Do you have a permanently red or flushed face? It could be Rosacea…
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20 August, 2022
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a type of skin inflammation affecting the face. It looks like a permanent red blush on your cheeks which is actually the smaller surface blood vessels under the skin enlarging and causing the redness. Rosacea tends to worsen with age, and many of us get it. Find out why we get it, how we can avoid it, manage it and treat it.
With it estimated that approximately 1 in 20 people have Rosacea, many of us have the condition without even realising it. A condition characterised by facial redness, especially around the nose, cheeks, chin and in between the brow, people with this condition are consistently red or flush easily. Modern-day laser treatments can now effectively treat rosacea,
What are the signs you might have Rosacea?
There are many signs you might have Rosacea. These include:
Burning/stinging on the face
Broken facial capillaries
Acne like pustules on the face
Bloodshot or watery eyes
Red, tender pimples
A permanent redness across your nose and/or cheeks
Prominent capillaries (blood vessels) that you can see under your skin
Tiny pimples or bumps on your cheeks, nose and/or chin
Swollen, enlarged or bulbous nose, usually quite red
Flushing or hotness (fever-like) of the skin is often associated with rosacea
Swelling of the blood vessels leading to extended periods of redness
In some more severe cases, conjunctivitis has also been associated with rosacea.
What are the Symptoms of Rosacea?
The symptoms of rosacea can worsen with age and have triggers such as:
Hot drinks, including coffee and tea
Stress or anxiety
Sunburn (your skin can burn, but it can also trigger a reaction to the blood vessels underneath if you have rosacea)
General sensitivity to sunlight and/or temperature
Unfortunately, it can also be hereditary – you can be more prone to getting rosacea if your family has a history of it.
What does Rosacea look like?
However, just because you have one or two of these symptoms, does not necessarily mean you have Rosacea. If you are not sure you should definitely arrange to see a skin specialist. “Untreated Rosacea tends to worsen over time and can be a progressive disease. At Medical Skin Clinic we do not just look at your skin but carry out a full medical assessment that involves all aspects of how your body works and its exposures. It is not always possible to identify a definite one cause for your rosacea as it can be due to a number of reasons. There is also a chance that if a cause is identified it cannot be controlled, however there are usually measures to control the disease and improve the skin.”
How do you treat Rosacea?
Laser is known to be extremely effective in treating many skin conditions, including Rosacea. Medical Skin Clinic use their Fotona Nd:YAG laser to treat Rosacea which is effectively vascular damage and irregularities on the surface of the skin, by coagulating the blood vessels with the delivery of the device’s controlled laser energy. As Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory reaction to reactive oxygen radicals within the skin cell system, the Fotona laser uses a 1064 nm wavelength using a Long Pulse (LP pulsation) setting to target red, purple, and violet pigmentation, and is able to reduce them in size and intensity.
In patient terms, this basically means the laser is able to target and treat the symptoms and underlying skin issues resulting in the rosacea, leaving you with healthier and visibly clearer skin.
Can laser treat Rosacea?
Most patients require a series of treatments. “The main issues we find with Rosacea is that patients have an unrealistic time frame for results causing them to stop the plan too early feeling it is not working. They also forget to have regular reviews of the plan as the skin changes. It is worth remembering that Rosacea care and control is an ongoing program that may continue for some years. One treatment will not be the solution. Good control involves a tailored program that you understand and feel you can stick to whilst being supported by a professional who can adapt the plan as your skin changes. Rosacea skin can often be complex and a treatment started today may require adaptation in 3-6 months time. You can also have flare ups which again is important to understand and know how to manage.”
The actual laser treatments are described as a “zapping” sensation much like that of a rubber band snapping against your skin. Patients can expect to feel some heat and mild stinging during the treatments however she also says the treatments are generally well tolerated and there is minimal discomfort for most patients.
There are several things suggested to help with rosacea such as antibiotics, however they may take up to 6-12 weeks to clear rosacea however at least a third of these have the rosacea come back. Besides avoiding all triggers for your rosacea (which can be frustrating, near impossible and just plain annoying), One of the most effective ways to manage rosacea is by using only high quality, gentle, non-active products on your face. Several topical creams and medications are available to specifically target the symptoms and causes of rosacea, depending on the “type” of rosacea. These could include medications like metronidazole (anti-bacterial), Ivermectin (anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties) and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Azelaic acid cream may be useful for reducing inflammation and also has skin lightening and anti-bacterial properties. Brimonidine gel may be used to reduce erythema (redness) by constricting the blood vessels in the face.
Vascular laser and/or IPL treatments are beneficial for those that present with persistent telangiectasia.
As with all skin treatments, a regular and ongoing commitment to home skin care and in clinic treatments will produce the best results for managing rosacea.