Rosacea is an extremely common condition affecting over 5% of the US population. Rosacea is characterized by flushing and blushing due to the appearance of veins in sun-exposed areas of the face, often accompanies by pimples, and most commonly by a generalized redness. Rosacea most commonly affects light-skinned people beginning in their late 20 to 30s, although it can appear for the first time earlier or later, depending upon one’s genetic pre-disposition to make facial veins in response to sunlight, and the amount of sun-exposure a person receives throughout their lifetime. The cause of rosacea is sun-exposure in folks who are genetically pre-disposed to develop EXTRA facial veins in response to sunlight. These extra veins fill up more rapidly than normal facial veins, so people with rosacea flush and blush very easily in response to many stimuli such as: hot and cold, exercise, alcohol consumption, hot drinks…basically, LIFE.
The sun is THE CAUSE of the extra veins, and this fact is obvious when looking at the distribution of facial veins in folks with rosacea-they appear in sun-exposed areas, and the more sun-exposed an area generally is (like the nose), the more veins will occur in that area. People with rosacea may have flushing and redness only, or develop pimples which can often become severe. The flushing people with rosacea experience is usually in response to stimuli such as hot and cold, hot beverages like coffee or tea, wine or other alcohol-containing beverages, exercise, and other stimuli. Some doctors will recommend avoiding all these things, which is pretty much impossible. Removing these extra veins with lasers is really the only treatment that addresses the vascular component of rosacea in a permanent way.
The areas affected by rosacea most often are the cheeks, nose, chin, and central forehead. Rosacea can also rarely affect the eyes, causing stinging and irritation. Treatment of the pimple component of rosacea requires topical medications such as adapalene and metronidazole, and sometimes oral antibiotics such as doxycycline. The vascular lasers can do wonders to improve rosacea by removing the large spider veins and generalized redness associated with this condition. Generally a series of 2-4 treatments are required to dramatically improve rosacea, although most people see a significant improvement after only a single treatment. Studies have shown that laser treatment can even help reduce the bumps and pimples associated with rosacea, in addition to dramatically reducing the redness and flushing that characterize rosacea.
Another good resource on this topic is The Patient’s Guide to Rosacea, this website is a patient resource regarding rosacea, treatment options, cost, and provides a list of pre-qualified providers nationwide. Go to this site. You can also find additional information at The Rosacea Society website.
To answer your specific questions or schedule a consultation, call Dr. Bernstein today at 610-645-5551.
Dr. Bernstein was the FIRST physician in the WORLD to get the Candela V-Beam/Perfecta laser and has published extensively on its use for the treatment of rosacea, spider veins, port-wine stains, scars, and facial rejuvenation.
For most of us the sun exposure we get every day comes from riding in our cars. While dangerous, cancer-causing UVB, UVA light (the kind responsible for wrinkles) comes right through, damaging our skin. Window film is now available which blocks this harmful light.
I have it on my car, my home windows and at my office. It’s great and it cuts down on glare!