Rosacea is a common rash, occurring mainly on the face, which commonly affects middle-aged (age range 40 to 60 years old) and particularly fair skinned people. It is more common in women, but can appear more severely in men. It is a chronic condition and the severity tends to come and go.
Rosacea affects the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose, and is characterised by flushing and redness, dilated blood vessels, small red bumps and pus-filled spots (sometimes these may only be visible with a magnifying glass). There may also be a burning or stinging sensation.
Living with Rosecea
Most people who have rosacea notice that certain triggers make their symptoms worse. The most commonly reported ones include:
- Exposure to sunlight and wind
- Hot or cold weather
- Strenuous exercise
- Alcohol & caffeine
- Certain foods e.g. spicy foods, dairy
- Certain medical conditions People who think they may have rosacea should be referred to their local GP. The sooner the treatment for rosacea begins, the less likely you will develop the more serious symptoms of the condition, such as thickened skin.
There is no specific clinical test for rosacea. Your GP will make a diagnosis by:
- examining your skin
- asking you about your symptoms
- asking you about any possible triggers you may have
Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are not effective for treating rosacea. Topical steroids (such as hydrocortisone cream) should not be used because they can make the symptoms worse in the long term. Several treatments are available on prescription, and your Hickey’s pharmacist can advise further about these. Rosacea is a chronic condition and it is important patients are given the most appropriate skin care along with any prescribed medication. At Hickey’s Pharmacy our pharmacists will advise you on the appropriate range of moisturisers, sunscreens and concealers for your skin type.