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Identifying and Caring for Rosacea (Rosacea)
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Identifying and Caring for Rosacea

Kevin C. Smith MD FACP FRCPC

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that affects over a million Canadians, with most being afflicted between the ages of 30 and 60. Characteristics include visible flushing and redness of the nose, chin, and cheeks. More severe cases also involve pimples, and thickening skin on the nose. Caucasians are more often affected, as fair skin color and eyes are a common feature in those affected by Rosacea. Women have Rosacea more often but the severe cases usually affect men. Visit www.rosaceaguide.ca for more information.

There is no cure at this time for Rosacea, however, it is not life-threatening, nor contagious. Simple treatment will reduce the symptoms of Rosacea, and prevent skin damage. Treatment options are largely centered around topical treatments, in gels or creams. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication make up the majority of Rosacea creams. At times, oral medication is prescribed, such as tetracycline, which is an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. For rare cases, Accutane® can be used to relieve the more severe cases of inflammation.

Rosacea can also cause permanent skin damage. Permanent redness or the appearance of broken blood vessels on the face are examples of skin damage caused by Rosacea. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments and other laser technology an often correct these. These can also heal sun damaged skin, and blushing, as well as redness of the skin. Treatment usually consist of three to six sessions.

Rosacea is often inherited. If you know of someone in your family with Rosacea, or if you show signs of Rosacea yourself, seek early treatment as it is a problem that can be treated with proper care and diligence.

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