Flushed skin is a normal response to emotional triggers such as embarrassment, stress, anxiety and anger. It is also normal to flush after exercise, hot showers or wine consumption. However, if flushing is frequent or severe, or if facial redness takes time to subside and leaves you with a persistent sunburnt look, diagnosis of Rosacea should be considered.
Facial rosiness is often considered a sign of healthy skin and general well being. Rosacea on the other hand is a medical skin condition that often requires treatment due to its negative impact on the sufferer.
In this article, we explain the top 5 things you need to know, what Rosacea is, what causes it and the various treatment options.
5 Things You Should Know
1. Rosacea is often misdiagnosed, therefore seeking advice from a skin expert is important.
2. It is known to be a chronic or life-long condition that worsens over time, however effective treatment can significantly improve and manage the condition.
3. Knowing what the various triggers are can assist to minimise flare-ups.
4. There are different types of Rosacea, we explain below.
5. With varying degrees of effectiveness, there are a range of treatment options, however we recommend IPL in most cases as the leading treatment for Rosacea.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a very common problem that affects millions of people around the world. It’s estimated that 13 million people in the USA, 6 million in Canada and 10 million in England suffer from Rosacea. It is a progressive vascular disorder of facial skin, occurring less often on the neck and upper chest, and occasionally affects eyes. It affects age groups from 20 to 70 years old. In its early stages, it starts with recurrent but transient intense flushing usually triggered by heat, exercise, alcohol, stress, excitement and others factors. As the problem worsens, the flushing tends to last longer and may occur without a trigger. The redness then becomes persistent and looks like a sun or wind burn. Skin tends to be dry and sensitive. Pimple-like lesions may appear. Skin can also become inflamed causing swelling and burning sensation.
There are several types of Rosacea;
- Erythematotelangiectatic - those who suffer from this type will experience flushing, persistent redness on the cheeks and visible blood vessels.
- Papulopustular – is also referred to as Acne Rosacea, this type will see sufferers with acne-like breakouts, redness and swelling.
- Phymatous – suffers will experience irregular skin thickening that affects the nose, men are more prone.
From one patient to another, Rosacea can vary substantially in symptoms and impact.
What Causes Rosacea?
Up until very recently, very little was known about the nature of the problem, its causes and consequently its treatment. In fact, it was and still is, mistakenly diagnosed as acne or dermatitis.
We now know that the problem concerns the blood vessels in the affected area. These vessels tend to be hypersensitive so that when exposed to a stimulus they dilate more than they should, resulting in intense flushing. With recurrent occurrences of this process, these vessels become structurally abnormal, they remain dilated and may leak, resulting in the persistent redness, swelling and occasionally pimples.
In the majority of Rosacea sufferers, this hypersensitivity is genetic.
For the minority, it may result from underlying medical problems such as hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) and SLE, an autoimmune disorder, chronic allergies and other rare medical disorders.
Avoid triggers and live with it! This is quite often what Rosacea sufferers are told when consulting their doctors.
Over the years, several oral and topical medications have been tried with variable success. These include oral antibiotics, oral anti-acne medication, some anti-hypersensitive medications, oral anti-inflammatory medications, oral antihistamines, and topical antibiotics. Some of these medications have been only partially effective at addressing one or more of Rosacea symptoms, rarely to the satisfaction of patients or doctors.
Surgical procedures in which sympathetic nerves to the facial skin mediating flushing are surgically severed, can be undertaken. It is a very effective treatment of flushing, but a very serious operation that should be considered as a last resort in debilitating flushing.
Various over the counter skin products have been tried and most can only provide very short lasting relief of symptoms.
IPL is able to treat blood vessels at different depths in the skin which is very important to achieve control over flushing.
IPL machines allow the operating doctor tremendous flexibility to vary the wavelength and treatment parameters used to suit the skin being treated. This cannot be achieved with laser equipment.
IPL treatments are associated with far fewer side effects and less pain than laser treatment.
Leading Treatment for Rosacea
The principal behind IPL treatment for Rosacea is that light is absorbed by blood inside abnormal blood vessels. Light is then converted to heat that will seal and destroy these abnormal vessels.
IPL was first approved for treatment of Rosacea in the United States in 1995 and since then has been very widely used with remarkable success. Unlike the treatments previously tried, IPL successfully controls ALL symptoms of Rosacea including flushing, persistent redness, broken capillaries, skin sensitivity and pimples. Because of the rejuvenating nature of the light, patients also gain the bonus of a significant improvement of skin texture and ageing signs. An average of 5 treatments is usually required, each taking 20-30 minutes. The procedure can be squeezed into a daily routine as no downtime is required. Although IPL does not cure the genetically-based hypersensitivity problem in the blood vessels, the control achieved with IPL treatment lasts 3-5 years or longer.
Before & After Photos
You can see before and after Rosacea treatment photos below. Please note that results will vary from patient to patient.
Before and After Acne Rosacea Treatment
If you suffer from facial redness, we recommend you consult a skin expert for a correct diagnosis. At Al Nour Clinic, we have 18 years of cosmetic medicine experience and are proud to be pioneers of IPL in WA. Our leading Quantum IPL was the first in WA. We have since performed thousands of successful treatments for Rosacea, sun damage, hyperpigmentation and hair reduction.
For the most advanced and personalised treatment for your facial redness, book a consultation with Perth's leading skin and cosmetic clinic, Al Nour. You can click below to book online now, or call our friendly team on (08) 9481 3366.