Rosacea is a skin disease that’s most often seen in middle-aged people with lighter skin, but can affect those of any age or skin type. It’s usually confined to the face where it shows itself as persistent redness when the small blood vessels under the skin become visible, sometimes causing a burning sensation, flushing, as well as inflamed bumps and spots. This condition tends to be more severe on men, mainly because they are less likely to go to their doctor for help at the early stages.
A certain sub-type of rosacea affects the nose where it can become very swollen and enlarged; men are more prone to this. If left untreated, the skin thickens and the nose can become red and bulb-shaped.
Whilst rosacea isn’t curable, it is manageable. It can be made worse by a number of triggers including stress, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, hot or cold weather, exposure to sunlight and strenuous exercise.
What you can do to help
As soon as symptoms begin to appear, seek professional help in order to prevent things getting worse. Always wear a sunscreen to avoid triggering the condition from sunlight.
We usually suggest that our patients keep a food diary to see if there are any patterns of rosacea ‘flare-ups’ associated with certain food, drink, periods of stress and so on. Once you know your triggers, you can try to avoid them.
To help manage rosacea, we have a number of home treatments available in the form of daily topical creams.
Some patients have found that topical creams and antibiotics don’t work. In these cases, a drug called Isotretinoin can be prescribed in certain circumstances with good effects.
We provide in-clinic treatments, such as laser and thermocoagulation, as they can help the symptoms of the condition. Our Consultant Dermatologist Dr Crichlow also uses botulinum toxin (often referred to by one of the brand names, Botox) to treat some patients with appropriate indications; this is a relatively pioneering treatment for rosacea and we’ve seen it help with the often embarrassing ‘flushing’ associated with the disease. Click here to watch Dr Crichlow demonstrate the treatment on our Instagram account.
If you would like advice about the treatment of rosacea, book an appointment, or visit us at our Chequer Street Clinic in the centre of St Albans.
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