Rosacea is a disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Over time, the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear.
Rosacea is characterised by one or more of the following features:
A tendency to flush
Red lumps and bumps on the skin that may contain yellow pus material (papules and pustules)
Broken capillaries (telangiectasia)
Dry and flaky skin
Nose that is thick with prominent pores (rhinophyma)
What is the cause of Rosacea?
Rosacea is more common in fair skin individuals with Celtic type skin. The cause is not yet known and there are many theories that exist. We know that certain things aggravate rosacea, such as sun light, menopause, topical steroid creams, spicy foods and alcohol.
How is it treated?
The severity of rosacea varies remarkably and treatment needs to be individualised. Dr Wines will assess and advise you appropriately. Some important general measures include sun avoidance, the use of oil free products, and avoidance of hot spicy foods, long hot showers, steam rooms etc.
Topical creams such as metronidazole and Azelaic acid, brimonidine 0.33% and possibly tacrolimus or pimecrolimus will help prevent papule and pustule formation. Tetracycline oral antibiotics also reduce inflammation papule and pustule formation. These treatments do not treat broken capillaries. Severe or persistent cases may require isotretinoin at a low dose for a long period of time. This drug is associated with potentially serious side effects and is not recommended for all cases.
Unsightly blood vessels do not respond to creams or tablets but rather require treatment with vascular laser. Three to 5 sessions of vascular laser is effective in managing this.