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Friday, February 10, 2017

Products and rosacea: What to use—Part II

In my facial, there are certain products I won’t use if I have a client with rosacea. Instead of the citrus gel peel I have (Yonka’s Gommage 303), I use one with stinging nettle and other ingredients meant to soothe redness (Gommage 305). There are a few mild liquid peels that I won’t put directly on the affected areas where the rosacea is located (Yonka’s MicroPeel and Alpha Exfoliator). I have several clients with rosacea who come in for regular monthly facials without any problems. If you have rosacea, you can carry on a regular skin care treatment schedule; you just want to take extra care to make sure where you get your facials is helping to calm your skin down rather than causing flare-ups.

Probably by now you have gotten accustomed to what you have to do to keep your flare-ups to a minimum. But in case you don’t know this yet, sun exposure is one of the worst offenders and promoters of flushing and flare-ups. So, to the degree that you can, avoid sun exposure—especially direct sunlight, and always have sunscreen on your face. Everybody needs to wear sunscreen, but those of you with rosacea (especially active rosacea) need to wear it always. Any amount of protection from sun exposure will help to some degree.

There are several companies who make tinted sunscreens. If you feel the need to hide the redness that comes with rosacea, you might want to try one of the these products so you get some coverage for the redness and sun protection at the same time. And certainly if you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time, be prepared and have a hat handy. If you don’t have a hat, you will be sorry, and the extended sun exposure will probably inflame your rosacea.

What about medications? Topical medications that you may be given a prescription for at the dermatologist include MetroGel, MetroCream, and MetroLotion®. These all contain an antibacterial, antifungal agent called metronidazole. There are other companies who make similar products, but these (especially MetroGel) seem to be the most commonly prescribed.

Oral antibiotics are generally given to treat inflammation and possible bacterial infection in the form of pustules and pimples. Tetracycline, a common antibiotic prescribed for acne, is sometimes recommended for rosacea. Personally, I disagree with taking antibiotics in general and specifically in the case of rosacea.

Treating a problem with oral antibiotics does two things that I have a problem with. First, not only are you treating the problem, in this case rosacea on the cheeks of the face, but you are also feeding all the cells in your entire body the same medication. Second, treating with oral drugs does not generally promote self-responsibility in regard to your problem, but rather promotes a quick-fix mentality, not to mention the effects from long-term use of oral antibiotics. 

Rosacea cannot be treated with a quick fix. It requires paying attention—daily—to what you are eating, and drinking, and the environment you are allowing your skin to be exposed to. Taking a pill may give you temporary relief from the problem, but it will do nothing for long-term solutions. Rosacea may go into a remissive state while you’re on oral medications, but generally it will return if the triggers are not eliminated from your life.

For more information on rosacea including triggers, see: