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HealthExtra: Red alert! It may not be acne

You thought you’d left acne behind in your teens, but there it is, a rash in the center of your face that slowly progresses to your cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. Not about to go through that again, you head to the dermatologist only to learn it’s rosacea. Rosacea (pronounced row-say’-sha), with its redness and pimples, usually develops in fair-skinned adults ages 30–50. To reduce symptoms and prevent flare-ups, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests you:

  • Be careful. Avoid triggers-hot drinks, spicy foods, caffeine and alcoholic beverages-that may make your face flush. Keep a diary of flare-ups and note associated foods, drinks, medicines, activities or facial products to help you identify triggers.
  • Be sun-shy. Limit sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher whenever you leave home. Reapply every two hours.
  • Be cool. Avoid extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
  • Be gentle. Don’t rub, scrub or massage your face.
  • Be smart. Stay away from products that contain alcohol. Talk to your doctor about treatment for a flare-up.