The Best Treatments for Mild Rosacea

November 23, 2017

Rosacea is a very common skin condition, affecting millions of people. The signs and symptoms differ depending on the subtype and severity, so treatment options differ. What are the treatment options for mild rosacea?

Rosacea, which can affect both men and women, comes in many forms. Some people suffer from mild redness and flushing on the face, while others get acne-like breakouts, skin thickening and even redness and other symptoms in their eyes. No matter the presentation or subtype, rosacea tends to come in “flares,” where symptoms come and go for periods of time.

Mild rosacea tends to be subtype 1,  erythematotelangiectatic rosacea. This is characterized by symptoms such as facial flushing and redness, and some broken blood vessels, called telangiectasiacan be seen. Because rosacea can be progressive, it’s important to seek treatment early. Luckily, there are several ways to treat mild rosacea. While treatment may not cure your rosacea, it can help minimize symptoms, make you feel better and prevent or minimize long-term damage.

Control Mild Rosacea Triggers

An important step is to determine what tends to trigger your rosacea. Keeping flare-ups from happening is one of the best ways to help prevent long-term damage to the skin on your face.

Most people find that certain activities, situations, foods or products will set off a flare-up for them. Common triggers can include eating spicy food and drinking alcohol, so avoid those if they cause issues for your rosacea. Hot beverages can be aggravating to some people as well. If you enjoy drinks such as tea and coffee, try to let them cool to a lukewarm temperature first, or perhaps try switching to the iced versions of each. A wide variety of foods can affect those with rosacea, so be sure to take note of any specific food triggers for you.

Exposure to the elements, such as hot, cold or windy weather, will also affect some people. Exercise can even trigger a flare-up. Be sure to dress appropriately for your outdoor activities, and seek the indoors if your face starts to redden. When indoors during the colder months, try not to sit near fireplaces or space heaters.

Stress is another common trigger. Manage your sources of stress, and seek out stress-relieving activities such as meditation, yoga, and participation in hobbies that you enjoy.

“Everyone experiences different triggers, so journal keeping can be helpful. Keep track of the foods, drinks or environmental exposures that may contribute to a flare,” says Sileen Dowis, a board-certified physician assistant at U.S. Dermatology Partners Shoal Creek in Liberty, Missouri. “You can discuss any patterns with your dermatologist.”

Limit Sun Exposure

Sun exposure is perhaps the most common trigger for those with rosacea. Limiting your exposure to the sun’s rays — and minimizing their impact when you do need to be outside — is one of the most helpful ways you can help keep your rosacea under control. Always wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and wear a wide-brimmed hat and large sunglasses to protect your face and eyes.

Change Your Skincare Routine

Some people with rosacea can have very sensitive skin, and common skincare products can aggravate your mild rosacea.

Wash your face with a mild, gentle cleanser. Hard pressure on your face can aggravate the blood vessels, so use a light touch with only your fingertips; even using a washcloth might be too abrasive for your skin. Rinse your face with only cool or lukewarm water. Avoiding hot showers and baths is also a good idea.

Some skincare products, such as those containing alcohol, can trigger flare-ups for people with rosacea. Avoid products that have alcohol-containing astringents, toners or cleansers, and talk to your dermatologist for product recommendations that aren’t so harsh.

Medications and Procedures

Sometimes even mild rosacea can warrant treatment with medications or procedures at your dermatologist’s office, and many options are available.

For intense redness or broken blood vessels, laser treatments or intense, pulsed light can help reduce the red appearance. Sometimes, you may need several sessions to see a noticeable difference. You may need future sessions as well.

For those with a mild form of rosacea subtype two (papulopustular), which causes small bumps and an acne-like appearance, oral and topical medications can be used to control the flareups and appearance of the red bumps. Topical gels such as Mirvaso can help constrict blood vessels in your face, thereby reducing visible redness. Other topical gels, such as metronidazole and azelaic acid, can also reduce redness and the appearance of bumps.

If your rosacea does not respond to these treatments, oral antibiotics such as doxycycline are sometimes used to reduce inflammation in the skin.

Looking to Visit a Dermatologist for Mild Rosacea?

While there are several lifestyle changes and treatment options that will help your mild rosacea, nothing is better than the advice of a dermatologist. We have multiple locations throughout the country, so fill out our simple online form to get in touch with us. One of our local team members will reach out to you shortly to answer your questions or schedule an appointment for you to visit us soon.

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