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Rosacea

Rosacea

 

The original name of rosacea was acne rosacea because of its uncommon stage involving skin pustules similar to common acne.  The disease actually evolves in stages.  The early signs of rosacea are recurrent episodes of blushing that finally become persistent in dark-red erythema (abnormal redness) with facial spider veins.  Patients with this problem are typically called “flushers and blushers”.  Rosacea is common in the 20’s and 30’s and peaks between the ages of 40 to 50.  In the worst cases, disfiguring swelling and redness, particularly of the nose (rhinophyma), may develop after many years.  Rosacea is a fairly common disease, especially in fair-skinned people of Celtic or Northern 
European heritage.  Although women are more affected than men in the earlier stages by a ratio of 3 to 1, men develop the swelling tissue more frequently.  Contributing factors include a genetic disposition, gastrointestinal disturbances and bacteria; however, rosacea is always associated with sun exposure, so protection of the skin is important.

 

Rosacea patients often experience increased redness on the central face, less often on the neck and on the V-shaped area of the chest.  These patients frequently blush which is caused by numerous reasons including ultraviolet radiation, heat, cold, exercise, chemical irritation, strong emotions, alcoholic beverages, hot drinks, and spices.  Eventually, the flushing and blushing lead to permanent redness.

 

Treatment of rosacea typically requires several avenues of care.  Protection against sunlight is foremost; however, many patients do well on topical medication such as Metrogel or Retin-A.  More severe disease requires treatment with topical and oral antibiotics.  However, to resolve the redness, flushing, and facial spider veins common with rosacea, treatment with Intense Pulsed Light source is the only answer.  Prior to the development of the Intense Pulsed Light system, treatment by lasers caused significant bruising on the patient’s face.  Results were gradual, but fairly consistent.  The Intense Pulsed Light system can deliver energy to the facial blood vessels without causing bruising, resulting in resolution of these blood vessels.  More importantly, the persistent flushing and blushing can now be significantly reduced with Intense Pulsed Light treatments. Patients can experience periods of minimal to no flushing even when having an alcoholic beverage or a hot drink.  Also, a beneficial effect associated with treatment of the flushing, patients have experienced improved texture of the skin.  If you have any questions regarding our treatment of Rosacea, please contact our office and schedule an appointment for an evaluation.

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