Rosacea, which is also sometimes known as acne rosacea, is a skin condition affecting the chin, nose, cheeks and forehead. It normally starts with episodes of flushing, but can progress to permanent redness, spots and visible blood vessels. In severe cases, the nose can thicken and enlarge. Eyes can become dry and sore and the sufferer can experience eyelid inflammation. It affects women more than men and typically starts between the ages of 30 and 40. If you think you have rosacea you should see your doctor straight away as early treatment can help prevent severe symptoms from developing.
What causes rosacea?
There are a number of things that can trigger this condition. These vary from person to person so it’s important to identify yours in order to avoid them.
Common causes include:
Exposure to sunlight
Alcohol and caffeine
Eating certain things including spicy foods
Cold weather and wind
Certain medications including some used to treat high blood pressure
What treatments are available?
There’s no cure for rosacea but there are effective ways to manage the symptoms.
For example, careful use of make-up to conceal the affected areas can help a great deal. It’s better to use water-based ones, which are easier to remove without using alcohol-based cleansers (as these can be a trigger for the condition).
The early symptoms of flushing are best managed by identifying and avoiding the triggers. Exposure to sunlight can be managed by the regular use of SPF 50 sun cream or makeup with sun block on the face, and wearing hats to provide shade.
Stress can be managed by getting the right amount of sleep, taking regular low-intensity exercise and eating a balanced diet.
Spots can be treated with creams and gels or oral antibiotics.
Rozex (metronidazole) cream or gel or Skinoren can be used in milder cases of pustules and papules.
Soolantra (ivermectin) cream is a newer treatment, which has been shown to be more effective than Rozex cream.
In more severe cases, oral antibiotics are used either alone or in combination with a cream or gel. Erythromycin, oxytetracycline or Efracea (doxycycline as monohydrate) are all prescribed for rosacea. Please follow the links for more information on each medicine. In severe cases, surgical correction treatments may be needed if the hose has thickened or enlarged.
What other conditions can rosacea lead to?
In some cases, rosacea can really start to get people down and affect their confidence.
If you are feeling depressed, it’s important you seek help and not struggle on alone. The Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service can refer you for help if that is required.
To have a no obligation consultation with a UK registered GP leading to prescription-only treatments that are suitable for you, simply click here.
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