As your loved ones age, they are more likely to experience changes to their skin that can result in unusual redness or discoloration. The most common cause for redness is a condition called rosacea. It’s not painful or harmful, but it can be upsetting or embarrassing.
Often referred to as adult acne, rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that mainly affects the facial area, especially the cheeks, nose and forehead. At times, it can also affect the neck, chest and ears. It is not, however, a form of acne and must be treated differently from acne.
No one knows for sure what causes rosacea, but the condition itself can either be a constant or temporary. If it is more of an intermittent condition, there are certain triggers that can make it reappear or aggravate it. Some of those triggers include things like alcohol, warm foods or drinks, spicy things, extreme hot or cold, exercise, hot showers or baths, or even certain medications.
If you’re a family member providing care for your elderly parents or other senior loved ones, and they have redness that comes and goes from their face (and they’re not blushing or overheated),especially if it’s got little bumps associated with it, you may want to take them to a doctor for an exam. If rosacea is diagnosed, the doctor may prescribe treatment. If the doctor thinks it’s triggered by a current medication your loved one is taking, he or she may adjust the dosage. Trying to avoid other triggers, like staying away from skin care products with alcohol in them and using a strong sunscreen may also help. In real severe cases, surgery can be done to correct the swollen blood vessels in the face and neck areas, but this doesn’t happen often.
If the problem is long-term, it may be upsetting enough that your loved one doesn’t want to leave the house. Although it may be embarrassing to him or her, talking about it might be helpful. She may meet others who live with the condition, and they can then share their experiences or treatment options.
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