Over 13 million North Americans suffer from rosacea or facial redness. It is a long lasting, non-scarring skin condition that evolves in stages. Rosacea is often misdiagnosed as adult acne and many sufferers mistakenly believe it fades with time. Left untreated, the effects of Rosacea worsen and become more visible.
Treatment of rosacea typically requires several avenues of care starting with sun protection. Sun damage decreases the integrity of the dermal connective tissue and allows for passive dialation of the blood vessels. For mild rosacea, topical therapy (Metrogel or Retin-A) and oral treatments are often used to reduce the flushing and inflammation. In the more severe cases of rosacea laser or Intense Pulsed Light source is recommended.
Our Palomar® StarLux multifunctional system can deliver optimal energy to the facial blood vessels destroying them. These optimal wavelengths of light clear vascular lesions by targeting the chromophores of the hemoglobin. These damaged lesions are then naturally cleared by the body, removing the appearance of the lesion from the skin. Vascular lesions blanch and then resolve within 10 to 14 days without bruising. Some patients have reported improved skin texture similar to Photorejuvenation as an additional benefit of this treatment.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a poorly understood, common skin disorder, characterized by facial redness, telangiectasia, and sometimes lesions that look like acne papules and pastules. In the early stages of rosacea recurrent episodes of blushing occur, becoming more persistent later as dark-red erythema (abnormal redness) with facial spider veins. Flushing is an essential part of the condition, so experts believe that there is a vascular cause or that blood vessels are a significant component to the cause of Rosacea.
What causes Rosacea?
It is not known for certain what causes rosacea. However, there are a number of prominent theories. The most common theory is that rosacea is caused or aggravated by a microscopic pest known as the demodex mite (domox fulliculoneum). Other theories include, gastrointestinal disease or possible lesions on the hypothalamus gland. However, none of these theories are proven. Recent research indicates that the cause of rosacea may involve a variety of possibilities, and that the factors causing rosacea can vary greatly from person to person.
What are the aggravating factors?
New data has identified certain factors that trigger symptoms associated with rosacea. Everyone has a natural response to inflammatory triggers which are considered not only normal but necessary. However, it has been determined that individuals with rosacea express abnormally high levels of a protein referred to as “catheliciden”. Cathelicidens assist in killing microbes and is also critical in signalling inflammatory responses. Production of abnormally high levels of catheliciden peptides appears to cause the skin to react as though there is inflammatory threat even though one may not be present. This may be an important factor as to why individuals with rosacea exhibit erythema and vascular dilation.
Other aggravating factors may include:
• Exposure to weather – sun, cold, wind
• Hot food, hot drinks, and alcohol
• Exercise (you should exercise in cool surroundings and avoid dehydration)
• Medications (you should avoid vasodilating drugs, that is, drugs that expand your blood vessels, and topical steroids)
• Cosmetics (you should avoid greasy, drying, or perfumed products)
Things to remember about Rosacea
• Rosacea is not curable
• Rosacea is treatable and can be controlled
• Rosacea is varied and complex
• Treatment requires dedication and perseverance
• Diet must be considered
• Broad-spectrum sunscreen is must!