The blush of this rose isn’t good

Posted on April 21st, 2011 by Michelle

At first blush, you might mistake rosacea (roe-ZAY-shuh) for a rosy glow or maybe an odd sunburn.  It’s a red splotch or patch of pimples you think is going to go away, but keeps coming back.

If that’s not vague enough for you, rosacea, which affects an estimated 14 million Americans, can come and go, it’s not clear what causes it and there’s no cure. Oh yeah, skin tone and skin type don’t matter either, although it is most obvious among the fair-skinned.

The National Rosacea Society (NSR) lists the warning signs as: Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead; small visible blood vessels on the face; bumps or pimples on the face; or watery or irritated eyes.  (For good measure, the American Academy of Dermatology says it can also occur on the ears, chest and back).

To us, that sounds like the side effects of a girls’ night out or the start of allergy season.  However, if those symptoms show up regularly or seem to be caused by exercise, stress, too much sun or wind, temperature swings, spicy foods or drinking,  you might consider talking to a dermatologist or your physician to see if it might be rosacea.

Left untreated, it can become increasingly severe, turning into bumps, spreading to larger areas and even causing the skin to thicken, according to  It can also cause burning and soreness in the eyelids.

As the number of rosacea sufferers grow, more products are being introduced to address the problem.  Every source that has anything to say about rosacea stresses using sunscreen.  Look for products that are specifically made to reduce redness and even skin tone, like Estee Lauder’s Verite Moisture Relief Cream (1.7 fl oz/ $50); Clinique’s Redness Solutions line (&17.50-$39.50); Bare Escentuals RareMinerals Skin Revival Treatment (.15 oz / $60); or MD Skincare’s Hydra-Pure Redness Soothing Serum ($42.50).

Keep in mind that key ingredients to avoid include astringents (i.e. alcohol, witch hazel) and fragrance.

Other treatments for rosacea are antibiotic creams or pills; Accutane or Retin-A, and in the most severe cases, dermabrasion, cryosurgery (freezing bad skin cells with liquid nitrogen) or laser surgery.

Most people affected are between the ages of 30-50, both male and female, but it can also affect children.  Of course, that makes rosacea just one more thing to worry about as we age, especially without well-defined symptoms.  However, if you find yourself a little too red in the face a little too often, maybe it’s time to talk to a dermatologist.

April is National Rosacea Awareness month.

One Comment on “The blush of this rose isn’t good”

  1. gina has a number of products on sale for rosacea, too, at

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