NRS: Do beta-blockers help reduce flushing from rosacea?

In the latest edition of Ask the Doctors, Dr. Jonathan Wilkin, chairman of the NRS medical advisory board answers the question `Do beta-blockers help reduce flushing from rosacea?’.

The answer is brief but I’m encouraged to see the NRS discussing further the possibility of using beta blockers for flushing in rosacea sufferers.

In severe cases, a beta-blocker may sometimes be prescribed to help reduce emotionally triggered flushing that is controlled by the autonomic nerves — the nerves that control functions such as heart rate. This type of flushing usually results from emotional stress such as embarrassment, presenting a talk or performing on a test or onstage. Often, the blushing is accompanied by a sensation of the heart beating, a more rapid pulse, dry mouth and a feeling of tightening of facial skin.

The dosage of the beta-blocker is generally lower than for other medical conditions and the heart rate needs to be monitored to avoid too slow a pulse. Patients with peripheral vascular disease or asthma may need to avoid these treatments.

In the Spring 2000 Rosacea Review, the NRS also mentioned the use of “a centrally-acting alpha-2 agonist such as clonidine or beta-blockers such as propranolol and nadolol”.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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6 Reader Comments

  1. Doug says:

    what are some examples of beta blockers?

  2. David Pascoe says:

    Hi Doug, the first link above to Beta-Blockers & Alpha Antagonists is a good place to start.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Been prescribed Tetralysal and Finacea 1 week ago. i avoid all kind of triggers since i learn to know my triggers quite well. But i do excersice 5 times a week heavy since i am trying to compete in bodybuilding. Anyhow just wondering i get all red when i train could i talk to my derm about prescbribing me betablocker to take each time before i train or is this a bad idea? Thx sebastian.

  4. andrew says:

    Ya I get the same thing when I workout. I really want to find a natuarl way to stop flushing because beta has lots of side affects. Is there anything besides taking medication to stop flushing?

  5. David Pascoe says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I haven’t seen many discussions of a natural way to stop flushing, but it might be worthwhile reading the discussion The Warm Room Flush: what you wished you always knew and at the forum also Warm Room Flush: PDF released from Australian Sciences.

    all the best,
    dp.

  6. Nancy says:

    I was wondering if anyone out there has any skin rash side effects from taking higher doses of Propranolol. Funny, but my nervous system is overactive and I feel more energy with a high dose, it helps controle blushing, but I have had itchy hives the two times I have increased the dosage. Just curious.

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