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,, will tell you more.


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 Dr Kavalier regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.


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:

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk