What is Rosacea?

The National Rosacea Society recently estimated that nearly 415 million people around the world live with Rosacea. This skin condition is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder that primarily affects the facial skin. It is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions, and Acne-like breakouts with gradual enlargement of the skin on the nose and cheeks. In some cases, rosacea can also occur on the eyelids, neck, chest, scalp, or ears. While there is no cure for rosacea, it can be improved with professional treatments and lifestyle changes.

What Causes Rosacea?

The root causes of rosacea are still unknown. However, certain people are more prone to developing it than others. It most often begins around 30 years of age or older, usually appearing in people who are fair-skinned, have blonde hair and blue eyes, are prone to acne, and have a family history of rosacea or severe acne. However, anyone, including children, can develop rosacea. It’s thought that rosacea can be caused by the immune system. For this reason, it can run it families and be inherited. It most often begins with an increase in flushing of the skin or blushing.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Rosacea can sometimes be controlled with lifestyle changes and certain skincare products. This can include avoiding triggers (common ones include sunlight, stress, and alcohol) and avoiding products that are too harsh. Additionally, rosacea can be controlled with certain professional-grade cosmetic treatments.

Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment

Pulsed dye lasers are the most effective lasers for treating rosacea. The laser light is absorbed by red blood cells, which destroys the lining of inflamed blood vessels, reducing redness in the skin. Most patients require a series of pulsed dye laser treatments to see optimal results. Following treatment, you may experience swelling, redness, and tenderness, though these side-effects will resolve with time.
Ideal candidates will have light, untanned skin. Those who have blood-clotting disorders, who scar easily, have insulin-dependent diabetes, or those who are pregnant should not receive this laser treatment. A consultation can help to determine if this treatment is right for you.

Topical Medications

Certain prescription medications can be effective at reducing the symptoms of rosacea, like swelling, lesions, and irritation. Brimonidine and oxymetazoline are both FDA-approved to reduce rosacea-induced redness with daily use. Additionally, azelaic acid and metronidazole can reduce acne-like breakouts that accompany rosacea and can also be used daily.
If you opt to use retinoids in your skincare regimen, you should consult with Dr. Diggs. These can irritate rosacea if you have an active flare-up, but can help prevent flare-ups when used once it’s under control.

Schedule a Consultation

Rosacea can be extremely difficult to live with and cause low self-confidence in many patients. However, it doesn’t have to define your skin. With the help of a board certified dermatologist, you can understand your skin and help prevent flare-ups. If you are interested in learning more about rosacea treatments, contact Dr. Shauna Diggs office today to schedule a consultation.