Q: I’m a teenaged Indian suffering from redness on my cheeks for several years now. I experience a burning sensation for no apparent reason. Could it be rosacea?
Making an absolutely correct diagnosis based merely on your description of skin lesions will be an uphill task for any dermatologist.
Your skin complaints are definitely of an inflammatory origin. Skin inflammatory disorders can be of a wide range but clinically presenting with a surprising similarity, therefore making the diagnosis much more difficult. Rosacea is unlikely because of your age - this particular condition usually affects people in their mid-30s and above. My suspected diagnosis of your skin problem is likely to be an eczema.
Eczemas or dermatitis could be of various types as well as with variable clinical manifestations. Atopic dermatitis is relatively more common type of eczema seen in people your age. However, photosensitive dermatitis which includes irritant photo contact dermatitis, allergic photo contact dermatitis or photo chemical dermatitis could be another differential diagnosis. Sebborheic sermatitis should also be considered as one of the probabilities, however, again this is not very common in children of your age, and is usually associated with a scaly scalp (dandruff) as well.
Allergic contact dermatitis to some of the toiletries or body creams or lotions including moisturisers and even sunscreens will also need to be ruled out. Lastly, you should also be screened for any of the systemic autoimmune connective tissue disorders and some other skin involving rare ‘syndromes’ which can also be associated with a ‘red face’.
For the time being, you can try using 1% hydrocortisone topical cream or ointment for one to two weeks. I strongly recommend an avoidance to sun exposure as well as not to use any of the previous skin care products under your use.
Consult an experienced dermatologist at the earliest to establish a more definite diagnosis. This will surely make the treatment selection more accurate and also more effective.
Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is a specialist dermatologist and medical director at Dermacare Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.