'rosacea' Category Archives

Rosacea Update – New Treatments Available

Rosacea is a chronic but treatable condition that primarily affects the central face, and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Although rosacea may develop in many ways and at any age, patient surveys indicate that it typically begins any time after age 30 as flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Studies have shown that over time the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. Left untreated, inflammatory bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases — particularly in men — the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. In as many as 50 percent of patients the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.

Rosacea

Rosacea can affect women in their mid-thirties.

Although rosacea can affect all segments of the population and all skin types, individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are believed to be at greatest risk. The disorder is more frequently diagnosed in women, but tends to be more severe in men. There is also evidence that rosacea may tend to run in families, and may be especially prevalent in people of northern or eastern European descent.

What causes rosacea?

Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, various theories about the disorder’s origin have evolved over the years. These have often related to its primary outward signs and symptoms: flushing and redness, bumps and pimples, and the small visible blood vessels called telangiectasia. The range of possible causes has included defects in the immune system, nervous system and facial blood vessels, and the presence of microbes and Demodex mites. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a susceptibility to developing the disorder may be inherited, and genetic studies are now underway.

Microscopic Demodex mites are a natural part of the human microbiome — the ecological community of microorganisms that live within and on the body. Two species of Demodex are found in humans. Demodex folliculorum live in hair follicles, primarily on the face, as well as in the meibomian glands of the eyelids; Demodex brevislive in the sebaceous glands of the skin.

While Demodex folliculorum are found on the skin of all humans, they frequently occur in greater numbers in those with rosacea. There has been much debate as to whether their increased numbers are a cause or result of rosacea. However, evidence appears to be mounting that an overabundance of Demodex may possibly trigger an immune response in people with rosacea, or that the inflammation may be caused by certain bacteria associated with the mites.

Rosacea can exacerbate causing inflamed spots.

How do we treat rosacea?

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we treat rosacea with prescription only medications and phototherapy.

  1. Oral medication is prescribed to reduce the inflammation in the skin.
  2. Topical medication is prescribed to keep the Demodex folliculorum mite off of the face at night. We no longer recommend topical antibiotic creams such like Metronidazole Gel, as rosacea is not a bacterial infection.
  3. In severe or resistant cases, stronger oral and topical medication is required.
  4. Rosacea Phototherapy can be a useful adjunct to medical treatment as it reduces the inflammatory lesions.
  5. Lasers can be used to reduce the appearance of telangectasias (dilated blood vessels) and thickening of the skin.

Click here to read what our patients are currently saying about Elan Medical Skin Clinic.

Can the weather affect rosacea?

Sun exposure, hot weather, humidity, cold and wind have all been known to aggravate rosacea for many individuals. The following are defense strategies you can use:

  • Always protect your face from the sun. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF (sun-protection factor) of 15 or higher year round. If necessary, use a formulation developed for children to avoid irritation. Wear a broad-brimmed hat. Minimize midday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) exposure to the sun during summer months.
  • Stay in a cool, air-conditioned environment on hot, humid days. If this is impossible, those affected should sip cold drinks and try not to overexert themselves. If necessary, chew on ice chips to lower facial temperature or spray the face with cool water.
  • Combat cold by covering your cheeks and nose with a scarf. In winter, rosacea sufferers also may don a ski mask when participating in outdoor sports or activities, as well as cover up on windy days. If these conditions aggravate your rosacea, limiting your time outdoors in cold weather may also help.
  • Use a moisturizer daily during cold weather. This protects against the naturally drying effects of cold and wind.

Can stress aggravate rosacea?

Stress ranks high on the list of tripwires for many rosacea sufferers. However, in a survey of rosacea patients affected by stress, most of those using stress management techniques said they had successfully reduced their flare-ups. When feeling overwhelmed, try some of the following stress reducers:

Men can get rosacea too and it can get worse very quickly in men

  • Take care of your whole self. Eat healthy, exercise moderately and get the right amount of sleep. It may also help to cut down on caffeine.
  • When under stress, try deep-breathing exercises. Inhale and count to 10, then exhale and count to 10. Repeat this exercise several times.
  • Use visualization techniques. Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and visualize a beautiful vacation spot or favourite pleasurable activity or painting to reduce stress. Hold the image for several minutes to feel its peacefulness and beauty.
  • Stretch out and relax all your muscles. Relax muscles starting at the top of the head and work down to the toes for a whole-body stress reliever.

Can foods and beverages affect rosacea?

Steaming hot soup or coffee, spicy nachos, a glass of wine — no matter how appetizing they sound, these foods and beverages may be a problem for some rosacea sufferers. Hot liquids may cause flushing. Spicy foods like oriental mustard sauce or salsa can raise a sweat, and alcoholic beverages may trigger flare-ups in many cases. These tips will help you select rosacea-friendly meals:

  • Monitor how your rosacea reacts to alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages often induce flare-ups in rosacea sufferers. If alcohol aggravates your condition, reduce your intake or avoid alcohol entirely.
  • Avoid “hot” spices such as white and black pepper, paprika, red pepper and cayenne, which are common rosacea tripwires.

Can exercise make my rosacea worse?

While exercise may be part of a healthy lifestyle, it could actually be harmful to rosacea sufferers if it causes their condition to flare up. Moderation is the key. And even then, take these precautions:

  • Avoid heavy exertion or high-intensity workouts that cause overheating and bring on flushing. Replace them with low-intensity exercise routines, which often can be just as effective.
  • Try exercising for shorter, more frequent intervals. For instance, exercise for 15 minutes three times a day, rather than exercising all at once.
  • When exercising outdoors during warm weather, choose early morning or early evening hours when it’s cooler. No matter what time of day, protect your face from the sun and avoid hot weather exercise.
  • When exercising indoors, make sure the room is well ventilated. Run a fan, open the window for a breeze or turn on the air conditioning to avoid overheating.
  • Try to stay as cool as possible when exercising. Drape a cool, damp towel around your neck, drink cold fluids or chew on ice chips. You can also keep a bottle filled with cool water to spray your face.

Bathing and cleansing can also cause flare-ups

Rosacea sufferers often must modify their approach to cleansing and bathing. The following tips can help you adopt a personal-care routine that soothes and calms your facial redness:

  • Avoid hot water, hot tubs and saunas. These can bring on flushing and aggravate your condition.
  • Begin each day with a thorough and gentle facial cleansing. Use a gentle cleanser that is not grainy or abrasive and spread it with your fingertips. Rinse your face with lukewarm water to remove all dirt and soap, and use a thick cotton towel to gently blot the face dry.
  • Never pull, tug, scratch or treat your face harshly. Avoid any rough washcloths, loofahs, brushes or sponges.
  • Let your face thoroughly air dry before applying any medication or skin-care products. Let your face rest for a few minutes before applying topical medication. Then allow the medication to dry completely for five to 10 minutes before applying any moisturizer or makeup.
  • Men should use an electric shaver rather than a blade. If a blade is preferred, never use a dull blade that requires extra scraping for a clean shave. Avoid shaving lotions that burn or sting.
  • Repeat the cleansing process at night. Gently cleanse your face each night to remove any makeup or dirt accumulated throughout the day. Air dry and apply your topical medication.

Choose your skin-care products carefully

Rosacea sufferers can use a variety of skin-care products to their advantage. Moisturizers can reduce flakiness and makeups can camouflage symptoms and improve appearance. You may have to experiment until you find the products that work best for your individual condition. Here are some general guidelines that will help you select products carefully:

  • Steer clear of ingredients that sting, burn or cause facial redness. Some ingredients to avoid include alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil or clove oil.
  • Select fragrance-free products. If you must choose a product that contains a fragrance, be sure that it appears at the end of the list of ingredients. The further down it appears, the less fragrance the product contains.
  • Use makeup to hide blemishes and cover redness. Spot application of makeup may be used to cover blemishes and visible blood vessels, and green-tinted foundations are available at most cosmetic counters to mask general redness. They can be followed by a skin-tone foundation. Avoid powders, which can make dry flaky skin look worse.

Other medical conditions can make rosacea worse

Physicians have found that some underlying health conditions and temporary ailments can stimulate a flushing response and trigger rosacea flare-ups. The following conditions should be ruled out or treated by your doctor as appropriate to help bring flare-ups under control:

  • Hot flashes associated with menopause. The hot flashes that often occur before or during menopause have brought on rosacea’s first appearance in some women.
  • Fevers, coughs and colds. Although intermittent, these ills may provoke the flushing that begins a rosacea flare-up.
  • Systemic diseases. Occasionally systemic diseases, such as high blood pressure, have been identified as causes of rosacea flare-ups. When flushing is accompanied by itching, breathing difficulties or diarrhoea, seek medical attention.

Certain medications can worsen rosacea

Certain drugs can cause facial flushing, resulting in rosacea flare-ups. If you experience flare-ups as a result of the following drugs, discuss the problem with your doctor:

  • Vasodilator drugs. These drugs are used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease because of their ability to dilate the blood vessels. In some patients, they have been reported to cause symptoms called “vasodilator rosacea.”
  • Topical steroids. Long-term use of topical steroids has been found to aggravate rosacea or induce rosacea-like symptoms. In one study, symptoms improved for patients who discontinued the steroids and were prescribed antibiotics.

Rosacea is caused by drinking too much alcohol, right? Wrong, says our Essex skin expert

Rosacea is not caused by consuming too much alcohol, explains Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in Rayleigh Essex, teetotalers are just as susceptible. Nor does it only affect people with very fair skin. Rosacea is now thought to be caused by the Demodex mite – and sadly this little bug isn’t fussy about skin tone, race or gender.

Sue Ibrahim, skin expert at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex

Sue Ibrahim, our skin expert at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex

Sue, our nurse consultant in dermatology says there are newly licensed prescription creams to manage rosacea although they are not widely available on an NHS prescription due to the ongoing expense incurred. But Sue can prescribe them, if required and our rosacea phototherapy comes in handy for flare-ups.

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Do you think I have Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common rash, found on the central part of the face, that usually occurs in the mid-thirties or early forties. It can occur in both men and women who have no history of acne as a teenager.

Rosacea is a progressive skin condition that often begins with a tendency to flush (blush). After a while this is followed by persistent redness on the cheeks, chin, forehead and nose, and by crops of small inflamed red bumps and pus spots. Rosacea can also affect the eyes, making them irritated.

A woman considers speaking to a skin expert at Elan Medical Skin Clinics in Essex and central London

A woman considers speaking to a skin expert at Elan Medical Skin Clinics in Essex about her rosacea.

What causes Rosacea? 

The cause of rosacea is not fully understood, but many think that the defect lies in the blood vessels in the skin of the face, which dilate too easily and recent studies are linking rosacea with the Demodex mite, that feeds off of our dead skin cells. Rosacea is more common in women than in men, and in those with a fair skin who flush easily but men tend to get a more aggressive form of Rosacea.

Many things seem to make rosacea worse, but probably do not cause it in the first place. They include alcohol, too much exercise, both high and low temperatures, hot spicy foods, stress, and sunlight. Things that stir up one person’s rosacea may well have no effect at all on the rosacea of someone else. The idea that rosacea is due to germs in the skin, or in the bowel, has not been proved. Rosacea is not catching.

Is Rosacea hereditary?

Rosacea does seem to run in some families but it is still not clear whether heredity plays a big part in this.

What are the symptoms of Rosacea?

Rosacea starts with a tendency to blush and flush easily. After a while, the central areas of the face become a deeper shade of red and end up staying this colour all the time. The area becomes studded with small red bumps (papules) and pus spots, which come and go in crops. Small dilated blood vessels (telangiectasia) appear, looking like thin red streaks. Scarring is seldom a problem.

Other problems with rosacea include the following:

  • Rosacea can lead to embarrassment, anxiety, or depression, and a disrupted social life. 
  • The face may swell (lymphoedema), especially around the eyes. 
  • The nose may grow big, red and bulbous (rhinophyma) due to the overgrowth of the sebaceous glands. This is more common in men than women. 
  • Some people with rosacea have eye symptoms (red, itchy, sore eyes and eyelids; a gritty feeling; sensitivity to light). A few patients with rosacea have more serious eye problems, such as rosacea keratitis, that can interfere with vision. 

How will Rosacea be diagnosed? 

Unfortunately, many doctors can trivialise the effects rosacea can have on a person’s confidence, self-esteem and quality of life. Having spent over 30 years working within medical dermatology, Sue Ibrahim is passionate about treating acne early and effectively as she fully understands the consequences of living this rosacea on a daily basis. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex, we take the time to listen to your concerns and devise a management plan to get your skin looking great again!

Can Rosacea be cured?

No treatment can be guaranteed to switch rosacea off forever. However long-term treatments control symptoms and can clear the spots and reduce the facial flushing and dilated blood vessels. Treatment works best if started when rosacea is at an early stage.

How do we treat Rosacea?

Many thousands of people have been treated by Sue Ibrahim for their rosacea at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex.

If you are fed up with suffering from acne or any other skin condition, why not book your dermatology consultation now!

Show yourself some love in 2018

Woman hugs herself. If you have a skin condition that is causing you distress, talk to Sue from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex.

Fit your own oxygen mask first in 2018. If you have a skin condition that is causing you distress, talk to Sue from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex.

In a mid-air emergency, we are always told to fit our own oxygen mask first. This is to ensure we are able to help our loved ones in a calm, considerate and efficient manner – whilst being able to breathe ourselves!

It may sound selfish but it is absolutely essential – and not just in a life or death situation. If our own wellbeing isn’t being cared for, our ability to give our love to others is diminished, says nurse consultant in dermatology, Sue Ibrahim.

If we are dealing with a skin condition on top of all of life’s other stresses and strains, chances are the skin condition will worsen if it is ignored or put to the bottom of our list of things to sort. Does this sound familiar?

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For expert skin advice in Essex – ask Sue at Elan!

Elan Medical Skin Clinic’s skin expert Sue Ibrahim

Elan Medical Skin Clinic’s skin expert Sue Ibrahim.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. It protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate our body temperature and permits the sensations of touch, heat and cold.

Twenty square feet is a lot of area for things to go wrong, imperfections to show, maintenance to cover. But don’t fear, our nurse consultant in dermatology, Sue Ibrahim at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex has your skin covered!

We take exercise to improve our heart. We keep our brains active. We check our diet to ensure our digestive organs stay fit. But our skin often takes the brunt of external and internal abuse.

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Medical grade facials – now £10 off at Elan Medical Skin Clinics!

Summer offer - for your £10 discount, please quote Elan Summer Facial. Call our Rayleigh skin clinic on 01268 770660 to book. Hurry - offer ends 30.9.17.

Summer offer – for your £10 discount, please quote Elan Summer Facial. Call our Rayleigh skin clinic on 01268 770660 to book. Hurry – offer ends 30.9.17.

If you’ve only ever had a facial at a beauty salon or spa you will be totally blown away by the medical grade facials at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex.

The fully qualified team at Elan Medical Skin Clinic use clinically evidenced ingredients and protocols for their prescription-based facials that are tailored to your specific needs.

Elan’s medical grade facials are performed by our aesthetic therapist Amy and the protocol is prescribed by Sue Ibrahim, our nurse consultant in dermatology.

There are facials and there are Elan facials!

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London skin expert soothes your skin this summer

A woman touches her smooth skin - London skin expert, Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Essex, soothes your skin this summer

London skin expert, Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Essex, soothes your skin this summer

Skin rashes, itchy skin and general lumps and bumps seem all the more noticeable and irritating during the summer when our skin is bared to the world.

The team at Elan Medical Skin Clinics in Rayleigh, Essex and central London is led by Sue Ibrahim, a consultant nurse with more than 30 years’ dermatology experience. Sue knows skin, simple as that. She understands how certain health and skin problems can make you feel unhappy and self-conscious and what can be done to help alleviate your symptoms.

From acne, acne scarring, rosacea, melasma and psoriasis, to mole and cyst removal and treatments for dealing with excessive sweating, Sue uses the latest technology and up-to-date approaches to ensure the best results.

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London skin expert offers useful guidance on the acne drug Roaccutane

Sue Ibrahim, Elan Medical Skin Clinic’s nurse consultant in dermatology, is keen to outline the facts about the acne drug Roaccutane – and to dispel some of the myths.

Woman talks to skin experts at central London's Elan Medical Skin Clinic about Roaccutane

Woman talks to skin experts at central London’s Elan Medical Skin Clinic about Roaccutane

Roaccutane is a brand name for the oral drug Isotretinoin, which is closely related to vitamin A. Oral Isotretinoin works in a variety of ways, targeting several of the factors that cause acne and other skin conditions including the production of sebum (an oily substance produced by the skin) and the production of keratin (outer scales of skin) that block the pores of the hair follicle and cause acne.

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Sugar isn’t just bad for your waistline warns London skin expert

As if it wasn’t looking bad enough for sugar, our London skin expert Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics is warning clients about the effects it can have on our skin.

From acne to ageing, wrinkles to blemishes, sugar has a lot to answer for. Sugar and high GI (glycemic index) foods lead to a spike in insulin levels and this causes inflammation throughout our bodies. Sugar also binds to collagen making the skin stiff. The technical term for this is a process called glycation. It’s simple really: less sugar equals better skin – and the results can very often be seen in just a week.

Insulin spikes are linked to acne breakouts and can cause the skin to appear red and inflamed. This is because inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles.

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London skin expert explains new approaches to rosacea treatment

Sue Ibrahim, skin expert at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in central London and Essex

Sue Ibrahim, skin expert at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in central London and Essex

Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in central London says new approaches to the treatment of rosacea will come as welcome news to sufferers.

Sue has more than 30 years’ experience in treating skin conditions and is a nurse consultant in dermatology. She said that maintaining the correct acid balance in the skin was vital in creating a hostile environment for the demodex mite. Demodex is a microscopic mite that is a normal inhabitant of our facial skin and is found in greater numbers on the faces of people with rosacea.

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