Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Q&A: Sunscreen & Dark Skin


Q. What kind of sunscreen should be used for people with rosacea?

A. Using sunscreen is especially important for rosacea patients, as sun exposure was named the top trigger for rosacea flare-ups by 81 percent of those responding to a National Rosacea Society survey.

All rosacea patients should wear sunscreen with an SPF (skin protection factor) of 15 or higher, and check the label for effectiveness against UVA as well as UVB radiation. Individuals with very sensitive skin may want to minimize irritation with a pediatric sunscreen formulation, or one with a moisturizer approved by their doctor.

A sunscreen that contains physical barriers such as zinc oxide or micronized titanium oxide, which reflect rather than absorb UVB and UVA radiation, may be beneficial.

Q. Is rosacea common in dark skins?

A. While rosacea is thought to be most common in fair-skinned individuals, it may simply be more difficult to diagnose in those of African-American, Asian and Hispanic heritage as the redness usually found in rosacea is often masked by darker skin. Other rosacea symptoms -- such as bumps, pimples, stinging and eye irritation -- are often observed in patients of all skin types.