What relieves facial redness due to accumulated sun damage?
February 16, 2006 12:23 PM   Subscribe

What relieves facial redness due to accumulated sun damage?

My bf is in his late 30's. He spent a lot of time outdoors in his youth, and recently (in the past couple of years) his face started flushing. It's a permanent redness that just wouldn't go away.

I've nagged him into wearing sunscreen in the morning (sometimes) and if he's going to spend all day outdoors, but I told him that redness due to broken capillaries in his skin is irreversible; it's like drinking for most of your life and getting that ruddy face from it. BUT barring a fotofacial (which I'm not sure if it works, and it is quite expensive) are there topical creams that can reduce the redness over time?

We also live in TO, so aside from sun, we're also raging against dry, cold winter.
posted by Sallysings to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It sounds to me like he needs to see a dermatologist to find out why he's permanantly flushed. It could be as easy as using a hydroquinone-containing cream to "bleach" his skin back to its former color. However, there could be other skin conditions going on that would need different treatment.

Plus, if he's got as much sun damage as you say, it's probably a good idea for him to be checked for melanoma by the dermatologist while he's at it.
posted by Flakypastry at 12:31 PM on February 16, 2006

Best answer: The permanent redness sounds like rosacea. It's exacerbated by sunlight, but I doubt your boyfriend's time outdoors as a youth is the sole cause of his condition.

A dermatologist can prescribe some creams to help reduce inflammation, but he'll probably never get rid of the redness entirely without wearing some sort of makeup. There are tons of internet forums devoted to treating rosacea, avoiding flare-ups, and skincare products that are rosacea-friendly. I'm sure you can learn about the effectiveness of various treatments from their discussions.

And yes, getting checked for melanoma and wearing sunscreen every day from now on would be wise and healthy things to do
posted by junkbox at 1:03 PM on February 16, 2006

There are permanent laser treatments for rosacea and other redness problems, but they are not usually covered under socialized medical plans. If he really dislikes the condition he should ask a dermatologist.
posted by zadcat at 1:16 PM on February 16, 2006

well, i had the laser treatments for my rosacea and the positive effects of the laser faded after about 3 years.
posted by brandz at 5:21 PM on February 16, 2006

I have a fair number of broken capillaries due both to long unprotected exposure to tropical sun and years of overindulgence in the drink. The ruddiness does run in my family, also. I don't really mind, but I do worry (very mildly) sometimes that people think from my appearance that I'm more of a boozer than I actually am. All my reading has indicated that once those capillaries go, you're pretty much stuck with it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:03 PM on February 16, 2006

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