Rosacea generally develops gradually, but can be a very difficult and embarrassing condition for the patient which can leave them looking red and flushed all day long.
As well as coloured and flushed, rosacea can also be itchy or painful and develop spots which can become inflamed. In addition, the veins and capillaries may become larger and more visible, appearing to be nearer the surface of the skin.
Rosacea tends to be aggravated by spicy food, coffee or alcohol. In addition, warm weather, physical exertion or sun exposure which would normally cause anyone to be a little pinker can make the flushing more severe for rosacea sufferers.
Rosacea is a difficult problem to treat with conventional medications, and usually when someone comes to see us they have already tried a variety of treatments to no avail. Our Gemini laser offers good results with lessening of redness and flushing and improvement in red veins that occurs over a series of treatments.
Rosacea is typically quite a difficult problem to treat. GPs may try topical treatments to deal with symptoms such as inflammation, but this does not tackle the root cause.
However, rosacea does respond well to IPL facial laser treatment. IPL works to reduce expanded veins and capillaries, promote healing of the skin and inflammation and stimulate cell renewal. Treatment can result in a dramatically clearer skin.
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown. Triggers that cause episodes of flushing and blushing play a part in the development of rosacea. Exposure to temperature extremes, strenuous exercise, heat from sunlight, severe sunburn, stress, anxiety, cold wind, and moving to a warm or hot environment from a cold one such as heated shops and offices during the winter can each cause the face to become flushed. Certain foods and drinks can also trigger flushing such as alcohol, foods and beverages containing caffeine (especially, hot tea and coffee), foods high in histamines, and spicy food.
Medications and topical irritants have also been known to trigger rosacea flares. Some acne and wrinkle treatments that have been reported to cause rosacea including microdermabrasion and chemical peels, as well as high dosages of isotretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, and tretinoin. Steroid induced rosacea is the term given to rosacea caused by the use of topical or nasal steroids (steroid rosacea). These steroids are often prescribed for seborrheic dermatitis. Dosage should be slowly decreased and not immediately stopped to avoid a flare up.
Variants of Rosacea include:
Pyoderma faciale also known as rosacea fulminans is a conglobate, nodular disease springing up abruptly on the face.
Rosacea conglobata is a severe rosacea that shows a reaction that mimics acne conglobata with hemorrhagic nodular abscesses and indurated plaques.
Phymatous rosacea is a cutaneous condition characterized by overgrowth of sebaceous glands. Phyma is the Greek word for swelling, mass, or bulb, and these can occur in various areas of the face and ears in associated with rosacea.
Treatments for Rosacea
Treating rosacea varies depending on severity and subtypes. A subtype-directed approach to treating rosacea patients is recommended to dermatologists. Mild cases are often not treated at all, or are simply covered up with normal cosmetics and skin treatments.
Therapy for the treatment of rosacea is not curative, and is best measured in terms of reduction in the amount of facial redness and inflammatory lesions, decrease in the number, duration, and intensity of flares, and concomitant symptoms of itching, burning, and tenderness. The two primary modalities of rosacea treatment are topical and oral antibiotic agents. Laser therapy has also been classified as a form of treatment. While medications often produce a temporary remission of redness within a few weeks, the redness typically returns shortly after treatment is suspended. Long-term treatment, usually one to two years, may result in permanent control of the condition for some patients. Lifelong treatment can often be necessary, although some cases resolve after a while and go into a permanent remission.