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									   worse than before, when they are stopped             your rosacea and avoid them. A written
   (a rebound flare).                                   record of your flare-ups may help here.
                                                    •   Cosmetics can often cover up rosacea
Antibiotics for rosacea:                                effectively.
The most commonly used antibiotics, such as         •   If your eyes are giving problems, do not
oxytetracycline, belong to the tetracycline             ignore these - consult your doctor.                Dermatology Department
group. Courses usually last for around 10
weeks. After that, the dose can be dropped, or      Where can I get more information about
the treatment can be stopped if the rosacea         rosacea?
has cleared. If a tetracycline has not helped
after a reasonable trial lasting several months,    The Acne Support Group offers information
then another antibiotic, such as erythromycin,      and support to anyone with rosacea (PO Box 9,
can be tried.                                       Newquay, TR9 6WG, and

Other treatments:                                   A full Cochrane review on treatments for                   Patient Information Leaflet
• An eye specialist should manage the more          rosacea can be viewed at the National
   severe types of eye involvement.                 Electronic     Library       for      Health

• An antidepressant may help depression             Website at
   caused by rosacea.
• A bulbous nose affected by rhinophyma             Other Internet sites include:
   can be reduced surgically.             
• Ugly dilated small blood vessels can be 
   destroyed with a laser.                
• A beta-blocker tablet may help if flushing is
   a big problem.
• Isotretinoin tablets are occasionally given
   for very severe rosacea, but the great risk
   of taking it during pregnancy must always        (While every effort has been made to ensure that
   be kept in mind.                                  the information given in this leaflet is accurate,
                                                     not every treatment will be suitable or effective
What can I do?                                        for every person. Your own doctor will be able
                                                                to advise in greater detail)
• Protect your skin from the sun by using a
  sun block on your face every day.
• Do not rub or scrub your face as this can         BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF DERMATOLOGISTS                     Wirral University Teaching Hospital
  make rosacea worse.                                     PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET
                                                           PRODUCED SEPTEMBER 2004                                   NHS Foundation Trust
• Consider the lifestyle factors that can stir up                                                         Clatterbridge Hospital Bebington Wirral CH63 4JY
  rosacea (listed above). Learn which worsen
What are the aims of this leaflet?                                                                            How will rosacea be diagnosed?
This leaflet has been written to help you            What are the symptoms of rosacea?                        Your doctor will recognise rosacea just by
understand more about rosacea. It tells you          The skin of the face feels sensitive, and can            looking at your skin. There are no diagnostic
what rosacea is, what causes it, what can be         burn or sting. Flushing (the face becomes                laboratory tests. Rosacea differs from acne in
done about it, and where you can find out more       bright red) adds to the embarrassment caused             that the skin is not extra-greasy; blackheads
about it.                                            by the rash. Be sure to consult your doctor if           and scarring are not features; flushing is
                                                     you have problems with your eyes (see below).            common; and there is a background of red
What is rosacea?                                                                                              skin.
Rosacea is a common rash, found on the               What does rosacea look like?
central part of the face, usually of a middle-       Rosacea starts with a tendency to blush and              Can rosacea be cured?
aged person. A tendency to flush easily is           flush easily. After a while, the central areas of        No treatment can be guaranteed to switch
followed by persistent redness on the cheeks,        the face become a deeper shade of red and                rosacea off forever. However long-term
chin, forehead and nose, and by crops of small       end up staying this colour all the time. The area        treatments     control      symptoms       and
inflamed red bumps and pus spots.                    becomes studded with small red bumps                     can clear the spots. Treatment works best if
                                                     (papules) and pus spots, which come and go in            started when rosacea is at an early stage.
What causes rosacea?                                 crops.     Small     dilated     blood    vessels
The cause of rosacea is not fully understood,        (telangiectasia) appear, looking like thin red           How can rosacea be treated?
but many think that the defect lies in the blood     streaks. Scarring is seldom a problem.                   Rosacea may last for years if not treated.
vessels in the skin of the face, which dilate too                                                             Preparations applied to the skin can sometimes
easily. Rosacea is more common in women              Other problems with rosacea include the                  control mild rosacea, or keep rosacea in
than in men, and in those with a fair skin who       following:                                               remission after a course of oral antibiotics.
flush easily.                                        • Rosacea can lead to embarrassment,                     Most people with rosacea, however, need to
                                                          anxiety, or depression, and a disrupted             take antibiotics by mouth from time to time.
Many things seem to make rosacea worse, but               social life.
probably do not cause it in the first place. They    • The face may swell (lymphoedema),                      Local applications for rosacea:
include alcohol, too much exercise, both high             especially around the eyes.                         • Useful preparations include a gel containing
and low temperatures, hot spicy foods, stress,       • The nose may grow big, red and bulbous                    metronidazole, and antibiotic preparations
and sunlight. Things that stir up one person’s            (rhinophyma) due to the overgrowth of the              containing clindamycin or erythromycin.
rosacea may well have no effect at all on the             sebaceous glands. This is more common in               Don’t give them up too soon: they take time
rosacea of someone else. The idea that                    men than women.                                        – at least 8 weeks - to have their effect.
rosacea is due to germs in the skin, or in the       • Some people with rosacea have eye                      • It may be best to avoid treatments designed
bowel, has not been proved. Rosacea is not                symptoms (red, itchy, sore eyes and                    for acne – some can irritate rosacea.
catching.                                                 eyelids; a gritty feeling; sensitivity to light).   • Note that preparations containing strong
                                                          A few patients with rosacea have more                  corticosteroids will make rosacea worse in
Is rosacea hereditary?                                    serious eye problems, such as rosacea                  the long run and should be avoided. In the
Rosacea does seem to run in some families                 keratitis, that can interfere with vision.             long term they turn the face redder; make
but it is still not clear whether heredity plays a                                                               the streaky blood vessels (telangiectasia)
big part in this.                                                                                                more obvious; and everything flares up

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