If your skin is an angry shade of crimson, with broken blood vessels and acnelike bumps, you could have rosacea. This condition afflicts more than 16 million Americans, typically after the age of 30, and may be triggered by hormonal changes and sun exposure. Flushing occurs when blood vessels dilate quickly, a process brought on by sun, stress, spicy foods, alcohol, coffee, and even exercise.
Calm the culprits
To get the red out, reach for a cream that contains anti-inflammatories, such as green tea -- found in Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer ($35, discoverproactiv.com) -- feverfew and caffeine, to help constrict blood vessels. For severe, recurring inflammation or red bumps, see your doc. He or she can prescribe a topical gel, such as Finacea (azelaic acid), or an anti-inflammatory pill, like Oracea.
Fight future flare-ups
There's no known cure for rosacea, but avoiding triggers will help keep it under control. (Need help identifying them? Download the Rosacea App for your smartphone or iPad.) One thing you shouldn't skip is the gym. Working out lowers stress, which, along with sun damage, is one of the main causes of rosacea, explains Dr. Downie, who tells her patients that drinking ice-cold water while they exercise may help ease symptoms. If you have severe redness, laser therapy and light treatments can reduce the number of blood vessels near the skin's surface so you'll suffer fewer outbreaks over time.
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