Updated 07 July 2014

Preventing a rosacea breakout

While the precise cause of rosacea remains a mystery, researchers believe that heredity and environmental factors may be to blame. Here are tips on how to prevent an outbreak.

Rosacea, characterised by a facial redness in the cheeks and nose, affects thousands of South Africans. Adults, especially those between 30 and 50 who have lighter skin, blonde hair and blue eyes, are most likely to have rosacea. But the condition can affect people of any skin type.

While the precise cause of rosacea remains a mystery, researchers believe that heredity and environmental factors may be to blame.

The American Academy of Dermatology says the best way to prevent an outbreak may be to avoid things that make the face red or flushed:

  • Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine and alcoholic beverages. Alcohol may worsen a case of rosacea, but symptoms may be just as severe in someone who doesn't drink at all.
  • Practice good sun protection. This includes limiting exposure to sunlight, wearing hats, using broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF of 15 or higher, and avoiding extreme hot and cold temperatures.
  • Avoid rubbing, scrubbing or massaging the face. Rubbing tends to irritate reddened skin.
  • Exercise in a cool environment. Don't overheat.
  • Avoid irritating cosmetics and facial products. Use hair sprays properly.
  • Keep a diary of flushing episodes and note associated foods, products, activities, medications or other triggering factors.

- (HealthDayNews)


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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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