Day 9: How to Control Rosacea Flushing

I’m having a hard time deciding whether or not the side of my face that is receiving the 3 minutes of rosacea treatment is healing faster than the side that is getting only a minute and a half.  It’s only the ninth day of my red light therapy, but I’m finding myself becoming impatient with having to be scientific.  I suppose I should at least give myself two weeks of the benefits before I get too crazy over it.

I’m still very happy with the progress.  It is continual and every day looks a bit better.  When I have flushes, they heal up a lot faster, too.  Since starting, I haven’t had a flare-up that lasted longer than 24 hours after the first red light therapy treatment that followed it.  Also, the flare-ups are a lot more comfortable.  Even if the redness is there, they’re not nearly as itchy and the burning isn’t half as bad.

Here’s what I have tried for controlling rosacea flushes

Before I started red light therapy, I tried a lot of different things to control or ease the symptoms of rosacea flare-ups.  Here are a few of the methods that I have tried, and the results that they brought:

  • Cold water – felt great when I splashed it on my face, but it left my skin more red and irritated and usually dried it out.
  • Camomile tea – I’d read online that if you make camomile tea, then refrigerate it and dab it on your face when rosacea symptoms are bothering you, that this will help.  A lot of people say that this works for them.  In my case, it didn’t seem to make any difference at all, good or bad.
  • Sea buckthorn – I have tried a number of different sea buckthorn products (from a company called SBT, which is seriously great, in case you ever want to try something made with that ingredient). I had the SBT Seabuckthorn Rosacea Soothing Salve that I use on the coldest winter days when I have to go out in frigid temperatures and whipping winds.
    The salve is thick and slimy (about the same feeling as putting lip balm all over your cheeks) but it provides an awesome protective barrier against the cold and wind. A few years ago, the packaging said that it was also good for flare-ups, so I tried it a few times (I’m not sure if the packaging still says that, or not).  Oh boy did that feel horrible! It was great as winter protection, but for indoors during a rosacea flush, it made my cheeks much more red, bumpy, and hotter.  I still use this product for outdoors in the winter, but I wouldn’t use it to treat a flare-up.
  • Thermal spring water – this stuff feels amazing.  This is not just any old water.  It’s really not.  It is specially sourced from thermal springs and carefully bottled in sterile environments.  My rosacea symptoms hate water but they love this.  I received a bottle of Avène Thermal Spring Water spray as a part of a gift set a few years ago because I was using that brand’s anti-redness cleanser (the Avène Redness-Relief Dermo-Cleansing Milk) and moisturizer (Avène Antirougeurs Day Moisturizing Protecting Cream) and when I bought them in gift sets, it was cheaper than buying them individually.
    All you need to do with that thermal spring water is spritz your face, wait a few seconds, and dab it off with a tissue or (even better) a clean microfiber cloth/towel.  My skin instantly starts to calm down from its tantrum when I use this product.  The problem is that it costs a small fortune!  It lasts a while, but the best price I can find for a 150 ml bottle (just over 5 oz.) is $14, on sale.  I don’t care how special the water is, that’s far too expensive for me to afford!  I get it extremely rarely and use it very sparingly. I’ve only used it once since I started the red light therapy, and that was right near the beginning!
  • Drinking ice water – believe it or not, this can help.  This is especially true when the rosacea flushing is caused by hot weather or hot foods and beverages.  Either drinking very cold water or even holding ice chips in my mouth can take down the redness that goes with eating a meal that is very warm or to cool down my skin when I’ve just come in after doing something active in the summertime.
  • Metronidazole – this is a topical prescription drug, also known as Metrogel, Metrocream, or Noritate.  I’ve tried it under all three of those names/formats.  I had the most luck with Noritate (for some reason.  No idea why, it’s all essentially the same thing).  The problem that I had with it was that it would make a difference for about 7 days, getting my hopes up.  Then all progress would stop and my skin would become very sensitive to light.  Even when I used it only half as much as the package recommended (at the advice of my doctor), I still ended up sunburning more easily than I already do.  That’s saying something because I can start to burn in as little as 10 minutes.

Now, I have to say that red light therapy is my top rosacea flushing treatment method.  If I’m having a bad skin day, I can’t wait for my next treatment.  My skin starts to feel better within minutes of having shone the red light on my face.  Inside of an hour, the itchiness and burning are virtually gone.  Within 12 hours, the new bumps shrink and many disappear, the redness dissipates. It’s amazing.

Speaking of red light therapy, here are my latest rosacea treatment results:

My skin just keeps looking and feeling better and better. Every morning I can see a bit of progress over what was there the night before.

Here are today’s pictures:

Cheek 1 - June 5 - control rosacea flushing treatment Cheek 2 - June 5 - control rosacea flushing treatment

I’m not sure why the pictures look so red this time.  It might have been the lighting.  Maybe I wasn’t standing in exactly the same place in the room where I take the pictures.  That’s the right redness pattern, but it’s really not that red right now.

You can see that the bumps are definitely healing up.  I’m thrilled with that! I feel like it won’t be a week before they’re gone.  Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I feel entitled to have high hopes after the progress I’ve seen so far!

What do you think?  Is one side healing faster than the other?  What methods do you use to control rosacea flushing?  Which ones work?  Which ones don’t?  Share in the comments below!

More tomorrow 🙂

Other factors to be considered:

  • The temperature high today was 22ºC (72ºF)
  • The temperature low overnight was 7ºC (45ºF)
  • No alcohol or spicy foods
  • I didn’t spend more than 10 minutes in direct sunlight at a time, today.


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