Rosy Cheeks or Rosacea? An Interview With Cynthia Nixon

ALTudor Editor

    Actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for her stint as Miranda Hobbes on ‘Sex and the City,’ is the new face of rosacea awareness. Read on to hear about how Cynthia was diagnosed and how she manages this skin condition.


    ALTudor: Tell us a little about how long you’ve had rosacea, and how you were diagnosed?


    Cynthia Nixon: I first noticed bumps and pimples on my face in my early 30s, but I thought it was just a recurrence of the acne I experienced as a teenager. I also had a tendency to flush, which would happen at the worst times - like when I was working or at a big event. Then, a few years ago, while I was visiting my dermatologist for an unrelated matter, she told me that I have rosacea.  Once I learned that I had rosacea, I worked with my dermatologist to come up with a skin care routine that was right for me, which is really the key to managing the condition.  I wish someone would have told me what rosacea was years ago so I wouldn't have had to deal with it for so long.

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    ALTudor: At what point in your life did you become aware that rosacea could be treated?


    Cynthia Nixon: It was stressful and embarrassing for me to never know how my skin would look from day to day, especially when things – like red wine, sunshine, stress and hot or cold weather – could make my skin get red and flushed. Just covering up the problem with make-up wasn’t enough and in fact lots of make-up could actually irritate my skin and make it worse.  My dermatologist prescribed a treatment for me and advised me to get on a gentle skin care routine that was right for my sensitive skin.


    ALTudor: Any spectacular failures?


    Cynthia Nixon: Yes, there are certainly a lot of things that I don’t do since I was diagnosed. When my doctor told me I had rosacea, I learned that the harsh cleansers and scrubs that I was using on my face were only aggravating my rosacea. I stick with the routine that she advised was right for me, which works great for my skin.  I also learned about rosacea triggers, like red wine, spicy food and hot baths - unfortunately all of the things I love. So those are all things that I try to avoid, at least before a big event or being on camera.  


    ALTudor: How do you manage your rosacea now?


    Cynthia Nixon: Now, if I’m going to be on camera or have an event, I avoid my triggers (especially hot baths, red wine and spicy food) so my skin behaves more predictably and I follow a gentle, sensible skin care routine that my dermatologist recommended.


    ALTudor: Why do you think it’s important to show support for others with rosacea?


    Cynthia Nixon: April is National Rosacea Awareness Month, and I partnered with the National Rosacea Society to educate people about rosacea and empower them to take control and go to the doctor because there are prescription treatment options that can help, and without treatment, rosacea may get worse. I wish that someone would have told me about rosacea years ago so I wouldn’t have had to deal with it for so long – it would have saved me a lot of time, energy and frustration.  I really encourage people to pass along information on rosacea and to check out my public service announcement on


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    ALTudor: What triggers your rosacea, and how do you avoid those triggers?


    Cynthia Nixon: My main triggers are hot baths, red wine and spicy food, which I still do sometimes, but only in moderation. I especially avoid them the night before a big event.


    ALTudor: What about stress? Is it a factor?


    Cynthia Nixon: Stress can be a rosacea trigger for many, and it is important to work with a dermatologist to determine individual triggers and what to avoid. I have heard of people keeping a diary of when they have a flare-up and what they ate or how they were feeling that day, which can help determine what could have triggered the flare-up and what to avoid.


    ALTudor: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about rosacea?


    Cynthia Nixon: I think the most important thing to know is if you think you might have rosacea, visit a dermatologist to find out the best prescription treatment option. There is a great self-screening quiz on that can help anyone determine if they have rosacea, and a physician finder tool to locate a dermatologist.

Published On: May 09, 2012