Broken blood capillaries on the face, otherwise known as rosacea, is an age-old skincare concern that is commonly misdiagnosed, and misunderstood. We asked our skincare expert Dr Maureen Allem from Skin, Body & Health Renewal to give us her insights into the problem:
Rosacea typically begins as redness on the face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. In some cases, additional symptoms such as semi-permanent redness, dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face, small red bumps and burning and stinging sensations may develop.
Women struggling with rosacea or a sensitive and flushing skin should avoid the following ingredients that are commonly found in skincare products: alpha lipoic acid, acetic acid, allantoin, balsam of peru, benzoic acid, camphor, cinnamic acid, cinnamon oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, DMAE, isopropyl isostearate, isopropyl myrisstate, lactic acid, menthol, parabens, peppermint oil and quarternium -15.
If you have a sensitive skin or have been diagnosed with rosacea, then the following steps may help:
• Use sunscreen lotions or creams. Choose products that do not contain potential allergens such as fragrance or PABA sunscreens.
• Wash your face with mild cream cleansers such as Dermaheal Gentle Cleanser, rinse thoroughly and pat the skin dry with a soft towel; do not use a rough towel.
• Don’t use toners on your skin unless you use witch hazel.
• Never use any make-up or perfume without first doing a skin test on the inside of your wrist to see the reaction.
• Maintain optimum skin moisture by regular hydration and application of skin moisturisers. These moisturisers should be free of the irritants mentioned above, especially parabens, surfactants, fragrance and artificial colours. They should also be made of natural ingredients, not artificially manufactured chemicals.
Recommended topical treatments
Skin Renewal has its own effective cream for treating rosacea called Couperois Cream.
Lamelle’s Barrier Repair Cream and Dermaheal Gentle Cleanser is specially developed for sensitive, dry or atopic skins. Dermaheal Gentle cleansers and moisturisers contain a very high concentration of powerful antioxidants that are normally produced by the skin, and deposit these antioxidants where they are needed in the dermis. Thioredoxin and Copper tripeptides also present in the formulations ensure optimal skin protection.
The Laser Genesis procedure or Limelight laser offer one of the best treatments for rosacea. They use light to penetrate the epidermis to target the capillaries in the dermis layer of the skin. The light is absorbed by oxy-hemoglobin which heat up causing the capillary walls to heat up to 70°C, damaging them and causing them to be absorbed by the body’s natural defence mechanism. With a sufficient number of treatments, this method may even eliminate the redness altogether, though additional periodic treatments will likely be necessary to remove newly-formed capillaries.
Dr Maureen Allem is a medical doctor with a special interest in anti-ageing procedures, skincare and weight loss. She is also the founder of Skin & Body Renewal, Health Renewal and Oasis Spas.