Tag Archives: rosacea

The Redness of Rosacea

Picture this. Your face flushes for no reason and without notice. Your cheeks often look ruddy and you can see tiny spider veins. You sometimes have breakouts in those areas too. You get flare-ups sometimes after eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol, and when the weather get hot and humid. If this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from Rosacea.

April is Rosacea Awareness Month, which calls out the symptoms of Rosacea to make people more aware of this all too common problem. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that is often called “Curse of the Celts” because it is common in people with fair skin, and often in those of Irish or Celtic descent. Just a small fraction of the millions of people who suffer from rosacea are even aware of the condition and seek treatment from a dermatologist and even less of them receive the most effective treatments.

Flushing and persistent redness are the most common early signs of Rosacea. For some people, symptoms may only include mild, intermittent facial redness and flushing. For others, symptoms may be more severe and persistent such as redness, pimples and broken capillaries, or thickened, rough skin. Rosacea onset typically occurs any time after age 30. In some cases, it can affect the neck, chest, scalp or ears as well as the face.

Although exactly what causes the inflammation and redness is not completely understood, hormonal fluctuations and genetics, hyperactive oil glands that lead to increased oil production can all be culprits. While there is no cure for rosacea, effective treatments can be tailored to each individual by a dermatologist to keep Rosacea under control.It is also important to recognize and avoid triggers; the activities or habits that can cause flares.  These can include extreme temperatures, sun exposure, alcohol, spicy food, and stress.

For mild rosacea, Dr. Obagi recommends a daily skin care regimen consisting of ZO® Skin Health products to soothe and calm the skin and repair the skin barrier, such as:

If your case of rosacea is more severe, a combination of in-office treatments and at-home use of redness-reducing products can help improve symptoms. The first step is a consultation with a dermatologist, doctor or skin care professional to find out what is right for you.


6 Things That are Aging Your Skin

How your skin ages will depend on many factors, some of which you have control over and some of which you don’t. For starters, aging is partly hereditary; that is, your genes help to determine whether your upper eyelids will sag in your 30s or stay perky well into your 50s, etc. Among the factors that contribute to wrinkled, damaged skin include normal aging and the inevitable breakdown of fatty tissue that supports your skin and muscle, collagen and elastin.

However, your lifestyle, diet, and other personal habits play an even more important role and can speed up the aging process. Let’s look at what you can control – so you can get a handle on the aging process and add years to your life.

1. Don’t Smoke Ever. Smoking can produce free radicals, those nasty little oxygen molecules that become overactive and unstable. Free radicals damage your healthy cells, leading to premature wrinkling, and a whole list of potentially life shortening conditions. Cutting back to a little nicotine helps but not as much as you might think. Any amount of nicotine can have a negative impact on your health and longevity.

2. Keep Your Weight Stable. Maintaining a healthy weight will help to avoid premature sagging and skin slackening. Years of yo-yo dieting is another common cause of lax skin quality. As you age, the more weight you carry, can have a dramatic effect on your joints, in particular knees and hips, making you feel older and less mobile as well. Excess fat around the mid section is a known cause of other health conditions, including heart disease.

3. Avoid the Sun and Pollution. Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause damage to the fibers in your skin that give it a plump, cherub-like texture and tone. The breakdown of elastin fibers causes sagging and reduces the resiliency that young, healthy skin has. The skin also bruises more easily, and with additional thinning, may take longer to heal. Furthermore, discoloration and brown spot (also known as age spots) will show up from prolonged sun exposure without adequate protection. The effects of sun and pollution on your aging complexion are cumulative, so they may not show up until later in life.  Stock up on ZO Skin Health Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF30

4. Sleep on Your Back.  The position in which you sleep can actually have an effect on lines, wrinkles and sagging. Sleeping on your side will inevitably cause a deeper furrow on one side of your face. The best position tends to be sleeping on your back whenever possible to avoid what is commonly referred to as “sleep creases.” Just as with excessive facial movements, lines become more visible as your skin loses its elasticity, sleep with your face dug into your pillow can exacerbate facial lines and wrinkles.

5. Manage Your Stress. Stress is a silent killer. It creates all sorts of skin problems, from acne to rosacea, due to hormonal flux. It also affects your ability to rest and get enough sleep to keep you going. Stress can actually damage your cells, and ages your brain, according to numerous studies. When you are embattled by stress, you also tend not to take such good care of your body, your skin and your health.

6. Don’t Overdo Alcohol. Although the occasional cabernet may deliver some much needed resveratrol, downing the whole bottle in one sitting will not serve you well over time. Alcohol, like caffeine, is notoriously dehydrating. Too much alcohol can contribute to other health conditions, such as cirrhosis of the liver, inflammation, dry skin, and a dull, grayish tone to your complexion.

6 Healthy Skin Solutions for a New Year, New Glow

Have you noticed that you tend to look older during hectic times of year? Stress can show up as wrinkles, sagging, dryness, and even rosacea and acne breakouts. Stress increases the production of hormones that damage collagen and elastin. Too much stress also takes some of the joy out of life–so you’re more likely to frown or scowl, which also induces wrinkles.

What’s the answer? Take good care of yourself, exercise, and try to get enough sleep so your body can rest and your skin has time to renew itself. Thirty minutes before bedtime, apply your dose of retinol, since nighttime is the best time to repair your skin. You’ll look and feel better–and feel better about yourself–in the morning.

Follow these 6 solutions to energize your skin for a glowing 2015:
1.    First, undo some of the partying damage, and exfoliate—from head to toe. ZO Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Polish does a great job of scrubbing away dull, dry skin so that fresh, healthy cells can emerge. It’s more aggressive than most, so if you have weak skin, be gentle at first. You will love the difference in your skin. For your body, use a lotion high in lactic acid—such as ZO Skin Health Oraser Body Emulsion Plus. It’s not a typical smell-good body lotion—it will really work hard to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin.
2.    Fill ‘er up—with water! Too many glasses of wine and champagne and not enough water can dehydrate your skin. Drink at least 64 oz. of water throughout the day. If you don’t like water, reduce the amount of caffeinated beverages, and increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables like pears, apples, oranges, lettuce—all of which have high water content.
3.    Book yourself in for a relaxing facial at your favorite spa or medspa. If you’re confused by the menu of options available, look for adjectives like hydrating, restorative, comforting or anti-aging for the best results.
4.    Prefer an at-home treatment? Try ZO Medical Invisapeel Intensive Resurfacing Peel  that contains specialized enzymes and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to promote exfoliation to improve skin texture and even skin tone.
5.    Keep your skin active. High concentrations of retinol will work to rejuvenate your skin, produce more collagen and accelerate cellular turnover. Make sure that it’s a potent concentration, though—like ZO Skin Health Ossential Advanced Radical Night Repair.
6.    Here’s a resolution that’s not so easy – work up a sweat at least three times a week. Take brisk 30-minute walks–you can stop and smell the roses later. When you work up a sweat, you moisturize your skin from the inside out. Avoid saunas and steam rooms, however. They may seem therapeutic, but can actually dehydrate your skin.

Coping with the Redness of Rosacea

Rosacea is a common but largely misunderstood inflammatory skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans, according to the National Rosacea Association. Early symptoms include flushing and persistent redness, but for more severe cases, redness, pustules, and thickened rough skin can play havoc with one’s self esteem and confidence.

Rosacea outbreaks come and go in a cyclic manner, and flare-ups may last for weeks to months and then disappear for a long time. Unfortunately, what causes this cascade of inflammation is not completely understood. Hormonal fluctuations, genetics, and hyperactive oil glands most likely play a key part in the development of the disease.

While there is no known cure for rosacea, effective treatment regimens exist and can be customized to fit your particular set of symptoms. The good news is that for mild cases, topical creams alone may be enough to control the redness and maintain healthy skin.

A key component of any rosacea treatment involves recognizing and avoiding the triggers that set off the cascade of inflammation. These vary by individual, but very often include extreme cold or heat, sun exposure, alcohol, spicy food, and stress. You will find that keeping a daily log will help you identify your rosacea triggers.

But if avoiding triggers doesn’t do the trick, seek professional help from a dermatologist. Treatment depends on the appearance of the skin and your stage of rosacea. For mild cases with minimal inflammation and no acne-like pimples, a daily skin care regimen that helps mitigate the skins inflammatory response to excess sebum production as well as ingredients that strengthen the skin’s natural barrier function may keep flare ups under control. Moderate to severe cases, with redness, irritation, and weakened oily skin call for therapeutic treatments, including peels and retinol products, to be used in tandem with at-home anti-redness products.

For the most severe cases, Dr. Obagi recommends oral medication, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) including intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser treatments may be required. Use of prescription metronidazole gel 1% may be advised to decrease the redness.

As with any skin condition, the ultimate goal is skin health. With that in mind, the ZO Skin Health and ZO Medical rosacea protocol includes: ZO® Medical Oilacleanse, ZO® Skin Health Offects® Exfoliating Polish, ZO® Medical Cebatrol™ Oil Control Pads, ZO® Medical Glycogent™ Exfoliation Accelerator, ZO® Medical Brightenex™ Skin Brightener & Correcting Crème, ZO® Skin Health Ossential® Daily Power Defense, ZO® Retamax™Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion, and the generous use of a non-irritating sunscreen such as ZO® Skin Health Oclipse® Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30.

With the right combination of therapies and skincare products, symptoms of rosacea can be controlled and optimal skin health restored.

Under A Lot of Stress? It Shows On Your Skin

Stress. There’s just no getting away from it. And all that stress shows—in fact, it’s written all over your face.

Problem: Chronic stress triggers a hormone called cortisol, which reduces the ability of the skin to retain water. The result: a dull, dry complexion.


  1. Although it seems counter-intuitive, reduce the amount or frequency of moisturizer. It causes your skin to stop collecting water from the food and water that you consume.
  2. Avoid the use of hot water and highly fragranced skincare products.
  3. Don’t use cleansers that strip your skin of its natural oils.

Problem: A furrowed brow, fine lines, and wrinkles around the eyes. All of this may be caused by a decrease in the amount of collagen and elastin fibers, as well as increased dryness (which exacerbates the appearance of wrinkles).


  1. Stimulate the production of collagen and elastin with active Vitamin A (as found in ZO Skin Health’s Radical Night Repair Plus) or Rx Retin-A.
  2. Drink more water.

Problem: Chronic stress causes or complicates other skin problems, including rosacea, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. There’s a new term for this—psychodermatology: skin disorders that are related to your thoughts or feelings.


  1. For acne, use products specifically for oily or acne-prone skin. Dr. Obagi’s favorite cleanser is ZO Skin Health’s Exfoliating Cleanser. Cleanse twice a day, but avoid the use of hot water. To slough off the surface skin cells that trap debris, try the ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish. Apply a product that has salicylic acid, like ZO Skin Health TE pads, which help to break down the sebum. Once a day is sufficient for maintenance—twice a day if you have active or persistent flare ups.
  2. For rosacea—or if your skin appears red in the nose, cheeks, and forehead—there are many over the counter products that claim to reduce redness, but not as many that really work. Dr. Obagi is a fan of Growth Factor Serum to reduce redness. If a prescription is required, he frequently recommends small doses of Accutane.

This is a stressful time. You can’t take care of all of the problems, but you can take care of yourself. For advanced medical conditions or persistent problems, see a dermatologist.

Stress Reduction Strategies

Have you noticed that people are looking older these days? Could be that they’re not getting their BOTOX injections as frequently, or it could just be that they’re under a lot of stress—which shows up on the face as wrinkles, skin laxity, rosacea, inflammation and acne.

“The problem,” Dr. Zein Obagi says, “is that stress increases the production of hormones that damage collagen and elastin.” Too much stress also takes the joy out of life—so you’re more likely to frown or scowl, thereby inducing wrinkles, fine lines, and premature aging.

Take good care of yourself, get plenty of exercise, and try to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Thirty minutes before bedtime, be sure to apply skincare products with retinol—night time is the best time to repair your skin. You’ll feel better, and better about yourself, in the morning!

Making Changes to Your Skin

By removing the top layers of dead skin cells and activating the lower dermis (where all the action is), the texture, tone, and firmness of your skin can change. If your products and treatments only work on the surface, all you will get is a temporary cosmetic effect and no real change.

Think of the top layers of your skin as a dried sponge: if you get it wet, it will soften and plump; if you leave the sponge out on the counter, it will just dry up again—you will have a temporary change, but inevitably, the sponge will go back to its original dry state.

Similarly, with your skin, if you can get past the top layers and slough them off, you can open up pathways to deliver nutrients, antioxidants, hydration, and the essential building blocks to build support structures as in collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and healthy new skin cells. The result will be skin that appears smooth, soft, firm, radiant—and the look won’t wash off.

Here is Dr. Obagi’s recommended approach to producing lasting changes and not just a temporary cosmetic cover-up:

  1. Seek the guidance of a licensed skin care professional.
  2. Start on a regular program of daily cell renewal, using a high concentration of retinol (natural Vitamin A).
  3. Accelerate resurfacing with more aggressive professional resurfacing treatments (microdermabrasion, laser treatments, etc.).
  4. Supplement your daily resurfacing regimen with application of nutrient-rich antioxidants and growth factors.
  5. Use targeted products to treat specific conditions: acne, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, tired eyes, etc.
  6. Use injectables such as Botox® to smooth the frown and Juvederm® to fill in the deeper wrinkles. Be sure to ask your doctor for his or her brand recommendations, though, as not all fillers are the same.
  7. Apply sun protection every day.
  8.  Stay on track with proper coaching and support from your skincare specialist.

So You Think You Have Sensitive Skin?

Dr. Zein Obagi doesn’t believe in sensitive skin. He believes that skin needs to be strengthened by using the right skin care regimen to restore it to optimal health.

Classic symptoms of so-called sensitive skin include:

  • diffuse redness and irritation, especially in the T-zone
  • tingling, tightening, dryness, and flakiness
  • reaction or discomfort to procedures or products—shaving, waxing, cosmetics
  • blotchiness, swelling, edema, which sometimes can advance to rosacea

In fact, these are really signs of skin weakness, and it’s sometimes caused by the use—or overuse—of the wrong products, particularly moisturizers. It seems antithetical—a moisturizer was probably the first product that you used on your skin, and the one you trusted and used most frequently. But it could also be the one that harms and ages your skin the most—either accelerating skin aging, or inducing skin sensitivity.

With young and healthy skin, the cells in the dermis collect water from the food we eat and water we drink, and deliver that water to the surface of the skin. It’s a natural part of cellular nourishment and repair. That’s why it’s so important that we keep skin cells active and functioning normally. But when you apply a moisturizer to hydrate and plump the skin, the skin cells in the epidermis send a message to the cells in the dermis: slow down, we’re fat and happy up here. That causes the cells in the dermis to become lazy and go dormant—and the skin becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. At that point, the skin is compromised and begins to lose its ability to function as a natural and protective barrier. That induces sensitivity and leads to redness, irritation, wrinkling, and accelerated aging.

Crazy as it seems, moisturizers—which supposedly are calming and soothing—are frequently just the opposite. If you’re going to use a moisturizer, use one that suppresses irritation, that calms the skin, and  that contains some retinol to awaken dormant cells. And don’t ever use a moisturizer to the exclusion of products that activate and stimulate your skin.

Kick the moisturizer habit. Make sure that your skin is rejuvenating and repairing itself. It’s one of the best strategies for well-nourished, healthy skin.