Rosacea is a chronic skin condition most common in women aged 30 to 60 years. The main symptom is a red often pimply complexion with a tendency for facial blushing or flushing but it can be accompanied by thread veins (tiny broken blood vessels), rhinophyma (thickening of the skin on the nose) and gritty or dry eyes. Rosacea is often confused for acne but the conditions and treatments are quite different.
The most common rosacea treatments are:
Rosacea needs to be diagnosed by a GP or dermatologist and treatment can begin. There is no cure for the condition but medication can ease the symptoms. Treatment is usually long-term although there may be periods when symptoms subside completely.
Oral antibiotics may be prescribed. These include erythromycin, tetracycline, oxytetracycline and doxycycline.
Topical creams are another option and these include metronidazole, azelaic acid and ivermectin.
Please note, thread veins do not respond to medication. Thread veins can be treated with laser therapy but the other rosacea symptoms must be in abeyance.
Over the Counter Preparations
Various lotions and creams are available in pharmacies and supermarkets that will reduce the effect of symptoms but they are not as powerful or effective as prescription medications.
Self Help Measures
A powerful ally is avoiding things that can aggravate rosacea. This includes avoiding sun exposure, topical steroids and rich, greasy skincare, especially oil-based products.
It is good practice for everyone to wear a face sunscreen anytime they are outside (yes, even on cloudy days), but it is even more sensible for anyone with rosacea.
Medical Rosacea Facial
While high street beauty salons and spa facial treatments should be avoided, dermatologists may offer a specific type of rosacea facial that is complementary to other measures.
Anyone who suspects they have rosacea should consult with a GP or dermatologist who can help with a course of treatment.