What is Rosacea, Why Does it Occur?
Rosacea is a long lasting, non-scarring skin condition of the face that is often misdiagnosed as adult acne. It varies in severity and does not always worsen with time. Typically, you will experience inappropriate flushing that is not usually associated with sweating and/or persistent facial redness. It is common to have broken blood vessels (telangiectasias) on your cheeks. You may also experience bouts of inflammation that cause red papules (small bumps) or pustules.
What are Symptoms of Rosacea?
- Persistently red nose and cheeks
- Bursts of redness on nose and cheeks
- Tiny, thread veins (telangiectases)
- Facial skin swelling
- Bumps that look like acne, but come and go (popular rosacea)
- Persistent yellowish bumps (Sebaceous hyperplasia)
- History of styes on eyelids
- Eyes feel itchy, dry, irritated, or as if something is stuck inside
- Eyes watery or bloodshot
- Overgrowth and remodeling of nose (strawberry nose)
What Causes Rosacea?
The cause is poorly understood. 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 Aggravates Rosacea?
- Exposure to weather – sun, cold, wind
- Spicy foods, hot drinks or food, cheese, chocolate and alcohol
- Medications (you should avoid drugs that expand your blood vessels, and topical steroids)
- Cosmetics (you should avoid greasy, drying, or perfumed products)
- Stress, anxiety, embarrassment and laughter
Effective Rosacea Treatments
The Vbeam® Perfecta Laser produces an intense but gentle burst of light that selectively destroys the blood vessels within the treated area, without damaging the surrounding tissue. Red veins respond better than blue veins and smaller vessels respond sooner than larger ones. While one treatment will produce some improvement, two to four treatments will probably be needed to achieve the best results. Treatments are usually performed four to six weeks apart.
Rosacea treatments are well tolerated and usually require no anesthesia. The feeling has been described as being snapped by a rubber band or as a slight stinging sensation. Following treatment the area may feel warm or sting slightly like a sunburn.
Improvement can usually be seen immediately. Immediately following the treatment however the area may appear red or bruised and possibly slightly swollen. Swelling usually resolves within hours while bruising or redness may last 7-14 days. Crusting can occasionally develop within the first few days and resolves within 7-14 days. As with many lasers, color changes (darkening or lightening of skin color) can rarely occur as can scarring (in less than 1% of cases.) Avoidance of aspirin, ibuprofen, and other similar pain medications for 1 week prior to Rosacea laser treatment will help reduce the risks of some of these side effects.
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