DEAR DR. DONOHUE: A little while back you wrote about rosacea. I believe I have it. I had thought that my teenage acne had come back on me. I am 35. Would you elaborate on it? My cheeks and nose are red, and there are pimples there. Is this rosacea? Can it be cured? – G.P.

It could be. Rosacea (rose-AY-she-uh) mostly happens to people older than 30. They usually have fair skin, light hair and are or were easy blushers. It starts out as a redness of the nose, cheeks, chin or forehead. On the red skin, thin webs of blood vessels often pop up. Then those skin patches break out in pimples. The final stage of rosacea – a stage that shouldn’t happen to anyone these days – is a bulbous, deformed nose. Often unrecognized is eye involvement in some rosacea patients. The eyes feel gritty and burn.

The cause is uncertain, but a skin mite, Demodex, might be involved. Some think that the stomach bacterium Helicobacter has a hand in it.

Stay out of the sunlight or protect your skin with sunblock when you do go outside. Limit alcohol. Hot and spicy foods cause rosacea to flare.

Use mild soaps on your face. Dove and Cetaphil are two examples, but they aren’t the only ones.

Metronidazole applied to the affected skin is a popular first treatment. It comes as a cream, gel or lotion. Azelex cream is another favored treatment. So is clindamycin ointment, an antibiotic. If rosacea fails to respond to medicines applied to the skin, oral antibiotics are the next step on the treatment ladder.

“Cure” is too strong a word for rosacea. It can, however, almost always be controlled.

Take advantage of the National Rosacea Society. It provides people with information on the latest treatments and gives other helpful hints on how to keep rosacea in check. The society’s toll-free number is 888-NO-BLUSH, and its Web site is

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I would like to know if there is any benefit in eating deer meat. I have coronary artery disease. I have always eaten fruits, vegetables and grains but have not always made good choices on eating meat. I heard deer meat is not harmful. – J.B.

All animal meat has about the same amount of cholesterol – somewhere around 70 mg in 3.5 ounces. Cholesterol in foods doesn’t raise blood cholesterol as much as saturated fat does. Saturated fat primes the liver to make cholesterol, and that’s where most blood cholesterol comes from. Wild meat, like deer meat, has less saturated fat than farm-raised animals because wild animals run all over the place day in and day out. A 3.5-ounce portion of sirloin steak has 12 grams of fat. The same amount of venison has only 3 grams. So, deer meat is a healthier meat choice.

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a 72-year-old healthy woman who has trouble sleeping. I do not take naps and I do not drink coffee or any other stimulants before going to bed. When I finally fall asleep, I wake up in two to four hours and can’t get back to sleep. The only way I get any sleep is by taking one Tylenol PM at night. Will this hurt my liver? Can I get addicted to it? – C.L.

ANSWER: In the best of all worlds, sleep without any medicine is ideal. However, one Tylenol PM is not going to hurt your liver or lead to addiction.

It’s a combination of acetaminophen and Benadryl, an antihistamine. The antihistamine is the ingredient that puts you to sleep.

Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Readers may also order health newsletters from

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