What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin disorder primarily of blood vessels affecting mainly cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. It can also be found to affect neck, chest or shoulders. Rosacea sufferers flush easily and develop redness, pimples, sore skin and thread veins on their cheeks nose and forehead. If left untreated it can sometimes result in a thickness of skin especially over the nose. Some common triggers for worsening of symptoms of rosacea are sun exposure, stress, hot water, wind, exercise and alcohol. It can interfere with day to day life and can cause anxiety, embarrassment and psychological problems.
What are different types and symtoms of Rosacea?
There are 4 different types of rosacea
Erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea- redness, flushing and broken blood vessels on skin.
Papulopustular Rosacea- spots and breakouts- mainly affecting the 'T' zone of the face.
Phymatous Rosacea- mainly affects nose with enlarged pores, thickened skin and bulbous appearance. You can watch a video of CO2 laser treatment of rhinophyma .
Ocular Rosacea- often goes unrecognised, symptoms are watery eyes, red eyes, burning, stinging, light sensitivity and grittiness.
What treatments are available?
Commonly prescribed treatments include antibiotic creams, oral antibiotics & azelaic acid etc. Unfortunately, these treatments may not be very effective and lot of patients give up having treatment and live with their rosacea.
What light based treatments are available?
We use Intense Pulsed Light to effectively treat redness and broken capillaries in rosacea. Lumenis IPL is perhaps the best form of laser and light therapy for rosacea sufferers. In addition to Lumenis IPL we have a number of different lasers including Pulse Dye Laser, Long wavelength diode laser and Nd-yag laser for treating rosacea. Well known lasers for rosacea treatment are V-beam and V-star lasers. These are types of pulsed dye lasers.
With repeated flare-ups fine new blood vessels develop and cause facial flushing, redness and soreness. These can be very effectively treated by IPL or lasers. LED is also a treatment option for some patients but this is mainly a maintenance procedure after a series of IPLor laser treatments.
Sun protection is very important. If unavoidable, use the maximum SPF factor cream that you can get hold of. Some patients find that acidic foods make their symptoms worse.
How does IPL and lasers work?
IPL and lasers have two important actions that help in Rosacea. Firstly blood vessels responsible for flushing and redness absorb the light energy, this heats them up and seals them, improving the appearance. Secondly the light energy stimulates new collagen growth, this improves the support and improves skin texture. A series of treatments are normally required for good results.