Some ways to treat the common but not-well-understood disorder
Rosacea is a common skin disorder that affects women twice as often as men and is more common among fair-skinned people 30 to 60 years old. "It's a different disorder than acne, though they do share the formation of blemishes," says dermatologist Audrey Kunin, MD, of Kansas City, Missouri. Rosacea, however, also involves additional symptoms, such as redness and flushing, visible blood vessels, red eyes, and enlarged sebaceous glands.
While doctors don't currently know the cause of rosacea, they know some things that trigger flushing: alcoholic beverages, caffeine, spices, sun exposure, and temperature extremes. A combination of therapies is used to treat rosacea, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, short-term cortisone creams, or retinoids. "Because the manifestations of rosacea vary greatly from patient to patient, it is best to have a dermatologist make a plan of treatment," says Guy F. Webster, past president of the American Acne and Rosacea Society and a dermatologist in Hockessin, Delaware.
Over-the-counter treatments can help minimize redness caused by rosacea. For day, try Eau Thermale Avène Redness Relief Soothing Cream SPF 25, which incorporates a broad-spectrum sunblock and anti-inflammatory ruscus, a plant extract that improves vein health, thus minimizing flushing. For night, Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream ($39.50) contains vitamin E and green tea, as well as moisturizers such as wheat germ and shea butter, which repair skin's barrier.