Environmental factors

Unusual skin redness? Get it checked out now

By Iffath Fathima


A surge in rosacea cases is being reported by dermatologists; hormonal environmentaland lifestyle factors are to blame for this skin condition

With the onset of summer comes a variety of diseases and conditions thanks to the extreme heat and humidity which are perfect conditions for bacteria to grow. City doctors are now reporting a surge in cases of rosacea, a skin condition very similar to acne, but very dangerous if left untreated.

“The condition can be triggered by regular intake of hot drinks, spicy food, extreme temperatures, exercises, hormonal imbalance causing and emotional turbulence, and drugs that dilate blood vessels etc,” says Dr Bhavyashree, dermatologist, Specialist Hospital.

While rosacea can look like acne and many people tend to ignore it, it can lead to extensive redness and can remain on the skin for long and even stay permanent if not treated.

“Rosacea is not too known, but is often attributed to an overactive immune system, genetic factors and environmental factors,” she says.

“Acne and rosacea are two commonly seen chronic inflammatory conditions. Triggering factors of acne could be hormonal, genetic, bacterial etc. Most commonly, acne forms in skin pores that are blocked by dirt particles, bacterial infections, dead skin and accumulation of oils,” says Dr Bhavyashree.

Rosacea however, is identified by intense redness of skin over an extensive area, unlike acne, where the redness is more localized. Rosacea, normally affects the cheek, nose, forehead and chin, she says. Rosacea normally manifests between 30 to 60 years of age. A family history of rosacea increases the likelihood of the disorder. It generally happens in females more than males.

“The symptoms tend to flare up during summer. In one of the cases of a 25-year-old female software professional, it would worsen during sun exposure. There was even severe swelling and pain on the face making it unbearable. Now with ongoing treatment, the patient is getting better,” says Dr Shireen Furtado, Consultant, Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI Hospital.

A fashion influencer who suffered from rosacea, Jeanette mesquita shares her experience with BM. “I always had acne-prone skin since my teenage years due to a hormonal imbalance. So, when I started developing these pustules, I assumed it was just acne. But to my surprise, it kept getting worse.”

Ultimately, Mesquita went back to the dermatologist who treated her acne in my teenage years. She was diagnosed with rosacea.

As an influencer, it was difficult for her to face the camera with her skin condition. “I took two months off from work to completely focus on her recovery, as makeup cannot be used during an outbreak of rosacea. The recovery period took eight months.”

Dr Sowmya M, Consultant, Dermatology, Manipal Hospital, Sarjapur adds that there is no cure for rosacea but it can be controlled with medications. “Avoid products that contain alcohol, menthol, witch-hazel exfoliating agents.”

In terms of preventive measures, Dr Shireen says that antibiotics or anti-acne medication can control and reduce symptoms. Self-care practices may also help.

“Take good care of your skin and protect your face by applying medicated sunscreen every day before going out. Some cosmetic products can be harmful so it is recommended to consult with your dermatologist before using them.”

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