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Your Skin, Acne Or Rosacea: Finding The Answer

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Your Skin, Acne Or Rosacea: Finding The Answer

Your Skin, Acne Or Rosacea: Finding The Answer
June 16
10:56 2018

The days are long gone when your rosy complexion was admired. Now, this blush is a characteristic you need to hide under layers and layers of foundation.

This pinkness combined with bumps popping up seemingly out of nowhere leads you to invest in a whole range of anti-acne lotions and creams, only to find your skin condition worsen with every use.

According to Dr. Anne Curtis, a dermatologist at Dermatology on Bloor in Toronto, acne-like flares can be easily confused with rosacea, and when you feel you are on the wrong track with your self-treatment, it is always best to seek professional help.

“People with rosacea have sensitive, easily irritated skin,” Dr. Curtis said. “So they will rapidly find out that they are on a wrong course, because the treatments would make the things worse, not better.”

So what exactly is rosacea, how dangerous is it and how can you deal with it?

Most women identify rosacea initially as pinkness, and everything that makes you flush makes that pinkness more prominent. Sun exposure, spicy foods, cold wind, hot drinks and alcohol usually add some blush to our cheeks, but for women with rosacea, those triggers usually mean discomfort and a necessity to camouflage their skin with makeup.

“People feel that they have to cover it,” Dr. Curtis said. “They are self-conscious whether they have their makeup on. It can also feel a little irritating and burning, particularly when flushing occurs.”

Rosacea evolves from its erythematotelangiectatic phase that is associated with pink cheeks, often with blood vessels, which gradually become more prominent. It may then turn into a papulopustular form with little bumps—something that used to be considered adult acne. Dr. Curtis said there are multiple treatments you can start with. Anti-redness creams, now offered by most cosmetic companies, are probably your best option. If redness continues, your doctor may suggest prescription creams that contain an antibiotic called metronidazole. If that doesn’t help, the next step can be an oral antibiotic.

“If you are not responding to the prescription creams, there are also antibiotics, which also have anti-inflammatory action,” Dr. Curtis explained. “Usually at that point, your family doctor would be referring you to a specialist, such as a dermatologist, and we’ll be assessing the degree of inflammation to decide how long it would be appropriate for you to be on antibiotic pills, or we might talk to you about some other treatments, like intense pulse light or pulsed light laser treatments that are treatments for redness and little blood vessels.”

If not treated, rosacea may gradually turn into rhinophyma—a large, bulbous nose, which usually requires surgery. This skin condition is rarely diagnosed in women, with more cases seen in middle-aged men.

Rosacea may also affect your eyes. The symptoms would include redness with a dry, irritated feeling as though there is sand in your eyes. According to Dr. Curtis, though ocular rosacea is a quite common condition and it is rarely severe, dermatologists do take it seriously.

Though rosacea cannot be cured, there is a way to control it. Dr. Curtis recommends consulting a dermatologist if your skin condition is bothering you and prevents you from enjoying your daily life.


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