Rosacea is a chronic condition characterized by facial erythema (redness). Pimples are sometimes included as part of the definition. It is typically a harmless cosmetic condition. Treatment in the form of topical steroids can aggravate the condition.
It primarily affects Caucasians of mainly northwestern European descent, but can also affect people of other ethnicities. Rosacea affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women. It has a peak age of onset between 30 and 60.
Rosacea typically begins as redness on the central face across the cheeks, nose, or forehead, but can also less commonly affect the neck, chest, ears, and scalp. In some cases, additional symptoms, such as semi-permanent redness, telangiectasia (dilation of superficial blood vessels on the face), red domed papules (small bumps) and pustules, red gritty eyes, burning and stinging sensations, and in some advanced cases, a red lobulated nose (rhinophyma), may develop.
The first sign is often transient blushing and facial redness across the cheeks. Over time, the redness may increase in intensity, and become becoming more persistent and widespread, across the chin and forehead. Facial spider veins often develop. Some people have experience breakouts which resemble the red bump and pustule type of acne.
While there is no known cure for rosacea, various treatments can be effective in managing it. Often a combination of treatments is used. These can include individualized skin care, prescription topical treatment, and antibiotics.
Dermatological vascular laser (V-Beam) or IPL machines offer one of the best treatments for rosacea, in particular the erythema (redness) & flushing of the skin & help reduce breakouts. They use light to penetrate the epidermis to target the capillaries in the dermis layer of the skin. The light is absorbed by oxy-hemoglobin which heat up causing the capillary walls to heat up to 70 °C (158 °F), damaging them, and causing them to be absorbed by the body’s natural defense mechanism.
While one treatment will produce some improvement, two to four treatments will probably be needed to achieve the best results. Treatments are usually performed four weeks apart. Following treatment the area may feel warm or sting slightly like a sunburn.
Improvement can usually be seen immediately. Immediately following the treatment however the area may appear red or bruised and possibly slightly swollen. Swelling usually resolves within 1 – 4 days while bruising or redness may last 5-10 days.
Alpha-hydroxy acid peels may help relieve redness caused by irritation, and reduce papules and pustules associated with Rosacea. Because sunlight is a common trigger, avoiding excessive exposure to sun is widely recommended. Some people with rosacea benefit from daily use of a sunscreen; others opt for wearing hats with broad brims.
- Prescription medications, proper skin care, laser treatments and lifestyle modifications can make a real improvement in Rosacea. So be open to these approaches and stay positive! Remember you are not alone – many people suffer from this aggravating skin condition.
- Make a list of trigger factors which exacerbate the symptoms of rosacea. Common triggers include sun exposure, hot weather, emotional stress, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, hot baths & spicy foods. Try to minimize or reduce these triggers as much as possible. Use all prescription medications as directed. Some medications may take a month or more before results are visible, so stick with the program and report any unusual side effects immediately.
- Schedule a skin consultation to get information on proper products, topical antioxidants, and appropriate sun blocks.
- Use a mild gentle cleanser in the mornings and evenings. Generally, cleansers with fragrances, dyes, and perfumes irritate skin and should be avoided. Apply the cleanser to your facial skin with the fingertips, and using gentle circular and up and down motions to remove dirt, oil, and makeup. Tissue off cleanser and rinse. Do not use washcloths.
- Avoid harsh scrubs, toners and astringents. It is best to let an aesthetician properly exfoliate the skin in a customized facial for rosacea skin once a month.
- After cleansing, use a gentle moisturizer followed immediately by a physical sun block (a physical sun block contains Zinc, Titanium Dioxide, or Iron Oxides, or a combination of these. These ingredients reflect UV light and have anti-inflammatory properties).
- Avoid moisturizers and sunscreens with chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV light to protect the skin and often trigger redness and irritation in patients with rosacea.
- Use a mineral makeup to reduce inflammation and cover redness. Mineral make-up should be applied to hydrated skin for the best coverage.
Facial veins, which have many different names, are actually dilated blood vessels. They are usually found on the forehead, nose, cheeks, eyelids, neck, and upper chest. Visible veins are most commonly seen in fair-skinned women and usually appear in the fourth or fifth decade. Blood vessel dilation is due to weakening of the elastic fibers in the walls of the blood vessel. Although the exact mechanisms leading to blood vessel dilation are not understood, visible veins are associated with excessive sun exposure, normal aging, steroid use, liver disease, genetics, radiation therapy, and trauma. On the face, visible veins can range in size from the tip of a pencil to bigger than a pencil eraser. Visible veins may be even larger on sites other than the face.
Visible veins are often considered to be a cosmetic issue. However, they can be found in people with rosacea, liver disease, and more rarely, autoimmune disease. Hormonal changes can be associated with visible veins as well.
You don’t have to suffer from Rosacea or facial Veins – please call our clinic today for a consultation.