• Keeping the Flushed Face of Rosacea Under Control

ROCHESTER, Minn. — August 24, 2012.  A flushed face along with the presence of pimple-like bumps could indicate rosacea (roe-ZAY-she-uh), a common inflammatory skin condition. The August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter provides an overview of this progressive condition and ways to manage it.

Illustration of stethoscope and heart monitor

Rosacea can begin with a tendency to blush. While anyone can develop rosacea, most often the condition occurs in women between 30 and 60 with fair skin and light eye and hair colors.

Persistent red areas may develop in the center area of the face, especially the nose. Over time, small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks may swell and become more visible. Small red bumps may appear. More than half of people with rosacea experience a burning or gritty eye sensation called ocular rosacea. Rarely, late in the course of the disease and most often in men, tissue can build up on or around the nose, giving it a bulbous appearance.

Rosacea typically requires treatment to clear up, but symptoms can often be controlled with medication and self-care.

The first step is avoiding triggers that cause facial flushing. They include:

  • Temperature extremes.
  • Sunlight exposure.
  • Hot foods and beverages.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Alcohol.
  • Stress, anger or embarrassment.
  • Hot baths and saunas.
  • Medications that dilate blood vessels including some blood pressure medications.

Topical medications can reduce the pimple-like bumps. Commonly used options include metronidazole (Metrocream, Metrogel, others), tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, others), benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid (Azelex, Finacea) and sulfacetamide (Klaron). Topicals may be used alone or in combination with oral antibiotics. Once symptoms improve, topical medications alone can help keep rosacea in remission.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today's health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit Mayo Clinic Health Letter Online.


About Mayo Clinic:

Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit 150years.mayoclinic.orgwww.mayoclinic.org and newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

Media Contact: Ginger Plumbo, 507-284-5005 (days), newsbureau@mayo.edu

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