Ginger Royer first noticed her pink cheeks when she was a teen.
“My cheeks would get kind of red and flushed after PE and exercising and running. In the cold wind, I started to notice that my cheeks would burn a little bit,” Royer said.
That redness only got worse as ginger got older, becoming something she tried to hide.
“I tried a lot of over-the-counter creams and medications and not much success with those,” she said.
Ginger decided to talk to a dermatologist about the redness and learned she has a chronic, inflammatory skin condition called rosacea.
“It can be manifest as simply a redness or a flushing of the face, or it can progress into having acne type bumps,” Dr. Maureen Olivier said.
Over the years, dermatologists have managed rosacea with a combination of treatments; from creams and lotions to washes and oral medications.
But that can be limiting to certain patients, including those that are pregnant like Ginger.
“Some people don’t tolerate oral antibiotics very well or just choose not to take them,” Olivier said.
Enter a new prescribed topical gel called Mirvaso, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in August.
Doctors call it a breakthrough in rosacea treatment.
“To be so simple and treat such a difficult problem, cosmetically disturbing problem to many patients, is really an advance,” Olivier said.
The medication comes in tubes and just a little bit goes a long way.
It rubs in smooth and clear and can be used under makeup and lotion.
“It keeps my cheeks from getting red again and it helps with the texture of my skin, it feels smoother,” Royer said.
The gel is rubbed onto the forehead, chin, nose and cheeks once a day and lasts for 12 hours, getting to the root of the redness.
“It constricts the blood vessels in the face. It’s similar to what we use in nose sprays to constrict the blood vessels,” Olivier said.
While it’s not a cure for rosacea, ginger says it’s keeping her redness at bay this winter, a time of year it typically flares up.
“I had it on for Thanksgiving and my face was fine without the redness,” Royer said.
Not all insurers may cover Mirvaso. Common side effects include sensitivity and a burning feeling on the skin.