What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common, chronic skin condition. Typically, it often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. It is common to have broken blood vessels (telangiectasias) on your nose, cheeks, forehead and chin . You may also experience small red bumps or pustules due to the inflammatory nature of rosacea.
What are the different types or categories of rosacea?
There are 4 main subtypes of the disease: erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular rosacea.
- Erythematotelangiectati c rosacea – Presents with persistent redness of the central portion of the face with intermittent flushing. Broken blood vessels can also be noticed, and stinging or burning sensations on the skin can also be felt. This is the most common subtype.
- Papulopustular rosacea – Acne-like bumps along with redness and swelling of the central face.
- Phymatous rosacea – Thickening of the skin resulting in an enlarged, cobblestoned appearance of the nose (rhinophyma).
- Ocular rosacea – Dry, irritated, itchy eyes are noticed.
What causes rosacea?
The cause of rosacea is poorly understood, however, there are certain triggers that aggravate rosacea and should be avoided (eg, hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, and exposure to extreme temperatures – sun, cold or wind). Appropriate use of broad-spectrum sunscreens and sun avoidance are also very important to prevent flare-ups.
How can rosacea be treated?
Topical and oral medications are effective in the treatment of the small red bumps of rosacea, but they are not effective for the redness/flushing and broken blood vessels. The Pulsed Dye Laser (hyperlink to our cosmetic page on V-beam/PDL laser) or PDL is the gold standard for treatment of facial redness and superficial blood vessels. The laser specially targets hemoglobin, the major component of red blood cells. This in turn causes the blood vessel to collapse and fade naturally with time. While one treatment will produce some improvement, four to sex treatments will probably be needed to achieve the best results. Treatments are usually performed four weeks apart. Rosacea treatments are well tolerated with very mild discomfort and require no anesthesia. Although you may see some redness and swelling post-laser treatment, there is typically no associated down time.