Prince Charles health: Its bad enough at 73 – the royals long-term condition

Prince Charles health: Its bad enough at 73 – the royals long-term condition

28/01/2022

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It was when the Prince and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were carrying out their first overseas tour since the coronavirus pandemic started that details about 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth II emerged. Speaking to Sky News at an event in Jordan, which was focusing on environmental issues, he was asked about his ageing mother – who caused panic after she spent some time in hospital in November, and was unable to attend the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday as a result of a sprained back. “She’s all right, thank you very much,” the Prince responded.

“Once you get to 95, it’s not quite as easy as it used to be. It’s bad enough at 73.”

With a slight jibe at the state of his own health, the senior royal completed the tour, which saw them travel on to Egypt over four days.

Yet on some occasions, when the Prince has been carrying out his public duties, the state of his health has been questioned, especially after beady-eyed royalists have noticed his red, sometimes painful looking skin.

In fact, the Prince suffers from a condition known as rosacea – a long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face.

Although it is unknown exactly when the royal started to suffer from the condition, these noticeable “flare-ups” can be seen in photos and video footage of his wedding to Princess Diana back in 1981.

“Flushed or red skin comes as a result of blood vessels opening and blood rushing to the surface,” explains doctor Ioannis Liakas, Medical Director at Vie Aesthetics in London.

“This can be due to a number of reasons including overheating, feeling anxious or embarrassed, from drinking alcohol or from skin conditions like rosacea.”

Surprisingly, the condition affects one in 10 people in the UK, with the NHS adding that the condition commonly affects more women, but men often experience worse symptoms.

The NHS continues to explain that the first signs of rosacea include:

  • Redness (blushing) across your nose, cheeks, forehead and chin that comes and goes
  • A burning or stinging feeling when using water or skincare products.

Redness is often noticeable on the cheeks, nose and forehead, which will all be red at the same time. As the condition worsens, tiny broken blood vessels may appear on the surface of the skin, and do not go away.

Individuals may also get small pink or red bumps on the surface of their skin that can sometimes become filled with a yellowish liquid, and become mistaken for spots.

Other possible symptoms can include:

  • Dry skin
  • Swelling, especially around the eyes
  • Yellow-orange patches on the skin
  • Sore eyelids or crusts around roots of eyelashes – this could be blepharitis
  • Thickened skin, mainly on the nose (usually appears after many years).

“Older people tend to notice this more frequently because as we grow old, we produce less collagen and elastin which means the connective tissues in our skin weaken and blood vessels are allowed to expand further,” added doctor Liakas.

Although in recent appearances, the Prince’s skin looked in rather good condition – after the bombshell of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leaving the family – body language expert Judi James noticed that his cheeks were the colour of “raw liver”.

The body language expert said: “The Prince’s cheeks are flushed to the colour of raw liver, which could be a physiological response to being under scrutiny so soon after all the royal dramas and Harry’s exit to Canada.”

It is not known what causes rosacea specifically, but the NHS explains that there can be triggers that make symptoms worse.

A book addressing the condition, titled Acne and Rosacea: The Complete Guide, written by Alison Bowser, states that in a survey around 45 percent of individuals with rosacea found flushing to be the worst symptom.

This extreme flushing even made 13 percent of individuals avoid socialising because they were too self-conscious. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Spicy foods
  • Cheese
  • Caffeine
  • Hot drinks
  • Aerobic exercise like running.

Although the condition cannot be cured, treatment can help to control symptoms, especially as the condition can worsen if treatment is not sought.

A GP may suggest the following:

  • Prescriptions for creams and gels you put on your skin
  • Taking antibiotics for six to 16 weeks
  • IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment.

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