{ }

Sale and Altrincham Messenger 6 June 2013

FACIAL REDNESS….a typical symptom of rosacea

Q – I’m now aged thirty three, and about two or three years ago I began to develop redness across my nose and cheeks. This has gradually become worse and more persistent, a bit like a permanent blush. I have had one or two spots over the years, but this redness is far more widespread and generalised. I have tried a variety of moisturisers but nothing seems to help. Do you have any recommendations? (Name and address withheld)
A – It is difficult to be specific in the absence of a thorough examination, but the redness you describe sounds very much like rosacea (pronounced “row-zay-sha”). This is a common skin condition, more prevalent amongst women but often more severe for male sufferers, especially those with fairer skin. In addition to generalised redness, those with rosacea often experience a burning or stinging sensation, and the skin in the area can be particularly sensitive (especially to sunlight).

The cause of rosacea is unknown, though there can often be a family history of similar symptoms. There can be a number of “˜triggers’ which make its symptoms worse, including alcohol, exercise, high and low temperatures, hot drinks, spicy foods and stress. Identifying these factors is an individual process, however, because what causes a flare-up for one person may have no effect on another. There is no specific diagnostic test for the condition.
Whilst at present there is no cure for rosacea, its symptoms can usually be managed with medication and lifestyle modifications. In the short term, avoiding the triggers that affect you personally would be important, as would daily use of a strong sunscreen. A cleanser/moisturiser aimed specifically at rosacea sufferers would also be beneficial. For more severe cases topical antibiotic treatment would be indicated, though a thorough assessment by your GP or skin doctor would be appropriate before deciding on what particular medication might work best for you.