Thursday, 26 January 2017

Rosacea - Information, Symptoms, Treatment

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face.

Rosacea often starts with a tendency to blush/flush easily and this can lead to other symptoms.
  • burning and stinging sensations
  • permanent redness
  • spots
  • small blood vessels in the skin becoming visible
  • eye symptoms (inflammation of the eyelids, dry eyes, reoccurring stye).
  • Thickening of skin usually around the nose (rhinophyma) This is uncommon and in severe cases.
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although it is thought it maybe abnormal blood vessels. 

Some people report certain triggers cause a flare up. Common triggers are -
  • exposure to sunlight
  • stress
  • strenuous exercise
  • hot or cold weather
  • hot drinks
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • spicy foods
Treatment varies dependant on the symptoms. Rosacea is a chronic condition that is incurable but can be controllable.  

There are a number of things you can do to help keep the symptoms of rosacea under control -
  • avoiding things that trigger your symptoms if known
  • taking good care of your skin and using products suitable for sensitive skin
  • using make-up to camouflage persistent redness
  • using an SPF daily
If you have round red bumps that rise from your skin (papules) and pus-filled swellings (pustules) caused by rosacea, there are a number of different medications to try which require a prescription.
  • metronidazole cream or gel
  • azelaic acid cream or gel
  • ivermectin cream
If symptoms are severe antibiotics often used are tetracycline, oxytetracycline, doxycycline and erythromycin.  This can be for 1 to 2 weeks or a low dose for several months.

Redness can also sometimes be successfully improved with vascular laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment. These treatments require a referral to a dermatologist and they're not usually available on the NHS, so you may need to pay for them privately.


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