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What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic disorder primarily of the facial skin. It typically begins as redness on the cheeks, forehead, chin or nose. Patients have a tendency to flush or blush easily in the beginning, and in time progress to persistent redness in the centre of the face.

Initially, Rosacea may come and go on its own. The condition rarely reverses itself and may last for years. It can become worse without treatment.

How to recognize Rosacea?

Rosacea has both acne-like and vascular components. Acne-like lesions of rosacea appear as small, red bumps on the face and some may contain pus. Many tiny blood vessels also develop on the skin that contributes to the vascular component.

Who is at risk for Rosacea?

Rosacea usually develops over a long period of time and it may affect men or women of any age and even children. For some unknown reason, women get Rosacea more often than men, and some cases of this disorder have been associated with menopause.

What treatments can we use to treat Rosacea?

Many people with Rosacea are unfamiliar with it and do not recognize it in its early stages. Consulting a dermatologist and identifying the disease is the first step to controlling it. Dr Wong often recommends a combination of treatments tailored to the individual patient to try to stop the progress of Rosacea and sometimes reverse it.

Topical gels/creams are often prescribed and improvement can often be seen after some weeks of use. Greater improvement is usually noticed after 2 months later.

Commonly used oral antibiotics tend to produce faster results than topical medications. IPL and laser treatment is often added as well to control the vascular component.

Dos and Don’ts for Rosacea Patients

  • Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. It’s important to note that although alcohol may worsen a case of rosacea, symptoms may be just as severe in someone who doesn’t drink at all.
  • Practice good sun protection. Limit exposure to sunlight, wear hats and use broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Exercise in a cool environment.
  • Avoid irritating cosmetics and facial products.
  • Keep a diary of flushing episodes and note the associated foods e.g. curry, spicy food, beverages with stimulants; products, activities, medications or other triggering factors.


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