onion via Flickr

onion via Flickr

Santa was preparing his sleigh for the trip to earth from the North Pole. He needed to get all those presents delivered by Christmas eve. The elves were helping out and the reindeers were all ready for the trip.

He then selected the most unlikely reindeer; Rudolph to lead the pack of reindeers driving his sleigh. Some back story on Rudolph- He was said to be a timid, self-conscious reindeer that all the other reindeers made fun of because of his huge red nose.

Let’s just say he didn’t quite fit in with the other reindeers. Rudolph got selected by Santa as the reindeer lead and he instantly became famous! Songs, plays and movie rights were to follow and Rudolph lives the Hollywood dream to this day.

Okay, I’m done with the folklores now. We are back to the real world from here on.

Rudolph stood out among the other reindeers for a particular reason. Here is a clue; it had something to do with his red nose.

If Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer was human, the red nose would point to a skin condition called rosacea.

Mild Rosacea Kristiewells via Flickr

Mild Rosacea
Kristiewells via Flickr

Rosacea could be called a skin condition but it is actually more of a blood vessel disorder that mimicks a skin condition. The small vessels of the face get irritated from who-knows-what.

This irritation could then result in blotching and acne-like eruptions around the forehead, nose and chin. The fairer you skin, the more visible the spider veins and blotches are.

Some of us will never outgrow the teenage acne phase but if you’ve always had a smooth

Severe Rosacea The Thinking Doll via Flickr

Severe Rosacea
The Thinking Doll via Flickr

complexion and all of a sudden in your thirties and beyond, you  start getting breakouts around the triangle of the face (the forehead being the apex of the triangle), rosacea is the likely culprit.

Your doctor would likely be prescribing an antibiotic cream called metrogel or an antibiotic pill; doxycline to treat rosacea. You might be wondering why rosacea responds to antibiotic treatment when it is not an infection.

The truth is that we don’t know for sure but what we do know is that antibiotics reduces inflammation in the cells.

There is no way to prevent rosacea (as at now) but you can help limit the flare ups by;

1.  Limiting sun exposure to your face. Use sunscreen or a wear wide-brimmed hats.

2.  Limiting alcohol intake 

3. Dialing down the stress in your life

 If all fails, there’s always makeup.

About the author

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Dr. Bola

Family physician. Works for the "man" by day, wife & mom 24/7.
Loves the work of translating "medicalese" to plain english.


  • Hmm. Good advice. Oatmeal baths help with SO many skin irritation issues… I wonder if that would help rosacea too? I have never known anyone with it though. My husband has eczema and psoriasis and oatmeal baths give some comfort.

    Cute post 😉

    • Not to my knowledge but I stand to be corrected. I would guess that the reason oatmeal does not work for rosacea is because rosacea is not really a skin condition (like eczema and psoriasis) but a blood vessel condition.

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