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Spotlight on rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition which tends to start between the age of 30 and 60. It is seen more often in people with fairer skin types, and is thought to affect men and women equally, although women may be more aware of the signs.

People with rosacea may have a tendency to redness of the cheeks and central face, which may be worse after being out in extreme weather, or after a spicy meal or drink of alcohol. Other people with rosacea tend to get spots which can sometimes be confused with acne, although acne tends to present with more blackheads as well.

A rarer type of rosacea is rhinophyma, which causes thickening and coarsening of the skin, in particular on the nose.

The cause of rosacea is thought to be multifactorial. There may be a genetic tendency, and it is also thought that disruption of the skin barrier and the microbiome may play a role. An increased density of 'demodex' mites may be seen on the skin of people with rosacea, and some treatments actually target the reduction of this. External factors like ultraviolet radiation, temperature change, spicy foods, alcohol, smoking and stress can also trigger rosacea.

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Unfortunately there is no cure for rosacea, but certain treatments can help. A simple skincare regime can help, including a mild cleanser and a soothing moisturiser. Although Fuarain Super Active Moisture Cream does not claim to treat rosacea, it is suitable for sensitive skin and contains the naturally anti-inflammatory waters from the Cairngorms. It also contains Niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B, which can also improve the skin barrier.

There are a number of topical treatments that can be prescribed for rosacea, such as Azaleic acid, antibiotics and topical Ivermectin (to clear the Demodex mites), and some people will require oral antibiotics or Isotretinoin. Sometimes laser or similar modalities are used for redness and visible blood vessels.

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Rosacea may start very subtly, so it is important to raise awareness of this condition, particularly during the month of April.