Rosacea is a common although under recognized inflammatory condition of the face – it affects one in ten people in the UK. Patients suffering from rosacea experience recurrent temporary or persistent redness of the face and/or spots on the centre of the face – the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. In more severe cases there is temporary or permanent swelling of the face, especially the nose. The eyes may also be affected. The skin often becomes sore and very sensitive. Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms and they can differ from person to person and may progress from mild to severe.
Rosacea affects ladies more commonly than men but, interestingly, is more severe in men. It can affect people of any age but usually starts between 30 and 50 years of age. Rosacea is more common in fair-skinned individuals with blond or red hair and blue eyes.
There are many factors that can cause rosacea to flare up: sunlight, hot air, and hot food and drinks, alcohol, spicy food, and many others. It is impossible to avoid all of these factors but it is advisable to minimise exposure to them if doing so is possible without restricting your quality of life.
There are many treatments available for this common condition. For most patients, flushing and redness can be managed by daily application of gels which are available of prescription. Permanent redness can be treated with laser or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). The spots and swellings can be treated with topical antibiotics or non-antibiotic treatments such as creams and gels. If necessary non-antibiotic treatments can be used in combination with oral antibiotics (these treatments are available on prescription). It is recommended to use sunscreens (SPF30 or higher) because the skin is very sensitive. If you think you may have rosacea you may consider seeing your GP or dermatologist.
If you would like to read more about Rosacea and available treatments or various other skin conditions in general you can go to Dr Anton Alexandroff’s website: www.alexandroff.org.uk
Dr Anton Alexandroff MRCP (UK), PhD, FRSM, FAAD is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists and Consultant Dermatologist at the University Hospital of Leicester, Spire Leicester hospital & Nuffield Health Leicester Hospital