebaceous glands,” says clinical facialist Kate Kerr. “Ocular rosacea is present in around 50 per cent of cases, with red, dry gritty-feeling eyes being the main symptom. Rosacea often gets much worse over time, so it’s important to seek professional treatment as soon as you spot signs of the condition.”

Who can get it?

“Rosacea commonly affects adults between the ages of 30 and 50,” says Sophie Trotman, media nutritionist and wellness speaker. “Generally speaking, women are more likely to develop it. But when men do get it, they tend to experience symptoms that are considerably more severe.”

“Historically, it is more common in those with fair skin, blue eyes, and of Celtic or North European descent,” says Dr Christine Hall, NHS general practitioner and aesthetics doctor. “However, it is a condition that is more likely to be misdiagnosed or missed completely in those with darker skin tones as the appearance is not so well recognised.”

Why do you get it?

At the moment, nobody really knows what causes rosacea. And even though it was first mentioned in 200 BC by Greek poet Theocritus, there’s still no cure for it. With that said, it’s believed that it could be the result of a bunch of different genetic and environmental factors.

“People with rosacea are more likely to have a family history of the condition than people without,” says Claudia Barthelemy Bernardo, facialist and founder of The Healthy Skin Room. “Other things that can potentially trigger it include spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, heat and UV exposure, change of climate, stress, and parasites found on the skin and in the gut.”

“Some medications and existing medical conditions can exacerbate rosacea symptoms,” says Trotman. “IBS, SIBO, hormonal fluctuations, and allergies can make them worse. If you’re not sure, it’s always worth speaking to your GP or a healthcare professional.”

How do you calm rosacea?

If you’re getting all the symptoms for rosacea, there are a few soothers in the tank. “The first thing that you should do is identify and avoid any foods, drinks, and environmental factors that could be causing the flare ups,” says Alexandra Mills, skincare expert at AM Aesthetics. “Use mild, non-irritating cleansers and moisturisers, and avoid products with alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, and fragrances. You should also apply broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, and use a cold compress or ice pack on the affected areas to reduce inflammation and discomfort.”

“To help reach a better balance of gut flora, promote beneficial yeasts via a diet rich in prebiotic foods such as chicory root, leeks, artichoke, asparagus as well as probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi in your diet,” says Bernardo. “Alternatively, you can consider taking a probiotic supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for both the skin and the gut.”

“As for treatments, there are a host of different things that you can get that can target the various causes of rosacea,” says Hall. “It is always best to start with over-the-counter products, but where the condition is more severe, the use of prescription-only medications may be unavoidable. Laser treatments can be effective in permanently treating redness and broken capillaries too.”

What are the best products to use?

“It’s about oil control,” says Kerr. “It’s really important to control oil and stimulate cell turnover and force the skin to work for itself to repair. I would recommend using products with salicylic acid, which helps to control oil and kill bacteria and inhibit inflammation. Antioxidants can strengthen skin, and it helps to minimise stress if you can.”

“Other gentle and non-irritating ingredients that you should look for include licorice extract, ceramide, niacinamide,” says Mills. “As mentioned, your skincare should be free of dyes, fragrances, and soap, which have all been scientifically proven to worsen rosacea symptoms.”

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Book a consultation now and ONE OF OUR EXPERT Clinicians can advise you on the best ways to achieve your aesthetic goals.

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Book a consultation

Book a consultation now and ONE OF OUR EXPERT Clinicians can advise you on the best ways to achieve your aesthetic goals.

Book a Consultation

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