Redness, or flushing, is a common skin complaint. The two skin tone issues that I hear the most complaints about are hyperpigmentation (dark spots) and redness.
Redness is the result of superficial blood vessels dilating. It can be a minor problem that remits and exacerbates, or it can become more and more of an issue over time. Over time the small vessels can dilate and appear larger and more numerous. The cheeks, nasal area and chin are common sites of this redness, although it can occur anywhere.
Culprits that contribute to redness include sun exposure, temperature extremes (cold and hot), consumption of alcohol and/or spicy foods. Of course, there is a genetic component to facial flushing as well.
What to do to prevent or improve it? For starters, use a good sunscreen, preferably with zinc (7-10%). Adding a quality sunscreen to your routine every day will protect your skin, and the blood vessels in it, from UVA/UVB rays A topical antioxidant, along with the sunscreen will give you further UVA/UVB protection as well as strengthen the capillary walls. Find a product with niacinamide, as this has been proven to help. Other ingredients that may help include licorice, chamomile and feverfew.
Products I frequently recommend include:
- SkinCeuticals® Metacell Renewal B3 (niacinamide)
- Alastin Skin Nectar™
- Sunscreen, such as Elta MD® SPF 46 (has 5% niacinamide!)
- Antioxidants such as SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic® or Phloretin CF®
- ALL of these products are available at TOC Medical Spa
Obviously avoiding triggers such as hot/cold temperature fluctuations, spicy foods and alcohol can help.
If the vessels are broken, or noticeably enlarged, you need to remove them. Lasers are your best option. Pulse dyed lasers, such as the V-Beam, are meant for this specific purpose. Yag and IPL devices are also helpful. Your skin care provider can help you choose your most appropriate treatment plan.
There is a condition called Rosacea that can make your skin red and angry appearing and seeking the expert care of a dermatologist is recommended. Rosacea can be treated with a combination of topical and oral medications.