Q. I keep seeing advice on how to prevent a flare-up, but not how to treat one. When I wake up in the morning and my face is covered in red bumps and pustules, is there any treatment that provides immediate relief?
A. Unfortunately, the old adage "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" still holds true for rosacea flare-ups. The good news is that compliance with long-term medical therapy and avoidance of environmental and lifestyle triggers have been consistently found to reduce the occurrence of flare-ups in the great majority of patients.
If you haven't been successful in bringing your rosacea under control, see your dermatologist to help find the management options that work best for your individual case. Meanwhile, as a short-term solution, the visible effects of a flare-up might be camouflaged with cosmetics, although this will have no effect on the underlying disease process.
Q. Can a computer monitor aggravate rosacea? I work in front of a computer monitor, and late in the day I have a flare-up of my rosacea.
A. Some computer monitors may give off a very small amount of ultraviolet radiation, which is not believed to affect the vast majority of people. Although unproven and rarely reported, it may be theoretically possible that some individuals react in the same way as they do to sun exposure.
It's quite possible, though, that your flare-up is unrelated to your computer and is triggered by something else in your office environment -- such as stress, drinking hot coffee, a nearby heating duct or even a desk lamp that generates too much heat.