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Newly-Approved Gel May Help Rosacea Patients

About 16 Million Americans Suffer From Skin Condition

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Do you blush easily or often have red, rosy cheeks?

You may have a skin condition call rosacea.

The Food & Drug Administration has approved a new gel to treat the embarrassing condition, CBS 2′s Max Gomez reports.

Patients like Rosemary Stockinger see a dermatologist to treat the red blotches that can appear on the face.

“It’s very embarrassing, if you are going on interviews or you are going out on a date,” Stockinger said. “You are just very self conscious about your face all the time.”

To deal with the redness that comes with the chronic inflammatory disorder, Stockinger’s doctor prescribed Mirvaso, a topical gel recently approved by the FDA.

As Dr. Doris Day, Associate Professor of Dermatology at NYU, explained, this can lessen the symptoms of rosacea.

“What the gel is doing is constricting the  vessels, so you just don’t see the redness in the skin,” she said.

About 16 million Americans are affected by rosacea, including celebrities like President Clinton, Renee Zellweger and Mariah Carey. It is most common in women between 30 and 60-years-old.

The condition is a little more common in women, especially fair-skinned people.

While the exact cause is unclear, some things make it better or worse.

“The triggers are stress, alcohol and extremes in temperature, and different spices for different people,” Dr. Day said.

Left untreated, rosacea can get worse, with broken blood vessels on the face. In rare cases, it can lead to a bumpy, bulbous nose, like acotr/comedian W.C. Fields.

Mirvaso reduces the redness for up to 12 hours. Stockinger applies it at morning and at night.

“I feel much better, I really do,” she said. “I feel like a whole different person right now.”

There are other treatments for rosacea, including lasers and pulsed light therapies that help with broken blood vessels.

But the key is to first get the right diagnosis from a dermatologist, because rosacea can look like other skin conditions and is often misdiagnosed.

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