Red Complexion? It Could Be Rosacea
What Is Rosacea?
Acne Rosacea or ‘adult acne’ occurs in adults as its nickname implies, however contrary to its name, true pimples do not occur. Rosacea is thought to be in part due to instability in small blood vessels, especially in the central face. Hereditary is also believed to play a role. Patients with rosacea tend to have a history of easy ‘flushing’ and ‘blushing’. They may also have a history of sensitivities to facial products and cosmetics. Most patients develop dilated blood vessels giving the skin a ruddy or reddish complexion, which progresses over time. Patients may also suffer from breakouts including pimple-like bumps, which do not come to a head. If left untreated, rosacea may culminate in the development of a large, irregular, bulbous nose, or rhinophyma, previously associated with excessive alcohol intake (Gin Blossom).
How Is Rosacea Treated?
There are several things, which rosacea patients may do to help curb the progression of their condition. Things such as caffeine, spicy food, alcohol and sun-exposure tend to increase circulation to the central face and cause one to ‘flush’ or ‘blush’. Over time this contributes to the instability in the affected small blood vessels, and they become constantly dilated or enlarged, causing a ruddy or reddish complexion. Therefore, it is recommended that rosacea patients avoid excessive caffeine, spicy food, and alcohol ingestion. Patients should also wear a daily sunscreen with at least an SPF 15.
Patients seeking more help may visit a dermatologist. There are many topical prescriptions, which help to decrease rosacea flares and ‘breakouts’. For more advanced or inflamed cases, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, which works through its antiinflammatory properties.
How It the Redness Removed?
Until fairly recently patients had to live with their ruddy complexions because the topical medications primarily help with rosacea flares, and not with actual reversal of vessel damage. Intense Pulsed Light therapy targets dilated vessels, removing redness. Treatments are relatively quick and painless. Most patients describe the sensation as a gentle ‘snapping’. Some vessels are diminished immediately, while others fade over the next ten to fourteen days. The most common side effect is the temporary sensation similar to mild sunburn. Some patients may require only one treatment, while others with more extensive rosacea may require more.
What Else Can Intense Pulsed Light Do For Me?
Some Intense Pulsed Light systems are also equipped to treat sunspots or age spots. Frequently, sun-damaged skin has both brown marks and dilated red vessels similar to those seen in rosacea. A ‘photo facial’ is a combination therapy used to target both types of imperfections. It is a nice way to ‘turn back the clock’.
Some Intense Pulsed Light systems are also equipped to perform hair removal. The Intense Pulsed Light targets pigmented cells in the hair follicles, destroying them and resulting in a reduction in the number of growing hairs. While most hairs do not grow back, those that do are finer and lighter. Any area of the body except directly around the eyes may be treated for hair removal.
If you have concerns about rosacea or questions regarding rosacea or Intense Pulsed Light treatments, call to make an appointment with Dr. Hayre.