Doctors find new treatment for skin ailment called rosacea

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEW ORLEANS -- In the U.S. 16 million people suffer with a skin ailment and two-thirds of them don't know they have it.

Rosacea can be socially embarrassing, but now there is a new treatment.

It used to be called adult acne but rosacea is a chronic condition. And there's no cure.

Primarily rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition of unknown etiology. It's a disease that can be very socially embarrassing," said Dr. Mary Lupo, a board certified dermatologist in New Orleans and clinical professor at Tulane.

There are a few types of rosacea with different symptoms. Some people just flush and get very red. Others get pimples, or worse, nodules. Some have it in the eye, causing infections, swelling and redness, while in others it causes enlargement of the nose. Many people have a combination.

Patients are typically older than 40. It runs in families, usually in people of Northern European decent with fair skin. But here in Louisiana where there is a long history of mixed ethnic heritage, it can also been seen in people with darker skin tones.

"Dermatologists have not just oral medications, but topical medications that are FDA approved that are safe and effective. And there's really no need to suffer with rosacea. It can almost always be improved," Dr. Lupo said.

Regular use of lasers and lights can also help the symptoms of rosacea. But now a new topical medication Mirvaso by Galderma is being called a breakthrough. It temporarily keeps the blood vessels from abnormally dilating and causing flushing. It works in 30 minutes and last for three to six hours. Some reports state it can work up to 12 hours.

"What's important is, this is an option for people before special events, when they're going to be at cocktail parties and they're going to imbibing the alcohol and the spicy foods that flares their rosacea. This will mitigate that, minimize it, make them socially less embarrassed," said Dr. Lupo.

Lifestyle can make a difference in rosacea flare ups as well.

"Sun is the number one exacerbator of rosacea, along with heat and humidity, alcohol, spicy foods," Dr. Lupo said. "Can you spell New Orleans?"

Mirvaso is sold by prescription only.

For more information about medication, click here.

Click here for more information on rosacea or call here 1-888-NO-BLUSH

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