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Do I have steroid induced acne?

Q: For the last 20 years I have been getting a seasonal facial skin allergy, which was treated by local steroid creams. I am now 42 years old, hypothyroid (controlled) and for the last 6 months have a persistent rash, which looks like small mosquito bites. I have been prescribed steroid creams and on stoppage I develop acne all over the face. I have also been prescribed Elidel as my condition was diagnosed as steroid induced acne but didn’t help much. Now I have been told to take oral steroids and am very worried whether or not I should go for it. Please advice.

A:You have a condition called Rosacea. Please read below for further information and knowledge. Rosacea is a common but little-known disorder of the facial skin. In fact, while rosacea is becoming increasingly widespread as the populous baby boom generation enters the most susceptible ages, a survey found that many have no knowledge of this condition, including how to recognize it and what to do about it. Because of its red-faced, acne-like effects on personal appearance, it can cause significant psychological, social and occupational problems if left untreated. While the cause of rosacea is unknown and there is no cure, today medical help is available that can control the signs and symptoms of this potentially life-disruptive disorder. Any one of the following warning signs is a signal to see a dermatologist or other knowledgeable physician for diagnosis and appropriate treatment before the signs and symptoms become increasingly severe: - Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. - Small visible blood vessels on the face. - Bumps or pimples on the face. - Watery or irritated eyes. Because the signs and symptoms of rosacea vary from one patient to another, treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. Various oral and topical medications may be prescribed to treat the bumps, pimples and redness often associated with the disorder. Dermatologists usually prescribe initial treatment with oral antibiotics and topical therapy to bring the condition under immediate control, followed by long-term use of the topical therapy alone to maintain remission. When appropriate, treatments with lasers, intense pulsed light sources or other medical and surgical devices may be used to remove visible blood vessels, reduce extensive redness or correct disfigurement of the nose. Rosacea affecting the eyes may be treated with oral antibiotics and other therapy. Skin Care Patients should check with their physicians to ensure their skin-care routine is compatible with their rosacea. A gentle skin-care routine can also help control rosacea. Patients are advised to clean their face with a mild and non-abrasive cleanser, then rinse with lukewarm water and blot the face dry with a thick cotton towel. Never pull, tug or use a rough washcloth. Patients may apply non-irritating skin-care products as needed, and are advised to protect the skin from sun exposure using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Cosmetics may be used to conceal the effects of rosacea. Green makeup or green-tinted foundations can be used to counter redness. This can be followed by a skin-tone foundation with natural yellow tones, avoiding those with pink or orange hues. Lifestyle Management In addition to medical treatment, rosacea sufferers can improve their chances of maintaining remission by identifying and avoiding lifestyle and environmental factors that trigger rosacea flare-ups or aggravate their individual conditions. Kindly consult your dermatologist for further help.

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