So what is rosacea?
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that occurs mainly on the face and is often mistaken for acne, eczema, or a skin allergy. It is one of the most common conditions treated by dermatologists. An estimated 14 million Americans suffer from it, but we still do not completely understand what exactly causes rosacea.
Symptoms of rosacea include:
- Frequent blushing or flushing
- Persistent redness of the skin
- Small red solid bumps
- Pus-filled pimples
- Small blood vessels visible beneath the skin
- Sensations of burning, stinging, tightness or itchiness
- Thick bumpy skin on the nose
- Eye irritation
- Dry rough skin on center of the face
Treatment Options for Rosacea
There is no cure for rosacea, but it can be controlled using both topical and oral medications. These medications are ususally not effective in treating the facial flusing and redness. Fortunately, laser and light devices are able to address those embarassing symptoms.
How do lasers work?
Lasers are effective in removing visible blood vessels and persistent facial redness. Wavelengths of powerful light are used to destroy targeted blood vessels relatively painlessly. The build-up of heat burns and seals the blood vessel walls, while ensuring that the surrounding tissue is not harmed. While the visible blood vessels disappear almost immediately, new blood vessels can appear in the future. Also, between 2-4 treatments may be necessary to achieve best results. These treatments can be spaced 3-4 weeks apart.
While there are a variety of different types of lasers, only a few are ideal for treating blood vessels and redness. It's improtant that you see a board certified dermatologist with expertise is laser treatments in all skin types, to ensure the best results, and reduce the risk of unwanted side effects such as burning and discoloration of the skin.
IS IPL the same as laser?
An alternative to laser treatments is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). IPL therapy is different from lasers in that, instead of using one laser focusing in on your skin, several wavelengths of light are used. IPL is very effective in treating rosacea. It helps to eliminate visible blood vessels, reduces flushing, dramatically decreases or completely removes redness and, overall, improves skin texture. Repeat treatments are usually required for maintaining the improved appearance of the skin.
What are the benefits of lasers for rosacea?
Major benefits of laser and IPL for rosacea are that the treatments are pretty quick, usually lasting less than 20 minutes, and you can return to your normal activities the same day.
Is laser right for me?
To get the best results, communication between you and your dermatologist is key. If a laser or light treatment is for you, it’s important for your dermatologist to know:
- If you have any other medical conditions, like if you get cold sores from time to time
- Any medications you take, like aspirin or blood thinners
- If your skin bruises easily, or if you are sensitive to light
- Any other treatments you've tried in the past
If you're wondering if laser treatments can help restore a healthy even glow to your skin, contact Eternal Dermatology for a consultation.