Rosacea is a common chronic condition that usually affects the face and worsens if left untreated. One in ten of us suffer from the symptoms of rosacea, particularly in women between 30 and 60 years of age. Rosacea is more common in women, but can be more severe when affecting men. It can be controlled to a degree with long-term treatment.
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What causes Rosacea?
This is not fully understood, but environmental factors, genetics and immune system factors may all be involved. Stress, weather, certain foods and alcohol can aggravate rosacea. For reasons unknown, certain foods including chocolates, bananas, avocado, spinach and pork can be pro-inflammatory. Rosacea can be sun sensitive, but it is not contagious.
What are the symptoms/types of Rosacea?
Symptoms can be variable but often include redness, episodes of flushing, skin sensitivity, dry itchy skin, burning and stinging sensations and spots. It can also affect the eyes and the nose. As rosacea is a relapsing condition there are times when the symptoms are more severe than others.
What Rosacea treatments are available?
Laser treatment for visible blood vessels. This is an effective long-term solution for fixed redness. If you are considering having these light treatments, it is important to seek out medically trained laser specialists who offer these treatments. About 85% of patients who have these treatments improve and are very happy with the results.
Oral medication – This is a low dose version of the antibiotic at a level that does not have any antibiotic properties but is specifically licensed for the treatment of Rosacea in the UK. It is very effective in controlling red spots, papules and pustules.
Skin Peels – Skin peels help rosacea by exfoliating the top layers of skin, speeding up skin turnover and preventing pores from becoming clogged with dead skin cells, which can aggravate rosacea. They can also help to reduce inflammation and promote skin healing.
If you have any concerns about the diagnosis or management of your skin condition, a dermatologist will offer you an expert opinion and guide you on the right treatment path.
Frequently asked questions
Management includes using products for sensitive skin; topical and / or oral products on prescription; and medical grade laser treatments to target the broken veins, redness and flushing.
You should also:
- Apply sun protection – use a product suitable for sensitive skin e.g. Skinceuticals mineral defense SPF 50 or Heliocare range.
- Avoid triggers – these are so variable, but rosacea sufferers know what exacerbates their symptoms.