"A little love note to my fellow babes who get called 'Rudolph' or 'Cherry.'"
When you think of Hollywood actors, the images that come to mind are probably filled with full, luscious hair, a megawatt smile, and flawless skin. While we know that that's not always the case, most stars keep their imperfections under wraps because their looks are their moneymakers. Breaking the facade of perfection, Sophia Bush, of Chicago P.D. fame, recently took to Instagram to share her struggle with rosacea after she realized how many of her followers suffer from the same symptoms.
The post was inspired by a makeup-free Instagram story that Bush, 35, uploaded on a "very red day" that received tons of responses from her followers. Alongside a video of herself receiving treatment and screenshots of replies she got from her fans, she wrote, "[This is] a little love note to my fellow babes who get called 'Rudolph' or 'Cherry' who are dealing with rosacea."
After explaining that she's had rosacea for years without even knowing it, she explains, "Mine’s mild, but it’s always been something I’ve been conscious of because of [my] job." If you know anything about rosacea, you know that stressing about it can make it even worse. "You should try to avoid common triggers including hot temperatures, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and stress," points out Howard Sobel, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in NYC and creator of DDF Skin Care.
To help combat her rosacea, Bush decided to try blue LED light therapy. She notes that she was "blown away" by followers' responses and even "moved to tears" by some, which is why she chose to document and share her first treatment. At first she "chickened out" and said, "It’s so weird and vulnerable to open up about what makes you self-conscious. But I don’t think that Instagram serving as a highlight reel and nothing else is helpful. So, my babes! Here’s a little demystification for ya."
In the video, Bush can be seen in a paper gown, lying on a doctor's table next to a machine and donning goggles. She says, "It's a little scary. You don't know what to expect and you're just like, 'And what now?'" As the doctor starts to use the machine on her face, her hair starts to blow, and she remarks, "It's like a tiny air conditioner." The doctor then places what looks like a suction cup on her skin and Bush reacts, "Oh yeah, that's warm. It's toasty, but it's not unbearable by any means."
To recap her experience, she wrote, "This is called a blue light. It’s a great treatment for redness. It doesn’t really hurt. This is my first try with this, and I’ll keep y’all posted on how it goes."
Turns out, she's onto something. "Blue light therapy can reduce inflammation and decrease redness in rosacea," according to Dr. Sobel. "This can be extra useful if there is an acne-like component to the rosacea."
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We'll definitely be following the actor's journey with blue light, but in the meantime, if you're considering trying it for yourself, here are a few things to note: "You usually need multiple short treatments spaced out between 3 to 6 weeks," Dr. Sobel says. "The blue light treatments can make you more sun sensitive, so it's extra important to wear sunscreen."