Your health questions answered

Why didn't I know about 'adult acne'?


Q. After two years of terrible acne I have finally been diagnosed and treated for rosacea. I am 36, and the acne appeared for no obvious reason. I tried all sorts of creams, none of which worked. I eventually saw a dermatologist, who immediately told me that I had rosacea - a form of "adult acne". I was started on a course of antibiotics and within a couple of weeks the problem began to disappear. I now take antibiotics once a day, and it seems to be cured. Why isn't there more publicity about this condition?

A. Rosacea (pronounced ro-zay-shea) looks like acne, but it is not the same as teenage acne. The main symptoms are redness and a pimply rash on the cheeks, the nose, the chin and the centre of the forehead. It can also affect the eyes. Rosacea comes and goes, even without any treatment. It affects men and women, and it usually starts in the thirties or forties, unlike acne, which mostly affects people under 20. With good treatment, it can usually be kept under control, although even with treatment it has a tendency to flare up in response to certain trigger factors. The best treatment for an attack of rosacea is a prolonged course of antibiotic tablets, such as oxytetracycline. Once it is under control, it may be possible to keep it calm with skin lotions that contain antibiotics. The underlying cause is unknown. Trigger factors include alcohol, stress and certain foods. An American website, www.rosacea.org, will tell you more.

HAVE I GOT SKIN CANCER?

A. I have developed a small area of roughened red skin over my right eyebrow, which refuses to heal up. It is not a mole or a freckle, and it never bleeds or itches. I am 53 and have spent quite a lot of time in the sun. Could this be skin cancer?

A. This could be a form of skin cancer, but it sounds more like an actinic keratosis. Actinic keratoses are small scaly patches that are caused by ultraviolet-light damage to the skin. Although they are not cancerous, they do have the potential to develop into skin cancer. Usually they do not turn into skin cancer, but occasionally they do. You need to see a dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis.

Please send your questions and suggestions to A Question of Health, 'The Independent', Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; fax 020-7005 2182 or e-mail to health@independent.co.uk. Dr Kavalier regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

READERS WRITE

AH from the Haemophilia Society thinks the problem of very heavy periods deserves more attention

I work for Women Bleed Too, a project of the Haemophilia Society, which is working to raise awareness of women's bleeding disorders. Our research has discovered that 18 per cent of women worry that their period is not normal. Women who are worried about bleeding problems can contact our helpline (0800 018 6068 - Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm), or our project website: www.womenbleedtoo.org.uk.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

    £100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

    Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee