July 15, 2019
Have you ever wondered why we blush? Or maybe why some blush more than others? Do you struggle with Rosacea? I’m going to answer all of these questions for you today to help you regain control of your redness.
By: Kaitlyn, NP
When the skin blushes, commonly due to embarrassment, a release of adrenaline in the body causes the heart rate to speed up causing the vessels in our face to dilate or expand. Blood easily flows through these vessels, causing a natural flushing sensation which turns the appearance of the skin towards a shade of red or pink. Some people blush more than others which may be caused by genetics.
One of the most common genetic conditions is Rosacea- when people naturally have redness in their cheeks or have visible veins. These veins can be tiny, but as we age they typically get larger.
When you have rosacea, you are more prone to facial flushing because your vessels are closer to the surface of the skin. You may have also noticed triggers for your flushing such as spicy food, alcohol, or vigorous exercise. You may know some of your triggers already, noticing when you blush or flush in certain instances. One of the easiest ways to control facial flushing is to avoid triggers.
Rosacea is a condition that you will have almost your entire life, but the symptoms can definitely be managed. One treatment that is really good for overall skin redness, even if you don’t have rosacea, is BBL (broadband light). This is very similar to IPL (intense pulsed light).
With light based treatments, the lightwaves actually target the little vessels that we have in our cheeks and it causes them to shrink back up or constrict. In other words, they’re treating the vasodilation response the skin experiences with rosacea.
You will need a series of BBL treatments, as redness can be very stubborn. It may be something you need to do every single year for maintenance.
Besides treatments, skin care products play a huge role in controlling redness. Vitamin C is wonderful for the skin, as it helps to fight off free radicals which can actually trigger redness.
The most important product, however, is sunscreen. Sunscreen will help to control the exacerbation of the redness. Redness usually flares when there’s heat involved so if you can minimize heat, your redness will be more under control.
When you’re looking for sunscreen, you want to avoid sunscreens that have chemicals in them. Chemical ingredients allow UV rays to penetrate the skin. The skin then converts those UV rays into heat and reflects the heat off of your skin. Again, heat is bad for redness.
You’ll want to buy or purchase a mineral or physical-based sunscreen. These are very similar in the sense that they both create a physical “blocker” that doesn’t allow UV rays to penetrate the skin. Therefore, they do not add any additional heat to your skin.
If you’re unsure whether the sunscreen you’re using is a physical or mineral, it will actually say “physical or mineral” on the label. If it does not, then it is not physical or mineral. When shopping, avoid sunscreens like Banana Boat or Coppertone- these are chemical sunscreens that you want to avoid.
When you’re at a drug store searching for sunscreen, at the very end of the aisle is a small category where the sunscreens are triple the cost of the others. These are the sunscreens that are better for your skin. Obviously they’re more expensive, but for a reason- they’re cleaner, better products.
Even with SPF of 40-50 you need to reapply these consistently. If you’re outside often, reapply every 2-4 hours. Reapplication is key to preventing future damage to the blood vessels and keep your redness under control.
It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what your first step should be- so let us help! We recommend scheduling a free skincare consultation. One of our providers will assess the severity of your redness or rosacea, and craft a personalized treatment plan just for you. Give us a call at (513)-791-9474 to schedule yours.
Check out some of our other blogs on fighting redness and sun damage: