Rosacea

Rosacea, or acne rosacea, is a skin disorder leading to redness and pimples on the nose, forehead, cheekbones, and chin. The inflamed pimples and redness of rosacea can look a great deal like acne, but blackheads are almost never present. It is a fairly common disorder with about one in every twenty Americans is afflicted with it. Rosacea is most common in white women between the ages of 30 and 60. When it occurs in men, it tends to be more severe and may eventually cause the nose to become red and enlarged (rhinophyma). Fair-skinned individuals and people who flush easily seem to be more susceptible to this condition.

Treatment includes avoidance of anything that makes one flush and known precipitants of flare-ups. Overheating-whether due to direct sun, excess clothing, hot foods-is uniformly a problem. Avoid hot showers, saunas, excessively warm environments, and extremes of weather (strong winds, cold, humidity). Foods are more inconsistent triggers, and most bother no more than one third of rosacea patients. Other factors include prescription medications (vasodilators, topical steroids) alcohol (red wine, beer, bourbon, gin, vodka or champagne), menopausal flushing, chronic coughing, and emotional stress and anxiety.

Treatment will control rosacea in most cases. It should be possible to control symptoms and keep rosacea from getting worse. Rosacea comes back in most of the patients in weeks to months of stopping treatment unless all trigger factors have been stopped.

The most effective treatments are oral tetracycline and similar antibiotics and low-dose oral Accutane. Mild cases can be controlled by gels or creams such a Metrogel, Cleocin-T, Azelex, or sulfa. Maintenance treatment can be intermittent doses or just topical creams.

For some women, hormone replacement pills may be given to reduce menopausal hot flashes. Many advances have been made in recent years. Regular visits are advised for most rosacea patients.

Adapted from original source: AOCD

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