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