Ask an Expert: Your Most Burning Skin-Redness Questions, Answered.

Dr. Vivian Shi is a board-certified dermatologist who’s sharing her skin-care wisdom with us. We asked her to weigh in on one of the most popular questions we’ve heard from our community: what’s making my skin so red all the time?

“Redness may appear differently in people with light skin tones versus dark skin tones. In fair- to medium-toned individuals, facial redness can be due to a very common skin condition called rosacea. The most common type of rosacea is called ET (Erythematotelangiectatic) rosacea, which is especially common in fair-skinned people over the age of 30. ET rosacea shows up on the cheeks, nose and chin as fine broken blood vessels. Folks with ET rosacea tend to get facial flushing and swelling with exposure to sun, heat, spicy food and alcohol,” says Shi.

“In people without this type of rosacea, whenever you have a trigger that causes the vessels to dilate and flush, and then that trigger is taken away, the blood vessels spontaneously shrink back to baseline,” she says. “With ET rosacea, the blood vessels stay dilated, and with each subsequent trigger, they can get more and more dilated, so you’ll see a persistent red hue.”

Unfortunately, according to Dr. Shi, there is no cream or topical product that can make the redness go away completely and permanently, so avoiding triggers will be most helpful.

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