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A Self Care Guide for Rosacea With Matt Francom, PA-C

A Self Care Guide for Rosacea With Matt Francom, PA-C

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans. For many people, rosacea causes more than just facial flushing and redness. Rosacea symptoms can include acne-like bumps, eye irritation, and thickened skin. Although there’s no consensus on what causes rosacea, treatments are improving. Matt Francom is a Dermatology Physician Assistant who’s passionate about helping patients identify and manage rosacea. Here is his best advice.

Is it rosacea or just red skin?

“On the mild end, rosacea looks like you’re constantly red or blushing,” says Matt Francom. “More severe symptoms can distort your features causing swelling, bumps, pustules, or even a bulbous nose called rhinophyma (frequently in men).”

Rosacea occurs most often in people with Scandinavian/ European roots. About half of rosacea cases affect the eyelids, causing redness and a swollen appearance. Women in their 40’s and 50’s are the biggest demographic to develop rosacea.

Tip 1: Know Your Triggers

Spicy food, alcohol, heat or cold, wind chill, stress, and even your skincare products can all trigger rosacea flare-ups. “I’m predisposed to rosacea and know one of my biggest triggers is spicy food. Likewise, I tell my patients to keep a journal and record every flare up to help them pinpoint what’s causing it.”

Some triggers can be avoided, while others aren’t so easy to sidestep. This is where medical intervention can help.

Tip 2: Use Gentle Skincare and Sunscreen

“Just like any dermatology specialist will tell you, wear your sunscreen,” says Francom. A 2018 study by the National Rosacea Society showed that sun exposure is the top trigger for flare ups. Protect your skin from the sun by using SPF 30 sunscreen every day, and hats when there’s a lot of sunlight. Additionally, fragrance-free skincare and mineral based makeup tend to protect against flare-ups in some cases.

Tip 3: Get Professional Help for Rosacea

While there’s no cure for rosacea, treatments are becoming more tailored to your personal symptoms. Topical medication, like creams, lotions, and gels, as well as oral medication may help reduce inflammation and redness. “If you’re experiencing bumps and breakouts with rosacea, topical and oral antibiotics come into play,” says Francom.

Metronidazole and Ivermectin are topical antimicrobial/antibacterial medications that are very good at managing inflammation. Azelaic acid can also help with the redness. “Another topical solution is brimonidine, which constricts the blood vessels that makes the redness go away immediately,” says Francom. “It’s not ideal for the underlying problem but if you need a day’s worth of clear skin, it’s a good option.”

On the more aggressive side, oral medication such as doxycycline (a tetracycline antibiotic) in low doses can be safe to use long-term. Severe cases of rosacea can also be managed with Accutane, a vitamin A derivative.

Which Treatment is Right for Me?

There are many solutions for rosacea. If flare-ups affect your quality of life, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatology specialist. Matt Francom says his approach is two-fold: Helping patients recognize what’s causing their rosacea flare ups and intervening with medical management tailored to their symptoms.

Matt Francom PA-C is a dermatology specialist who practices at Ogden Clinic West Point and Ogden Clinic Bountiful. Click here to schedule a visit with him.