Evolutions Medical Spa Santa Barbara hosts events to educate clients and guests on select topics. The Evolutions Educational Event held this past Wednesday was titled “From Red to Ready” and addressed how it is possible to get rid of acne and rosacea! Since so much information was offered, this post is dedicated to rosacea. Click here to view the post that recapped the acne presentation.
Rosacea is not acne. It is a skin condition that produces facial redness and blemishes, similar to acne. How do we know the difference between acne and rosacea? Rosacea has no underlying bacterial growth, whereas acne does. Like acne, there is no “cure” but there are ways to maintain rosacea.
Facts About Rosacea
- Rosacea is a common skin disorder affecting over 13 million Americans
- You can be genetically predisposed towards Rosacea and it usually affects fair-skinned people
- There are four stages/subtypes of Rosacea
- Rosacea typcially starts with people in their 20s and 30s at “Stage 1” – redness in the cheeks – and peaks a person’s 40s or 50s
- Rosacea develops slowly over the years
- Women are affected 3 to 1 versus men
- Rosacea can be characterized by flare-ups and remissions and also can be “triggered” (triggers discussed later in the post)
Stages/Subtypes of Rosacea
- Facial Redness: flushing and persistent redness; visible blood vessels may also appear
- Bumps and Pimples: persist ant facial redness with bumps or pimples, often seen following subtype 1
- Skin Thickening: Skin thickening and enlargement, usually around the nose (Dr. Perkins showed pictures of W.C. Fields as an example of thickening around the nose)
- Eye Irritation: Watery or bloodshot appearance, irritation, burning or stinging
Causes of Rosacea
Exact cause(s) are unknown, but there are several theories:
- Factors related to blood flow
- Skin bacteria
- Microscopic skin mites
- Irritation of hair follicles
- Sun damage of connective tissue
- Abnormal immune / inflammatory response
- Emotional influence
- Physical exertion
- Temperature-related activity
- Food and Beverages
- Medications and Topical Skin Care Products
Treatment and Management of Rosacea
As mentioned earlier, there is no “cure” for Rosacea but there are ways to manage the condition such as:
- Avoid trigger factors
- Gentle skin cleansing
- Therapeutic home care: Dr. Perkins recommends the Obagi Rosaclear System that is the first, and only, complete system to effectively meet the needs of rosacea patients (the Rosaclear System is available at Evolutions)
- Sun protection
- FotoFacial RF: the safest and most effective intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy treatment today, the FotoFacial improves skin texture and appearance through reducing redness in Rosacea. At Evolutions, we have seen clients who have been through a series of FotoFacial treatments where the Rosacea has almost completely gone away.
- Laser Genesis Skin Therapy: often referred to as a “laser facial”, the Laser Genesis stimulates collagen growth and reduces redness by gently heating the upper dermis, another tool to use against Rosacea. Dr. Perkins highly recommends a FotoFacial / Laser Genesis combination to effectively put Rosacea into remission.
- Antibiotics: tetracycline antibiotics can help quiet Rosacea.
- Surgery: this can be done to tackle the skin thickening that sometimes occurs in later stage patients. Usually the thickening is around the nose and surgery will peel back the layers to bring the nose back to more of it’s original form.