What causes rosacea? How does your tap water affect eczema? Is toothpaste really good for spots?

Eczema, acne and rosacea are common issues, but they can wreak havoc with our confidence, as well as our skin. We’re here to separate facts from fiction, and tell you five things you need to know about the skin conditions.

1. Acne isn’t infectious

There are lots of (unhelpful) myths about acne. First up, nope – you can’t pass acne on to other people. And no, it’s not caused by dirty skin. The biological reactions that trigger acne occur beneath the skin, so washing your face more than twice a day won’t help; in fact, this could aggravate the condition. Use a mild product, such as Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser (473ml). And finally, it’s not linked to a poor diet. Research hasn’t pinpointed any specific foods that cause acne, although eating a healthy, balanced diet is always a smart idea. And here’s a good truth, by contrast: a study suggests the cells of those who've suffered from acne may be protected from the signs of ageing. Hurrah!

2. Women are more likely to get rosacea than men

Three times more, in fact. Symptoms include persistent redness caused by dilated blood vessels, small bumps, and pus-filled spots similar to acne. So, what’s the best way to care for your skin when you have rosacea? Choose an unperfumed moisturiser such as Bioderma Sensibio Anti Redness Cream (40ml). If you want to camouflage the redness, try IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. And for protection, you need at least SPF30, even in winter and on cloudy days. Try Eucerin Anti-Pigment Day Cream SPF30 (50ml).

If you’d like some support with rosacea, you may be able to access advice and  treatment through our Boots Online Doctor Rosacea Treatment Service.* After completing an online consultation, a clinician will review your answers and provide advice and prescribe treatment if appropriate.

3. Living in the south could make you more prone to eczema

A study found that living in a hard-water area is associated with an up to 87% increased risk of eczema by the age of three months!** Eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, dry and cracked. It normally appears on the face, eyelids, hands and neck, but can also be found on the scalp.

If you live in the south of the UK, your household water will tend to be harder than that in the north. Consider adding Cetraben Cream (475ml) to baths to help moisturise eczema-prone skin. Other risk factors? It can run in families and often develops alongside asthma and hayfever. And triggers include soaps, detergents, stress and the weather. Try these smart buys: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Stick AP+; and Boots Eczema Treatment Cream (30ml), relieves itching, redness and dryness.

4. You shouldn’t use toothpaste on spots

…instead consider gentler treatments. Here are a few other things from the blemish rulebook: If you get a spot, try not to fret. This could cause the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, to rise, and lead to an increase in oil production. And do stop squeezing and picking (however tempting) – it can aggravate spots and even cause scarring. For more help, the Boots Acne Treatment Online Doctor service* offers potential access to a range of prescription-only medicines to help with mild to moderate acne without having to see your GP. Plus, the online consultation only takes about three minutes!

5. Rosacea doesn’t just affect your skin

The estimated number of people who suffer from rosacea worldwide is 415 million. Who knew? And many of those also experience eye issues, such as redness, dryness, itching and excess tears.

*Subject to clinician approval and stock availability; charges apply.


Photography: Alamy