Who doesn’t want soft, smooth skin and an even skin tone? Unfortunately, some people have to deal with spotty areas of discoloration that are hard to cover up even with the best cosmetics. Blotchy skin basically refers to patchy or spotty areas of discoloration, which are usually red in color. Blotchiness is often related to other skin problems, the two most common being sensitive skin and rosacea.
Rosacea is a skin condition marked by facial redness, flushing, and pustules that resemble acne along with blotchy areas of skin redness. Certain factors trigger the redness and patchy redness that rosacea sufferers experience. These triggers vary from person to person but may include sunlight, stress, exercise, alcohol, extremes in temperature, cosmetics and certain foods. Rosacea can sometimes cause other symptoms such as facial burning, itching, prominent blood vessels or skin thickening.
Some people who have blotchy, red skin don’t have rosacea but instead have “sensitive skin.” Sensitive skin isn’t a specific skin condition but refers to skin that’s easily irritated. People with sensitive skin may complain of burning, skin tightness and blotchy areas of redness. Certain skin care products can make the symptoms worse. No one knows exactly why some people have skin that’s more sensitive, but one theory is they have a defect in the outermost layer of skin called the stratum corneum. This defect allows irritants to penetrate more easily and cause a reaction.
Regardless of whether blotchy skin is caused by rosacea or related to sensitive skin, it’s important to use skin care products that are non-irritating. Cleansers and moisturizers that contain fragrance or alcohol can aggravate rosacea and skin that’s sensitive.
Sun protection is also important for people with sensitive skin or rosacea. Unfortunately, the ingredients in chemical sunscreens can aggravate redness and blotchiness. The best option is to use a mineral-based sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin.
Cosmetics can aggravate sensitive skin and rosacea too. Choose products that are hypo-allergenic and formulated specifically for sensitive skin. A green-tinted base makeup helps to mask areas of redness and cover up blotchiness. Mineral makeup is a good choice for people with sensitive skin or rosacea since it’s less likely to cause skin irritation.
When blotchy, red skin is caused by rosacea, it’s important to identify triggers that make the symptoms worse and avoid them. Avoid eating spicy foods and drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages since these can aggravate redness. Reduce stress levels as much as possible by finding ways to relax since periods of stress can worsen rosacea.
The Bottom Line?
Red, blotchy skin due to rosacea or sensitive skin is a challenging condition to deal with since the ingredients in skin care products and cosmetics aggravate the symptoms. Skin blotchiness can often be improved by using skin care products designed for sensitive skin and mineral-based makeup to create the appearance of a more uniform skin tone. For severe cases, it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist.