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

Q&A: Shaving and Facial Edema

Q. My husband was recently diagnosed with rosacea and wants to know if he can shave or what is the result of shaving?

A. Yes, many men with rosacea are clean-shaven, but your husband may have to change his current grooming practices if they exacerbate his rosacea. He may wish to switch to an electric razor if he doesn’t already use one in order to avoid the potential irritation of a razor blade. In addition, he will want to avoid any shaving creams or lotions that burn or sting his skin. This may take a bit of trial and error, so sample-sized products can be a less expensive way to find ones that work for him. Finally, a post-shave balm and/or moisturizer can help soothe any spots that were irritated.

Your husband also should remember to take his medical therapy to minimize his rosacea flare-ups.

Q. How do I deal with or stop facial edema?

A. It is believed that facial swelling (edema) in rosacea may be due to inflammation or increased blood flow during flushing. If dilated vessels become “leaky,” extra fluid may accumulate in the tissues faster than the lymphatic system, which transports fluids throughout the body, can remove it.

Ideally, if you control the flushing or inflammation, you can prevent or minimize the edema.  There are medical therapies for inflammation and redness, and facial massage and cool packs also may be useful. Cool packs can be found in pharmacies.