Sun & Rosacea

Sun exposure does affect Rosacea

Sun exposure greatly impacts rosacea symptoms. Most of us receive a healthy amount of sunlight in our daily chores to produce enough vitamin D. There are many harmful effects of sun over exposure. Be aware that some drugs will increase sun sensitivity. Particularly, sunlight can be a factor in Ocular Rosacea.

Vitamin D can come from sunlight with about fifteen minutes twice per week will be sufficient to gain the vitamin D needed for the average person. The rosacea patient will not have damaged skin with this small amount of necessary vitamin D and it is best without sunscreen. Even more beneficial would be three or four minutes of sunlight per day. Vitamin D is very much needed for healthy bones and disease prevention. Do not pick the heat of the day but early mornings or late evenings. The ‘sunshine vitamin’ comes from ultraviolet rays without sunscreen. And it can be very therapeutic and stress releasing to go for a walk, shopping with the majority of the time spent inside the shops. The best way to gain the maximum benefit is to work in your yard with shorts and a very light shirt or blouse allowing sun rays to come through when the sun is at a 45 degree between the hours of 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM or 4:00 to 7:00 PM.

Food sources high in Vitamin D are milk and other dairy products, salmon, tuna and sardines as well as eggs and liver. Yes, the rosacea patient’s skin can improve from sunlight in the proper amount without sunscreen or sunblock. Sun protection is for extended periods. And of course always be well hydrated as the skin with the proper amount of ‘hydrogen’ is healing and can resist more sunlight without damage in case one stays out too long.


Effective rosacea treatment and skin care involves preventing skin damage. The use of sunscreens is just one of these skin care measures when in the sun for more than 20 to 30 minutes during the heat of the day.

Use of a sunscreen will provide protection against the UVB sun rays but does not protect against the UVA sun rays. Sunscreens are designed to initiate a chemical reaction between the UVB rays and the skin cells. People with rosacea and other skin sensitizing conditions may experience a photosensitive reaction to the active ingredients, butyl methoxydibenzoyl methane or oxybenzone in the sunscreens resulting in skin redness. The rash, redness and itching can last several days giving the appearance of a rosacea flare.

Sunscreens come in two forms – Chemical sunscreens and Physical sunblocks

Chemical sunscreens are comprised of the active ingredient oxybenzone, benzophenone or benzophenone-3. They prevent sunburn by absorbing the ultraviolet (UVB) rays. Chemical sunscreens contain as their active ingredient anywhere from two to five percent of oxybenzone, benzophenone, or benzophenone-3. Research indicates this chemical is listed among the most powerful free radicals known to science. It is used in industrial processes to instigate chemical reactionary processes and encourage cross-linking. Benzophenone is activated by exposure to ultraviolet light as it absorbs energy to breakdown its molecular bond to convert one free radical into two. Most chemical sunscreens cause various degrees of redness and sensitivity to rosacea sufferers. Staying out of the sun is the best answer. Please do not worry about the incidental 10 to 50 minutes in the sun, especially early in the morning and late afternoon, but if you have to be out in the sun during the heat of the day or for long periods, wear a hat, if possible, and a sun block or sunscreen. CityBlock by Clinique (SPF 40) provide the most blockage and the least irritation and sensitivity. CityBlock can be purchased online and in the skin care department in stores worldwide.

Physical sunblock contain ingredients such as zinc oxide, sodium chloride, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, iron oxide, and sulfur. Rosacea-Ltd IV is a physical sunscreen which can be purchased here.  The ingredients in Rosacea-Ltd IV function by reflecting the ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) rays away from the skin. These physical natural minerals as a sunscreen are preferable for rosacea patients. Also, you can gain further sun protection by applying the chemical sunscreen over the ‘physical sunscreen’ which helps to keep the skin from being irritated by the chemical sunscreen.

Sun Rays – Ultraviolet Radiation

UVA rays are responsible for the light that reaches you on earth. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than other rays from the sun. We get our skin tanned and also gain early skin aging symptoms by UVA rays.

UVB rays do cause more permanent damage to the upper layers of the skin’s surface and can cause even more wrinkles, sun damage and sun cancer.

UVC rays cause the least damage to the skin as most of the rays are absorbed by the ozone layer.

UVA, UVB & UVC rays all contribute to some damage to the skin. Enjoy the sun and gain vitamin D, but try intervals to avoid even the slightest ‘pink’ skin which shows the direct sign of over exposure.

Skin Cancer – There are three types of skin cancer resulting from exposure to the sun rays

Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most commonly occurring type of skin cancer and is rarely deadly, however if left untreated it can invade the surrounding tissues resulting in disfigurement and skin cell destruction. The basal cell is the part of the skin cell structure responsible for the production of new skin cells. It is thought to take years of long-term exposure to UV radiation for this type of carcinoma to occur. It usual occurs in the areas of the skin receiving the most exposure to sunlight such as the face or neck, although in recent years there has been an increase in this type of cancer appearing on the torso. Basal cell carcinoma may resemble a waxy pinkish colored bump, or a flaky patch on the skin. It is sometimes confused with  eczema, seborrhea dermatitis or psoriasis.

Squamous cell carcinoma is another common form of skin cancer which is treated early is rarely deadly. However is can be very aggressive and if left untreated it can spread and invade other parts of the body resulting in more serious complications. The squamous cell is a thin flat cell that forms the outer layer of the skin. However squamous cells are also found in the lining of the esophagus, in the digestive tract, mouth, lips, prostrate, urinary bladder, cervix, vagina and lungs. Squamous cell carcinoma usually appears on the skin as a scab or sore that is slow to heal or it may appear as a scaly flat patch of skin.

Melanoma Carcinoma is the rarest and most deadly type of skin cancer which if not diagnosed early will spread quickly to other parts of the body.  This YouTube Video may be scary for you, while improving your knowledge and being helpful for your future and of someone you care about. This form of cancer occurs in the melanocyte cells, this is the part of the skin cell that produces skin color which is why these cancers often appear as black, purple, tan, white, pink or brownish patches of skin.

Learn how to ‘Match Your Sunscreen to Your Skin Type’.



Sun Rosacea