Rosacea is a complex condition which requires a clear and comprehensive management plan, but what can you expect from a visit to your dermatologist? We take a look at what doctors can provide to look after your rosacea.
While doctors can’t cure rosacea, they can help you find ways of managing it.
The aim of dermatological care is to reduce the severity and frequency of flares, and to monitor any progression of the condition. There will still be lots you can do at home to look after yourself, but it’s important to have a doctor who can make sure you have as much support as possible, and are aware of any treatment options available.
Diagnosis: this is more important than might first appear! Rosacea can resemble many other skin conditions, but requires different treatment to, say, acne; acne might have similar spots and inflamed skin, but some acne treatments can make rosacea worse, so it’s important to distinguish between the two.
A sound diagnosis is also important if you don’t fit into the classic rosacea profile of female, 30-60, fair-skinned, red-headed, of Northern European heritage. Other people do get rosacea, even if it's less common in skin of colour or in men; in fact, rosacea can go undetected by doctors looking for standard symptoms of flush on pale skin.
- Agree on a management plan: because rosacea can be a progressive condition, which gets worse if left untreated, it’s vital to have a thorough plan in place to manage it. This might involve dietary changes, trigger avoidance, advice about your skincare regime, sun exposure and stress management.
- Prescriptions: your doctor can prescribe rosacea-friendly emollients if you need them. They can also prescribe other treatments such as oral antibiotics such as tetracycline or erythromycin, for moderate to severe rosacea; antimicrobial treatments for demodex or bacterial overgrowth; beta-blockers for debilitating blushing; anti-inflammatory treatments such as Isotretinoin (aka Accutane).
- Referrals: your dermatologist can also refer you onto other specialists, if your rosacea is severe. You might, for example, be referred to an eye specialist to manage the eye issues that are commonly associated with rosacea, or a plastic surgeon if you are suffering from severe and deforming rhinophyma. It’s also possible to treat persistent redness or dilated blood vessels with laser therapy.
- Check-ups: because rosacea is a progressive condition and according to recent research, is also associated with increased risk of systemic conditions, it’s important to have regular check-ups with your doctor to make sure it’s under control.
For more information about rosacea and how to manage it, see our blog on Rosacea Awareness.
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