Getting The Red Out: Expert Tips

Dermatologists share their go-to approaches for reducing facial redness in rosacea.


There are multiple options for treating the papules, pustules and other symptoms of rosacea, but the same can’t be said about the redness…yet. From lasers and lights to new prescription creams and calming over-the-counter skin care products, dermatologists share their favorite anti-facial redness strategies with Practical Dermatology® magazine.

“Rhofade (oxymetazoline hydrochloride) cream, 1% is the new Allergan anti-redness medication. Like Mirvaso, it is a vasoconstrictor of blood vessels. However, it appears not to have the risk of rebound redness and flushing that has been a problem for many patients with Mirvaso. For most of these rosacea patients, I make sure that everything they use has a non-irritating base. For example, ISDIN’s new Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+ with Photolyase (a DNA repair enzyme) has been very well received by my sensitive skin patients who find it goes on smoothly and feels soothing. Anti-inflammatory ingredients help also. I find creams like Caudalie Premier Cru La Creme Riche with resveratrol and sunscreens like EltaMD UV Clear with niacinamide (vitamin B3) helpful.”


Heidi A. Waldorf, MD Director, Laser & Cosmetic Dermatology Mount Sinai Hospital; Associate Clinical Professor, Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai; New York, NY Co-Chief, Medical Editor, Modern Aesthetics®


“I like the Eucerin Redness Relief line and the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac line for my rosacea patients. These are very mild and soothing as per patients who use them.”

Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD Associate Professor of Dermatology, Department of Dermatology; Residency Program Director Director of Translational Research George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC

“The majority of diffuse redness is from underlying rosacea. Our initial approach is to start with topical Finacea and then treat with Exel V or V Beam laser. Recently, we have started using Rhofade and the feedback has been very positive. Thus, a combination of Finacea, followed by laser and the use of Rhofade is our approach. We also love the Restorsea Pro Rebalancing Lotion, which is safe in patients prone to redness and is our go-to anti-aging cosmeceutical in this subset of patients.”


Vic A. Narurkar MD, FAAD


FounderBay Area Laser Institute, San Francisco

“We first need to determine what the cause of the redness is. Is it from chronic sun damage, facial flushing, or a sign of rosacea? Then we can determine what the best course for treatment is which will include the use of intense pulsed light (IPL) and vascular lasers for sun damage along with a proper skin care routine of antioxidants, growth factors, and sunscreens. If the cause is from rosacea, we now have oxymetazoline (Rhofade) approved to reduce the appearance of the redness of rosacea and from the clinical trials, which we participated in, shows high efficacy, great safety, and long lasting results with no appreciable rebound as a result of its use. Treating facial redness is something that we can tackle without much concern in today’s dermatologic world.”

Michael H. Gold, MD Medical Director and Founder, Gold Skin Care Center, Advanced Aesthetics Medical Spa; The Laser & Rejuvenation Center, and Tennessee Clinical Research Center, Nashville

“I like green tea products, Finacea and Rhofade.”

Judith Hellman MD

Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Mt Sinai Hospital, New York, NY


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About Practical Dermatology

Practical Dermatology is the monthly publication that provides coverage of medical care, cosmetic advancements, and practice management for clinicians in the field. With straight-forward, how-to advice from experts in various fields, we strive to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of dermatology practices.