Facial redness is especially very common among people with fair skin and it often goes unmanaged as long as it is intermittent and not too bothersome. Yet, to avoid it becoming chronic, it is important to take corrective action as soon as the first signs appear.
People with fair, fine and sensitive skin are often prone to skin redness. A genetic component probably comes into play: a family history has been found in approximately one third of individuals with skin redness. The redness generally affects the face (particularly the nose and cheekbones), the neck and the top of the chest.
Although it initially occurs in bouts and isn’t very bothersome, the redness can sometimes become permanent and its unsightliness can make it difficult to live with. That is why it is very important to use appropriate skincare products and see a skin specialist as soon as you notice the first signs!
Intermittent bouts of redness
Intermittent bouts of redness, also called “flushes” or “vasomotor flushes” are due to a hypersensitivity of the cutaneous vessels, which dilate excessively when subjected to various stimuli: heat, cold, temperature variations, strong emotions, alcohol, spicy food, intense physical exercise, etc. They often occur with skin tingling and a hot sensation, because the vessel dilation raises the temperature of the skin in that area.
The redness also seems to frequently occur after various cosmetic products have been applied. This isn’t contact dermatitis; it is a sign of the skin’s hypersensitivity.
Over time, an increase in flushes can gradually lead to a loss of elasticity in the blood vessels: no longer able to contract, they remain permanently dilated. The redness then becomes persistent and we call this erythrosis (homogeneous redness similar to sunburn) or couperose (fine network of blood vessels visible to the naked eye).
In some cases, couperose or erythrosis can turn into rosacea: pimples resembling acne will appear on the reddened areas, but without comedones or oily skin. At the same time, a proliferation of demodex folliculorum face mites is often observed on the skin’s surface: their presence in small numbers is natural, but when they become too numerous due to a skin imbalance, they cause inflammation that exacerbates rosacea.
Women are most commonly affected by these conditions, but severe cases are mainly seen in men. It is essential that you seek treatment from a skin specialist if you have rosacea.
Although flushes, erythrosis and couperose are early warning signs of rosacea, the latter does not occur systematically. If you suffer from intermittent bouts of skin redness, use appropriate skincare products but don’t be overly concerned!