Cold Weather Skin Conditions
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the February 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
What it is: Abnormal blood flow to the vessels in the face makes the skin red, bumpy and swollen. The cause is unknown, though stress can cause outbreaks.
Symptoms: You blush easily or develop ruddiness that comes and goes on your cheeks and nose. Or you might develop a red spot or bumpy patch on your face and swelling along the folds between your mouth and nose. The appearance of blood vessels may increase as they dilate or break. In the most severe cases, excess tissue grows on the nose.
How to treat it: Avoid known triggers: spicy foods, hot beverages, caffeine, alcohol and heat (sweating can also activate rosacea, so try to stay cool). Because sunlight worsens the condition, wear a full-spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. Wind is another exacerbating factor. Doctors generally prescribe the antibiotics metronidazole (topical) or tetracycline (oral), both of which decrease inflammation. A light alpha-hydroxy peel can help. In very visible cases, laser surgery or electrosurgery can be used to cauterize dilated blood vessels.
Product recommendations: B. Kamins Booster Blue Rosacea Treatment, $62, and DDF Rosacea Relief, $47, both contain patented anti-inflammatory ingredients: Bio-Maple and Gatuline A, respectively.