Common ailments

Rosacea

I’m in my mid-forties and a few months ago, I started developing bouts of flushing across my nose, cheeks and forehead. It happens quite often and even when I’m not particularly warm or have been exercising. More recently, my skin has also started feeling quite sore, particularly after applying cream to the area.

I suspect you may be developing a condition known as rosacea. This is a skin condition that mainly affects the central area of the face, including the nose, cheeks, chin and eyes. Frequent flushing of the face is a symptom which occurs in the early stages of rosacea and, over time, the redness can become darker and more persistent. In its later stages, rosacea can lead to visible blood vessels and papules (red bumps) and eye irritation, but not everyone will develop all possible symptoms.

The exact cause of rosacea is unknown however certain triggers are believed to make the condition worse. These include cold weather, sunlight, heat, stress, exercise, hot drinks, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, the menopause and some types of medication.
Unfortunately, rosacea is a long term condition. It is however a relapsing condition which means that there will be periods when the condition is bad and times when it is much less severe. There is no cure for rosacea but treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms.

I would advise that you visit your GP as soon as possible as they will be able to diagnose whether your condition is in fact rosacea and recommend a suitable course of treatment. Left untreated, rosacea can lead to more serious symptoms such as thickening of the skin. In the meantime, I would particularly advise you to avoid exposure to the sun and anything else you think might be causing your skin to flare up. Try keeping a daily diary of your activities to help you establish what may be triggering your symptoms.

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