When you have rosacea, you need to take special care of your skin. People with rosacea have skin that is easily irritated by cleansers, creams, and makeup. Using the right products can help keep you looking and feeling your best.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our May 2010 issue, we turned to WebMD's Skin Care Expert, Karyn Grossman, MD, to get advice on dealing with those pesky little bumps that so many of us have on our upper arms.
Q. I have lots of little bumps on my upper arms -- I don't like going sleeveless. What are they? Can I get rid of them?
A. Those little bumps are caused by keratosis pilaris, a common skin condition...
Each person with rosacea has different triggers, or things that make their rosacea worse. This can include some ingredients in skin care products, such as cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup.
For many people with rosacea, learning which skin products work involves trial and error.
"I recommend trying a new product on a small area of skin for a few weeks first," says Elizabeth S. Martin, MD. She is a dermatologist in private practice in Hoover, AL. "You want to make sure it doesn’t cause redness, burning, or stinging. If a product irritates your skin, don’t use it."
2. Avoid Products That Dry Skin
Check out labels on skin care products, and watch out for ingredients that can dry out your skin. These include:
3. Keep It Simple
In general, look for products with mild ingredients and no added fragrance. The more ingredients in a product, the more likely it will irritate your skin. If you’re not sure about a product, ask to try a sample. Or check with your dermatologist.
"I have my patients bring in all the skin products they use, so we can go over which ones to avoid," says Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD. He's a clinical assistant professor in the department of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
4. Use Sunscreen Every Day
Sunlight on the skin is a trigger for many people with rosacea. Using sunscreen every day can help, but many ingredients in it can irritate the skin. This means you have to be smart about which sunscreen you use.
Desai suggests using sunscreen with a physical blocker, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, instead of a sunscreen that has a chemical blocker. "Chemical blockers work fine, but they can irritate the skin," Desai says.
Another tip -- look for a sunscreen with niacinamide. "It can help reduce redness in the face," he says.