Rosacea is a common condition that causes redness on the cheeks and across the nose, and is sometimes accompanied by more persistent red bumps, known as papules or pustules if they have a yellow centre. Its full name is actually acne rosacea. Episodes of flushing may precede a more persistent redness.
Certain triggers are thought to cause blood vessels just under the skin to widen, becoming more visible and causing the redness, but the underlying cause is not well understood. It is common in those aged 30 to 60, and in fair-skinned/blue-eyed people.
It’s a good idea to keep note of any potential causes. Common triggers include alcohol, stress, strenuous exercise, hot or cold weather, sunlight, hot drinks, caffeine, foods particularly spicy foods, steroid creams and certain medications. Some people complain of a condition alongside called blepharitis, where eyes become inflamed, sore, dry and watery.
Exposure to sunlight, which can trigger flushing, can be managed by using sun cream or alternatively wearing make-up containing SPF 30.
Skincare is a good way to start small, ensuring the skin is clean and moisturised adequately. You could also try using water-based makeup (if you do wear it), so it is easier to remove without needing alcohol-based cleansers that can irritate the skin.
Stress as a trigger can be managed by getting the right amount of sleep, taking regular low-intensity exercise and eating a healthy balanced diet.
If your skin is dry, using hypoallergenic or mild emollients may help to relieve the symptoms. Some people find using coconut oil or aloe vera helpful. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and also contains'lauric acid' which soothes the skin.
You are fit for work if you have rosacea.
You should book a routine appointment with your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and discuss possible treatments. They will consider your symptoms, likely triggers, and examine you. Treatments may include gels or creams and they may consider other treatments such as certain oral antibiotics, to reduce inflammation.
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