Most people have very little knowledge of rosacea, treatment, symptoms or the cause. Knowing the symptoms and finding the treatment that works for you is the best defense against the social and psychological trauma.
The rosacea classic symptoms are patchy flushing (redness) and inflammation, particularly on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and around the mouth. Rosacea typically appears between the ages of 30 and 50 and affects more women than men. As symptoms emerge slowly, rosacea may initially be mistaken for sunburn, leading to a delay in proper rosacea treatment. Rosacea treatment delayed is ‘rosacea treatment denied’.
What Causes Rosacea?
Rosacea is a hereditary; chronic (long term) skin disorder that most often affects the nose, forehead, cheekbones, and chin. Groups of tiny microvessels (arterioles, capillaries, and venules) close to the surface of the skin become dilated, resulting in blotchy red areas with small papules (a small, red solid elevated inflammatory skin lesion without pus) and pustules (pus-filled inflammatory bumps).
The redness can come and go, but eventually it may become permanent. Furthermore, the skin tissue can swell and thicken and may be tender and sensitive to the touch. Pustules are ‘not’ pimples. Pimples have a bacterial component to their makeup and are also mainly localized in and around the hair follicles while papules are a raised solid red lesion without pus.
Although it may first appear as early as the teen years, rosacea symptoms most frequently begins when rosacea sufferers enter their 30s, 40s or 50s as a flushing or transient redness on the cheeks or nose, and in some cases the chin or forehead. In this earliest stage, some patients may report stinging or burning sensations, including the feeling of dry or tight skin.
Today’s treatments range from topical products and oral medications to treat the papules and pustules, to laser therapy for treating visible blood vessels on the face. Until recently, doctors have used creams and antibiotics to treat outbreaks of Rosacea. With advances in laser technology we now have the capability of significantly improving the redness and flushing caused by Rosacea.
At the Medical Cosmetic Center we use the latest and most effective lasers in treating Rosacea. The vascular structures which are responsible for causing Rosacea respond to the precise energy level and wavelength of light that is emitted via the laser. The small spot of laser light travels through the skin and is absorbed by the blood within these vessels.
The resulting heat coagulates or clots the blood and destroys the function of the vessel. Over time, the vessel is absorbed by the body and disappears from sight. This leads to reduction of the redness and flushing appearance of facial skin. Most patients respond to 3-5 treatments spread over several months, each given 3-4 weeks apart. Each treatment lasts 15-20 minutes and you can resume your daily activities immediately.