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A Chronic Skin Disorder

This is a chronic disorder of the skin which usually occurs in middle age or later. It tends to localize in the middle third of the face (the flush area). In mild cases there is vasodilatation of the capillaries of the cheek and nose but, in more severe cases, papules and pustules may appear as well. The condition can be quite disfiguring. When there is a gross hyperplasia of the sebaceous  glands of the nose, the person's appearance may be wrongly interpreted  as indicative of excessive drinking. The condition affects females in the fourth or fifth decades who have a labile vasomotor system. Enlargement of the nose is seen more often in males.

Treatment is directed toward avoiding anything that contributes to facial hyperemia, such as alcohol, hot foods, or excessive sun exposure. Hair should be shampooed frequently to reduce oiliness. The pustule formation with rosacea is found to respond to a regimen of tetracycline. Treatment does not affect the erythema. Topical corticosteroids should be avoided because of worsening when they are discontinued and because they may cause increased redness and telangiectasis. Cosmetic surgery may be of benefit if there is rhinophyma. Since the disease may be somewhat embarrassing and disfiguring, it's important to obtain treatment.

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