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The skin disorder rosacea

Question from a Gandonos:

I am interested in more information on the skin disorder rosacea.

Dear Gandonos

Rosacea is a skin disease that affects the face. It usually begins with redness in the areas of the face and nose that normally blush. It is often mistaken for sunburn or acne.

Scientists theorize that rosacea may be linked to the frequency of blushing.

The red areas of the face can actually look like a blush, but becomes long-lasting. The tiny blood vessels in the areas with rosacea enlarge and become more visible through the skin. They can appear like tiny red lines (called telangiectasias). Pimples can be associated that look like teenage acne. Rosacea, however, occurs most often in adults with fair skin. The skin of the face can appear very dry. These symptoms of rosacea can be better or worse at different times, spontaneously. They usually progress, but can be controlled.

Untreated progressive rosacea can produce thickened bumpiness to the nose. This complication is more common in men and referred to as a rhinophyma.

Rosacea can be treated with several medications. It can not be cured. Over-the-counter acne medications can irritate the skin affected by rosacea. Topical antibiotic, such as metronidazole (Flagyl), and oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline are commonly used. Short-term topical cortisone (steroid) preparations are sometimes used to reduce local inflammation.

Avoiding foods (such as alcohol, spicy foods) or other causes of flushing (such as sun exposure, stress, and heat) can help to minimize the blood vessel enlargement. Coverup make up or laser treatments are used for the telangiectasias. Rhinophymas can be treated with facial surgery.

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