Actress Lisa Faulkner reveals that she’s always had a troublesome skin condition.

‘I was diagnosed with rosacea in 2005,’ she explains, ‘and unfortunately all the make-up I have to wear for work and the studio lights aggravate it, so my skin just gets worse.’

Symptoms of rosacea can include facial redness, spots, eye problems and thickening of the skin. It only affects adults and can occur at any time after puberty, although doctors don’t understand the cause.

Lisa sought the help of a skin specialist

‘I first noticed it a few years ago when I developed red patches on my cheeks,’ says Lisa. ‘My friends and family kept saying it looked lovely, like having rosy cheeks, but I hated it.’

Increasingly self-conscious, Lisa finally sought the help of a skin specialist, who diagnosed rosacea.

Treatment options range from antibiotics for treating the inflammation to laser therapy, depending on the severity of the symptoms. However, Lisa decided against treatment.

‘I didn’t want to take drugs, so I’ve learned to live with the condition,’ she says. ‘It’s hard because the rosacea makes me feel self-conscious, particularly when my skin flares up and becomes bumpy as well as red.

Living with rosacea

'It means that nowadays I have to wear make-up every day – even when I’m not working – which I never used to do.'

Lisa has developed her own strategies for treating and managing her condition. ‘I’ve learned to be very careful about what I use on my skin.

'After trying all sorts of products, I’ve discovered a skincare range called Dr Brandt that’s brilliant for me – it really takes the redness away.’

Outside factors can exacerbate the condition, including hot and cold weather, sunlight and diet – which Lisa has discovered to her cost.

‘I really love chillis and curries, but spicy foods make my skin worse, as does drinking champagne, which is a bit annoying! I try not to have too much of any of these, but I haven’t cut them out completely.’

Stressing makes my skin worse

Worryingly for the actress,the condition has been known to progress over time to more severe and unsightly symptoms, including inflammation of the eyes – which can cause vision impairment – and thickening of the skin.

‘I try not to to be too concerned because there’s nothing that I can do if it does develop – and besides, stressing makes my skin worse,’ she says. ‘At the moment I have regular acupuncture sessions, which keep me calm. They’ve really helped.’

ROSACEA IN BRIEF

What is it?
A skin condition that affects one in 10 people in the UK and which usually occurs in mid to later life.

Symptoms
These can include persistent redness; lumpy spots; gradual thickening of the skin; and eye problems including itchiness and inflammation.

Treatments
Oral antibiotics, laser therapy and diet changes.

For more info, visit www.acne-rosacea.co.uk

Emily Watkins