How do I make my permanently sunburned red face, less red?
July 4, 2011 4:48 AM   Subscribe

How do I make my permanently sunburned red face, less red?

My face is pretty red, mostly around nose, and under eyes, and I think it comes from being severely sunburned several times when I was a kid.

I am average to fair complexion, and tan pretty ok over my body, but my face is red, and people often ask me if I've been drinking, or if I've been out in the sun a lot lately.

There must be some way to let my face be less red?

It absolutely gets noticeably better during winter months, and worse in summer.

Avoiding sun exposure for a couple years?

I don't want makeup.
posted by crawltopslow to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not sunburn. Sun damage creates dark spots. Perhaps you have rosacea. Talk to a dermatologist. Good luck!
posted by taff at 4:51 AM on July 4, 2011 [9 favorites]

Asia is full of whitening creams and treatments. Everywhere. Check out some HK or Singapore sites since they are likely to have English as well.
posted by chinabound at 4:55 AM on July 4, 2011

Aaah, don't bleach your face! Especially if it has something dermatological going on, like rosacea, which I suspect. Rosacea can look a lot like sunburn. Get thee to a dermatologist for some treatment.
posted by phunniemee at 5:00 AM on July 4, 2011 [6 favorites]

Seriously, do not bleach your face. Phunniemee is correct, that would be a VERY bad idea. You will damage it terribly if it's rosacea. Skin bleaching is for uniformly dark skin (and really awful, but that's a different issue).
posted by taff at 5:04 AM on July 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

Don't bleach your skin. You should see a dermatologist. They will be able to help you (eg 1, eg 2). While you're waiting for your appointment, get some Cerave PM or some cream with green tea. There is research showing that both the active ingredient in Cerave PM and green tea extract help rosacea. If you have rosacea, the creams may help calm it down. If you don't, your skin will just be hydrated. Win/win.
posted by 200burritos at 5:43 AM on July 4, 2011

Do you wear sunscreen every day? You can buy facial moisturizers with sunscreen in them (like Neutrogena Men Sensitive Skin Oil-Free Moisture SPF 30); this will help prevent sun damage going forward.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:05 AM on July 4, 2011

As one of the links above suggests -- they are doing great stuff with lasers nowadays, and this might be easily sorted out if you have enough money and stamina for a few laser treatments. But, yeah, not a permanent sunburn, and don't bleach it.
posted by kmennie at 6:38 AM on July 4, 2011

I was prescribed metrogel to great effect-but, yeah, it's for my rosacea whichs makes my nose/cheeks/area under my eyes red and splotchy, not old sunburns.
posted by atomicstone at 7:40 AM on July 4, 2011

You definitely should get checked out by a dermatologist. If it's rosacea, then you'll get prescribed a topical medication like metrogel, and possibly a short course of antibiotics. If you have the type of rosacea that's mainly redness, depending on the severity you may also opt for laser treatment.

Sun protection is very important, but check out ingredients very carefully. Many people with rosacea also have sensitive skin that cannot tolerate chemical sunscreens, like those present in the Neutrogena sunscreen mentioned above. Physical sunblocks like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are tolerated well. Definitely avoid the whitening treatments, as you do not want to damage your skin any further.
posted by needled at 8:03 AM on July 4, 2011

I don't think anything other than trial and error will help you here. I have Rosacea and extremely sensitive skin--as in so sensitive that I think I've tried every sensitive skin cleanser and moisturizer ever made and all of them make my face red and irritated--but I can use Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen. Bonus is that it goes on white, so it tones down the redness a bit; between that and foundation, my skin looks pretty normal.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 11:41 AM on July 4, 2011

Clinique has a Redness Solutions line, and Eucerin has a Redness Relief line of products.
posted by candyland at 6:23 PM on July 4, 2011

Nthing to go see a dermatologist, who will likely save you a whole lot of time, trouble, irritation, and expense!

I can vouch for the Eucerin redness relief facial moisturizer/sunscreen, if it doesn't irritate your skin. Yep, it's a little bit green.
posted by desuetude at 2:22 PM on July 6, 2011

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