Your skin can be red for a number of reasons, from a simple reaction to something in the environment, to a chronic problem like rosacea. Getting to the bottom of what’s causing your red skin will help you determine how to treat it.
What Causes Redness?
Just beneath the surface of your skin are many, many tiny blood vessels. When those vessels expand, or dilate, the skin turns red. Eventually, the vessels go back to their normal size. When the redness appears and fades quickly, it’s known as flushing. Think of the heat and redness that rises on your face when you feel embarrassed or the redness that often appears after a challenging work out.
Over time, it’s possible for the vessels to remain dilated, and for redness to remain on the skin. The visible vessels can be associated with rosacea, a fairly common skin condition. In some instances, the dilated vessels are known as telangiectasia or spider veins.
In either case, the visible veins and redness can be a source of embarrassment. Even worse, without some type of treatment, the redness can persist and cause the skin to become thicker and uneven.
Spider veins and rosacea are often caused by a mixture of internal and external factors. Internal factors include drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods, experiencing changes in your hormone levels (due to birth control or pregnancy), or feeling stressed or angry. External factors include sun exposure, constant exposure to heat, and pollution.
Additionally, red skin tends to run in families. Some people have skin that is more vasoreactive, meaning their blood vessels dilate, than others. If a parent or other close relative has red skin, you are more likely to have to cope with some redness yourself.
Ways to Treat and Calm Red Skin
The best way to treat red skin is to figure out the cause of it, then choose the most appropriate treatment. Usually, redness associated with spider veins or rosacea is best treated with lasers. If the redness is due to flushing or is fairly mild, it can often be calmed with skin care products.
Using Skin Care Products to Treat Red Skin
Certain products contain ingredients help to improve the blood vessels and skin to minimize redness. For example, niacinamide, a type of B vitamin, helps to improve the structure of the skin to reduce redness. Vitamin C is also often found in skincare products that help soothe red skin. The vitamin can strengthen the walls of blood vessels, preventing them from staying dilated.
In some cases, re-evaluating your skin care products can be what it takes to prevent or treat redness. While some ingredients calm redness, others can aggravate it. For example, some cleansers contain ingredients such as sodium laurel sulfate, which are meant to remove dirt and oil from the skin. In some instances, the ingredients can remove too much oil or be harsh enough to cause redness and irritation.
Using Lasers to Treat Red Skin
One of the many benefits of laser skin treatments is that they can help reduce redness and minimize enlarged blood vessels. Laser treatments are often the first treatment for spider veins, for example. Although spider veins often form on the legs, they occasionally develop on the face. In either location, treatment with a laser causes the veins to fuse together and ultimately collapse, so that they and any redness associated with them, are no longer visible.
Intense pulsed light, or IPL lasers, such as the LimeLight laser, can treat redness associated with rosacea. An IPL laser treatment destroys the dilated blood vessels, causing them to fade from view. The treatment is often milder than other lasers, such as Fraxel, and usually has less downtime. For the most part, people can return to their regular activities right after an IPL treatment session.
How to Protect Skin From Future Redness
Once you’ve found a method that helps minimize redness, you’ll want to do what you can to keep redness from returning or becoming worse. Maintaining your skin care routine is one way to keep redness in check.
It’s also a good idea to protect your skin from the sun. Sun exposure is known to worsen spider veins and rosacea, for example. Wearing an SPF of 30 or more and limiting your time spent in direct sunlight are two ways to protect your skin.
It’s also a good idea to avoid rosacea triggers if you know what they are. If you notice flushing after eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, or after you use certain cosmetics, it’s best to avoid those items.
Ready to give red skin the boot? Call 281-810-9083 to schedule a consultation with the staff at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique, in Houston, Texas, today. Our team of trained aestheticians, working under the supervision of Dr. Paul Vitenas, can help you determine which treatment will be the most effective for you.