Rosacea is a common but poorly understood chronic (long-term) skin condition that mainly affects the face. Symptoms begin with episodes of flushing (when the skin turns red).
People with rosacea may experience spots and persistent redness of their skin. Small blood vessels in the skin can become visible. In the most severe cases, the skin can thicken and enlarge, usually on and around the nose.
There is no cure for rosacea, but treatments are available to control the symptoms.
Rosacea most commonly affects fair-skinned people from northern Europe and is estimated to affect up to 1 in 10 people.
Rosacea affects twice as many women as men, although it is usually more serious in men. The symptoms usually begin between the ages of 30 and 50.
Treatment for rosacea
Rosacea treatment may take many forms from prevention to direct action. Sadly many people suffer unnecessarily for years. In early stages sufferers are often unaware that the problem is treatable, and may not seek help until the symptoms are pronounced and personally distressing. Fortunately modern techniques such as IPL® can reverse much of the damage caused by excessive blood flow, whilst knowledge of triggers can control the condition over time. IPL® is gaining more and more professional weight as a very effective mainstream rosacea treatment.
Many people use both topical and oral antibiotics which may be effective in treating the mild cases of rosacea. In more severe cases anti-biotics such as Metronidazole are prescribed to help decrease spot formation. However, it is only minimally effective on facial redness and rarely affects the broken blood vessels or flushing aspects of rosacea which is the main concern of our clients with rosacea.
In order to be effective, antibiotic treatment must be sustained. Whilst being treated, personal triggers must continue to be avoided.
Common triggers include:
Extreme Hot & Cold Weather
Excessively Greasy Food
Oral and topical antibiotic therapy with the avoidance of all triggers is not a very satisfying strategy! IPL® is effective at removing the structurally damaged blood vessels and diminishes the constant facial redness. This effectively treats more extensive areas of the face with less pain and greater speed than the older laser methods.
Because the skin clinicians at SkinFirst have had thorough and specific training and plenty of experience in treating rosacea sufferers, and because our machines are more advanced and suitable than most other machines on the market for this type of treatment, we are able to achieve excellent clearance of broken blood vessels and chronic facial redness, as well as significantly decrease the intensity and duration of the facial flush. It is well understood that IPL® targets the red haemoglobin in the offending blood vessels of rosacea sufferers. What is less well understood is that the vessels should sometimes be targeted on different levels (using variable wavelengths) of the skin. Our technology facilitates this whereas many other machines have only one suitable setting for rosacea. So we will take into account:
Depth of targeted blood vessels
Area and location of vessels
Pulse frequency and energy appropriate to target different vessel types
Understanding of the different impact of surface vessels vs feeder vessels
Consideration of these factors and an overall understanding of the underlying condition ensures a successful outcome to this distressing condition.
What does the treatment involve?
You will be asked to keep your face as pale as possible by avoiding sun exposure before and during your course of treatment. At your first visit you can discuss the pros and cons of treatment and a patch test can be performed to check the reaction of your skin. On the first treatment the whole of the affected area will be treated, except in men where the beard area is avoided. There is a feeling of heat during the treatment and your face will be redder for a short while afterwards. We will cool your skin if it does feel warm afterwards, and we can apply complimentary mineral make-up or you can relax in our clinic until the redness subsides. A course of 4-6 treatments at 4 week intervals produces the best benefit. Improvement may continue for many weeks after the course has finished. Rosacea is a relapsing condition and this treatment can drastically improve the appearance but does not cure the underlying condition of rosacea longer term, so you will need to come back occasionally for maintenance sessions.
How does it work?
It is believed that IPL® has two actions that help in rosacea. Firstly, red thread veins absorb the light energy, which heats them. This damage encourages the body to reabsorb them, improving appearance. Secondly, the light energy warms the collagen fibres in the skin. This stimulates new collagen and collagen remodelling. This improves the support of the small blood vessels which helps to delay the development of more thread veins and unwanted redness.