From Sydney – If I have rosacea, how do I need to adjust my skin care regimen?

Dear Dr Irwin, I'm 46 years old with combination skin & rosacea. I plan to see my doctor soon. I also want to put together the best possible skin care routine and I've been using your winter regimen as an example (we're just in winter now in Sydney). I now realise I may need to make some substitutions given my rosacea! Do you think I'll be ok with the SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF gel? Are there any products I should stay away from? Can I use a Clarisonic on a low setting with delicate brush? Many thanks for any advice you can provide, Elaine.

Good questions! Rosacea is an interesting skin disease. We don’t know exactly what causes it (lots of theories though). Once you have it, it usually persists for 20-30 years. It comes and goes with periods of stability and almost no active disease and then suddenly flares and can get very inflammatory with pustules and even cysts. And, there’s clearly an ethnic predisposition in populations with celtic genes – mostly Irish, English, etc. Learn more about rosacea. You’ll like reading others’ questions on this.

Generally, most people with stable (ie not flaring) rosacea can use the same products suitable for your skin type as others do. If rosacea is active at all or flaring, sticking with products  formulated for sensitive skin will be better. Most patients with active rosacea find their skin is more sensitive than when they are stable and the disease is not active. You almost need two regimens, one for stable periods and one for active flares.

It’s important to stay on your topical rosacea medications all the time! Using the topical medications consistently will help to prevent flares and progression of the disease over time. IPLs can be used to reduce the redness and dilated blood vessels and are very effective.

So to your questions, for most that Phloretin CF Gel will be fine if the disease is stable. There was a recent study that showed that rosacea patients, when stable, can even use retinoids like Renova, Retin A, tretinoin (all the same active), for example and will benefit from it. The very gentle Clarisonic should be fine. Also consider the newer SkinMedica Redness Relief product that has a gentle anti-inflammatory in it.

Hope this helps,

Dr. I

Learn more information about retinoids Renova and Retin A from Dr. Irwin’s Q & A. 

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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