A common chronic condition that many do not suspect
Rosacea is a common chronic condition that manifests primarily in the facial area – on the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. It is characterized by reddening of the skin caused by dilation of superficial blood vessels in the affected area.
Rosacea often begins with a tendency to flush or blush easily. Many people who are affected by it are not even aware of their condition. The first symptoms of the disease are episodic facial flushes similar to those from heat or sun. In cases where the condition progresses, the face looks permanently flushed or sunburned. Additional facial symptoms include the appearance of small red-colored bumps or pimples that resemble acne and sometimes cause a burning or stinging sensation. It is also common for the small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks to swell and become visible. Like any chronic condition, rosacea is characterized by periods of exacerbation and resolution of symptoms. If left untreated, rosacea can cause thickening and textural changes to the skin, primarily on and around the nose, as well as lead to permanently irritated, watery and dry eyes. Although less common, the disease affects the neck, chest, scalp or ears. Scientists are still searching for the cause of the appearance of rosacea in some patients, and so far there is still no definite answer to this question.
Why I have rosacea
Millions of people suffer from rosacea, regardless of skin type or color. It is more common in people from northern and western Europe with fair skin and blue eyes, and research suggests that the disease may be hereditary. Although it can occur at any age, this condition usually appears after the age of 30. The likelihood of having rosacea also increases if you have suffered from a severe form of acne.
How can I get cured of rosacea
To date, medicine has not discovered what causes rosacea and has not found a method to definitively cure this condition. At the same time, scientists have made important discoveries and thanks to them we have a multitude of means to control the condition and effectively influence the symptoms of rosacea.
What triggers my rosacea
It is very important to find out which factors trigger rosacea in you and actively avoid them. These can be exposure to intense sunlight or inhaling certain chemicals such as the aerosols in deodorants or hairspray. Other common triggers are sauna or exposure to intense heat, wind, cold, stress, exercise or use of alcohol or spicy foods. It is important to find out what causes your skin to redden and how long the rosacea flare-ups caused by the given triggering factor last.
Which type is my rosacea
There are different types of rosacea and each one requires a different approach to treatment. Although only your dermatologist can determine exactly what type your rosacea is and prescribe the appropriate treatment, there are four types of the disease, and symptoms of more than one type are often seen.
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is characterized by constant redness of the face. Small blood vessels under the surface of the skin may dilate and become visible; these symptoms often appear and then disappear. Without treatment, the redness can become more permanent, cover more skin and even become permanent.
Papulopustular rosacea (bumps and pimples)
Papulopustular rosacea is associated with whitehead pustules, which are pus-filled patches, and red, swollen bumps. They usually appear on the cheeks, chin and forehead and are often misidentified as acne. Facial flushing and redness may also occur. Severe papulopustular rosacea can cause up to 40 spots that can disappear for a long time. Spots may also appear on the scalp, neck or chest.
Phymatous rosacea (nasal growth)
Phymatous rosacea causes thickening and scarring of the skin that makes it uneven, swollen and sometimes discolored. This rare but treatable type most commonly affects the nose – resulting in what is sometimes called a bulbous nose or rhinophyma – and occurs more often in men than women.
Ocular rosacea (irritated eyes)
In ocular rosacea, symptoms affect the eyes, making them appear watery or bloodshot. There may be an associated burning sensation or irritation in the eyes. Ocular rosacea can cause permanently dry and sensitive eyes, and cysts may form on the eyelids. Ocular symptoms of rosacea may be more common than previously thought, as the link between skin symptoms and the eyes can be easily overlooked.
Whatever the type of your rosacea, you should take steps to treat its symptoms as early as possible. Over time, untreated manifestations of the disease become more frequent, worse and more difficult to treat.
Remedies for rosacea
For many people, the highly visible symptoms of rosacea affect their desire to socialise in public, especially in public places or at work. Although the disease cannot be cured permanently, its symptoms can be controlled with appropriate treatment. Determining the type or types of rosacea that are causing your symptoms is only one part of an overall diagnosis. It is equally important that you and your doctor find out which of your daily habits and routines may be contributing to your symptoms. The dermatologists at Skin Line will determine your type of rosacea and recommend the most appropriate treatment to improve the appearance and condition of your skin.
Topical treatment of rosacea
The dermatologists at Skin Line may recommend a combination of topical and oral medications at the beginning of treatment. These medications can relieve facial redness and inflammation and reduce the appearance of spots. Topical treatments, which are applied to the skin as a cream or gel, come in various combinations and may contain:
Topical antibiotics, such as metronidazole, to make your skin less puffy and red and reduce the number of spots.
Topical retinoids affect spots caused by clogged or inflamed pores, helping to clear them and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Azelaic acid affects redness and reduces the spots and whiteheads caused by rosacea.
Brimonidine is a prescription gel that reduces chronic facial redness, one of the most common and persistent symptoms of rosacea. It does this by temporarily constricting the blood vessels under the skin.
Oral medication for the treatment of rosacea
The dermatologists at Skin Line may recommend a combination of topical and oral medications to treat rosacea. Oral medications are taken by mouth and are especially helpful in treating people who have symptoms – such as spots or whiteheads – that are resistant to topical medications. Oral medications to treat rosacea may contain:
Antibiotics from the tetracycline class can have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Your doctor may recommend these oral antibiotics, in low doses to help clear your skin of the spots caused by the disease, as well as to reduce redness and swelling. Such low doses of tetracycline can be used for long-term treatment of rosacea without increasing the risk of developing antibiotic resistance.
Isotretinoin is a medication taken by mouth that can help reduce the number of pustules and papules that are caused by rosacea. Isotretinoin shrinks the oil-producing glands in the skin so that they produce less oil, thereby reducing the likelihood of pore blockage.
Laser treatments of rosacea
Laser therapies use highly focused, powerful light beams to relieve redness, reduce the size and appearance of superficial blood vessels, and reduce scarring. Lasers can also be used to reduce the thickened outer layers of skin that build up on the nose in rhinophyma, a condition associated with rosacea that causes bumps and swelling on the nose:
Nd:YAG laser with a wavelength of 1064nm to treat larger or deeper blood vessels on the face;
Lumenis Stellar M22 IPL – to treat superficial redness on the facial skin;
Lumenis Stellar M22 ResurFX 1550nm non-ablative laser for treating rosacea bumps and scars.
Which rosacea treatment method to choose
Each of the treatment methods listed has its application and purpose, and only your doctor can decide which is best for you. But in the world practice, laser treatment of rosacea has established itself thanks to its undeniable advantages:
Speed. Rosacea laser therapy for a full face lasts 20-30 minutes, shrinks blood vessels instantly and redness disappears;
Efficacy. In one treatment, you can expect between 50% and 75%, and in some cases up to 100% of your redness to disappear;
Durability. 3 to 4 laser treatments are enough to cure rosacea symptoms over a long period of time – 3 to 5 years.
Indispensability. Skin thickening in some types of rosacea can only be corrected with laser treatments.
Safety. Adverse effects of rosacea laser treatment are minimal and resolve within 1 to 14 days.
Harmlessness. Unlike topical or oral medications used to treat rosacea, laser therapies only affect the areas where the symptoms of the disease occur and do not harm the body.