Just when you thought you had your skincare regime sorted along comes another battleground to consider. Ruddy complexions are the latest hot spot under the microscope with estimates that over half of all women suffer from rosacea or reactive redness. Here’s how to put the fire out.
Generally, there are two types of facial redness: chronic persistent redness (rosacea), and temporary, reactive redness.
Both types affects the face and can take a variety of forms from but the most common sign to look for is redness on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. Sometimes bumps and pimples can develop and the skin can be dry, in patches, to the touch with by small visible broken capillaries.
Both types can also flare up or go dormant. Frequent flushing that gets progressively worse with age is usually an early sign of chronic persistent redness-Rosacea, while reactive skin, is usually very sensitive feels itchy, and certain ingredients or stress can trigger flare-ups.
Zap redness with laser therapy
*Laser treatments can help treat broken veins by zapping redness. They work as the light travels through the skin and is converted in to heat, clotting the blood and destroying visible blood vessels. The procedure also stimulates collagen production, so, bonus, it will also improve skin quality. You may need a course of three treatments, usually 4 weeks apart – depending on the treatment used and areas treated. Expect downtime of a week or so. From £200 a session.
Shine A Light on broken veins
*Intense Pulsed Light is the best way of eliminating redness and broken veins as it shrinks the blood vessels. With just a few treatments, redness can improve dramatically and those pesky broken veins will disappear. It can be carried out around the nose and on the cheeks. The 30-minute treatment can also cover a large area and, even better, there is little downtime. The treatment feels like a hot bright light on the surface of the skin, similar to an elastic band pinging against the skin. A course of up to 6 treatments, one every 4 weeks is recommended, but you may need a maintenance treatment every six months. From £80 a session.
PDT to get rid of redness
*Photodynamic Therapy-PDT, is used to reduce inflammation, bacteria (often present with Rosacea) and to stimulate collagen. Six weekly treatments can give a significant improvement. No pain and no downtime, often used along side IPL to give the best results for people who suffer with extreme redness. from £100 a session.
So….what causes redness?
Although experts still aren’t exactly sure why redness rears its rosy glow, the latest thinking is that environment and lifestyle factors like stress, a glass of white wine and spicy food can up your risk of developing it, These make the blood vessels dilate, triggering neuropeptides, chemicals unleashed from nerve endings in the skin, which leave it blotchy and red. Hot temperatures can also make the complexion more prone to redness as the heat brings blood vessels closer to the surface, dilating capillaries, which don’t close as quickly as we age. Protect your skin by always wearing an SPF30.
Soothe the redness
Until fairly recently, rosacea and flushed skin have been relatively under the radar with many people affected suffering in silence, or with little awareness of the condition but high street brands have cottoned on and are targeting the condition with clever new ingredients and treatments designed to take the sting out of redness.
Be careful about what you put on your skin, and look for mild, fragrance and detergent-free products specifically developed for sensitive or easily reactive skin types. Always pat skin dry, rather than rub. Avoid grainy exfoliators as these can strip back the skin’s defence barrier and instead use a gentle cleanser.
When it comes to skincare, it’s all about calming and soothing the skin. Try the latest anti redness skincare ranges, designed to reduce redness. Other red-reducing ingredients to look for are peptides, caffeine, and vitamin B3 (niacinamide), both of which are vasoconstrictors and the one causing the biggest buzz green tea.
AND DON’T FORGET
* You can use a green tinged camaouflage cream or mineral make up to conceal and cover up redness and veins on the cheeks and around the nose.
* If you find that you’re flushing a lot or your skin is staying red between flushing episodes then your GP can prescribe an anti-inflammatory ointment or antibiotics that work in lower doses to reduce inflammation.
*Avoid very hot to cold water temperatures. Blood vessels contract when exposed to extreme conditions and this can cause permanent broken capillaries.
* Part of the battle is learning to recognise the triggers, and then rigorously avoiding them. Make a note of when it happens and do see a dermatologist who can help identify the causes and help treat it.