Patients Can Enjoy Some Spa Treatments
If you have rosacea, your skin can be
dry. Your face may sting when you apply almost any lotion or
cosmetic. The skin on your face may itch. With such sensitive skin,
you may be surprised to learn that dermatologists tell their
patients who have rosacea that they can enjoy some spa services.
Here’s the scoop on what you may be able to enjoy and what is best
Avoid: Dermatologists caution that people who have rosacea
should not use these techniques to remove unwanted facial hair:
Waxing rips the hairs from the hair
follicles. This traumatizes the skin and can cause rosacea to flare.
The heat from a hot wax also can increase inflammation, causing the
skin to swell or itch. Depilatories and electrolysis also can
aggravate rosacea and cause a flare-up.
Best: For their patients with
rosacea, dermatologists generally recommend:
Tweezing. For a few
hairs, gentle tweezing can safely and effectively remove unwanted
facial hair. Dermatologists recommend that you use a good pair of
tweezers with a slanted tip. Examine the tweezers to make sure the
tips align properly. Aligned tips help you to grab the hair. When
tweezing, use slow gentle pressure to remove the hair, never yank.
Yanking can cause the hair to break off beneath the surface of the
skin, causing the painful red bump of an ingrown hair.
Laser-assisted hair removal.
Dermatologists also recommend laser-assisted hair removal for people
who have rosacea and want to get rid of more than a few unwanted
facial hairs. Dermatologists caution that laser-assisted hair
removal should be performed in a medical office by a dermatologist
who has treated numerous patients.
Complications ranging from burns and
permanent scars to skin discoloration and the growth of even more
unwanted hair can occur in unskilled hands.
In the hands of a physician who has
treated numerous patients, laser hair removal can be a gentle, safe,
and effective procedure. Patients typically resume normal activities
immediately after the procedure. However, the key is to find an
experienced, qualified physician.
Dermatologists have in-depth medical
knowledge of the skin and rosacea, so they know which laser is
appropriate for each patient. They also know how to prevent
People who have rosacea can wear makeup. The key is to find makeup
that does not aggravate your rosacea. If you are considering a
Avoid: A makeup artist who does
not have experience working with clients who have rosacea.
Best: A makeup artist who has
experience working with clients who have rosacea.
Before the appointment, ask the makeup artist what type of makeup
will be used. Dermatologists generally recommend that a patient who
has rosacea use a mineral-based makeup. Another good choice is
makeup that is water-based and oil-free. Green tints in makeup can
effectively cover up the redness of rosacea while you are trying to
get it under control or if you experience a flare-up.
It is important to realize that no one makeup is suitable for
everyone who has rosacea. A makeup that aggravates one person’s
rosacea may be ideal for another patient with rosacea. If your face
stings or burns as soon as the makeup is applied or after you wear
it for a while, wash off the makeup immediately. This is not the
makeup for you.
If you cannot find a makeup that agrees with you, ask a
dermatologist for recommendations. This doctor’s expertise can spare
you the time and expense of trying numerous products.
You will find treatments that promise younger-looking skin in spas,
salons, and even the aisles of your local drugstore these days.
Dermatologists typically give their patients with rosacea this
advice about skin rejuvenation treatments.
Avoid: If you have rosacea,
Facials not performed by an
aesthetician who has experience with clients who have rosacea
Peels not performed by a dermatologist
(including peels sold for at-home use)
Microdermabrasion (including the kits
for at-home use)
Best: If you have rosacea,
Facials. A facial can be
a truly pampering experience for people who have rosacea. Before
making an appointment for a facial, ask if the aesthetician has
experience working with clients who have rosacea. Once you find an
aesthetician who has experience with rosacea, be sure to ask if any
of these ingredients — alcohol, eucalyptus, fragrance, menthol,
peppermint, or witch hazel — are found in the products that will be
used. According to a survey conducted by the National Rosacea
Society, these ingredients are most likely to aggravate rosacea. If
you know of any other ingredients or products that aggravate your
rosacea, be sure to ask if any of these will be used.
On the day of your appointment, make
sure you tell the aesthetician all of the following. It is important
the aesthetician know:
You have rosacea
The ingredients and skin care products
that irritate your skin
All of the products — prescription and
non-prescription — that you use on your face
Any other medical conditions you have
While at a spa, avoid services that can
trigger a rosacea flare-up. Applying a hot towel to the face,
exfoliating, steaming the face, a steam bath, and a sauna all
increase blood flow to the face and can trigger a rosacea flare-up.
Salicylic acid peel. A dermatologist may use a mild
salicylic acid peel to gain faster control over rosacea. This peel
is often used in combination with an oral antibiotic. Dermatologists
generally recommend that this treatment be performed in a medical
office. This helps prevent complications.
Spas offer a number of ways to help their clients relax, including
massages, steam treatments, and hot rock therapy.
Avoid: Dermatologists generally
recommend that their patients with rosacea avoid:
Heat treatments (e.g., sauna, hot rock
Steam treatments (e.g., wet sauna, hot
shower, hot cloth applied to the face)
A facial massage can increase blood
flow to the face, which can trigger a flare-up. Steam and heat are
known rosacea triggers.
Best: People who have rosacea
can usually enjoy:
Emotional stress is the second most
common rosacea trigger according to the National Rosacea Society. A
massage can help reduce stress and may be an effective way to help
manage your rosacea. If you have a massage, avoid becoming
overheated. Tell the masseuse that you have rosacea and ask that
warm or hot items not be placed on your face.
Talk With Your Dermatologist
This article provides some general guidelines. If a spa
treatment interests you, be sure to talk with your dermatologist
first. The type of rosacea you have, the severity, and your personal
triggers all affect what spa treatments may and may not be right for
content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology