Too much beer didn’t cause his red face, but it did make it worse

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - Advice - by The Doc

There tends to be a bit of a mis­un­der­stand­ing when it comes to rosacea.

One of my pa­tients came in to the surgery last week with the com­mon skin con­di­tion and he was ask­ing for my ad­vice.

He was un­der the im­pres­sion it had been caused by his drink­ing a bit too much beer at his daugh­ter’s birth­day the pre­vi­ous week.

But rosacea isn’t down to drink­ing too much beer, or any other al­co­hol, al­though drink­ing can cer­tainly make it worse.

We’re not sure what causes it, in fact.

Rosacea – pro­nounced roh-zay-sha – is a con­di­tion which can run in fam­i­lies, mean­ing your genes may play a part.

There’s a mite – the harm­less De­modex fol­licu­lo­rum – that lives on the skin and it’s found in greater num­bers on peo­ple with rosacea.

Does that cause it? To be hon­est we’re not sure ex­actly what role it plays.

It could partly be down to sun dam­age or an un­wanted im­mune re­ac­tion in the skin. What’s cer­tain is it’s not con­ta­gious. It is com­mon, how­ever, with one in 10 peo­ple be­ing af­fected, and the ma­jor­ity of those are women aged be­tween 30 and 60. But men don’t have it eas­ier here.

Those men who do de­velop rosacea seem to get it worse.

Rosacea mainly hap­pens in the cen­tral part of the face – nose, fore­head, cheeks and chin.

It causes flush­ing, red­ness and spots.

The skin, es­pe­cially on the nose, oc­ca­sion­ally thick­ens, and those with the con­di­tion are prone to dry and sore eyes.

There’s no cure for rosacea, but there are dif­fer­ent treat­ments, de­pend­ing on the par­tic­u­lar symp­toms.

Gen­eral mea­sures are also im­por­tant.

Wear­ing sun­block or a hat when out­side is def­i­nitely rec­om­mended.

Avoid­ing trig­gers for flush­ing, such as al­co­hol, spicy food, heat, stren­u­ous ex­er­cise, stress or hot drinks, is also rec­om­mended.

A wee tip I’ve picked up is for men who might have the con­di­tion.

They might find wet shav­ing with a flat-bladed ra­zor makes the symp­toms worse.

An elec­tric ra­zor tends to work bet­ter and not ag­gra­vate the symp­toms quite so much.

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