What is Rosacea?
Rosacea (pronounced rose-ay-shah) is a common disorder of the facial
skin, estimated to occur in one in 20 Americans, approximately 13 million
people afflicting mostly fair-skinned individuals. The target areas for
symptoms include the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. Unusual and persisting
redness, bumps and pimples, tiny, spider like veins called telengiectasia
and potential hyperplasia characterizes rosacea. Hyperplasia is excess
tissue accumulation, usually on the nose.
Rosacea often affects members of the same
family because of similar complexions and genetic heritage or lifestyle
patterns. It appears to occur most often in fair-skinned individuals of
northern and eastern European descent, and may be especially prevalent in
those of Celtic, English, Scottish and Scandinavian heritage.
In the late stages of the disorder, Rosacea
brings the excess growth of tissue as inflamed bumps bridge across
progressively larger areas of the face. An early sign of this progressed
stage is fibroplasia, or enlarged pores. In rare cases, fibroplasia can
result in an "orange-peel" appearance on a complexion that may initially
have been exceptionally fine. Particularly in men, severe fibroplasia may
cause enlargement of the nose from excess tissue - known as rhinophyma - and
a lion-like facial appearance.
The eyes are also involved in up to 58
percent of patients. Eye findings in Rosacea range from minor to severe,
though the minor manifestations occur more often. Findings included
inflammation of the eye, swollen blood vessels, and small, hard bumps on the
eyelids. The eye may appear bloodshot. Nearly half feel as though there is a
foreign body or something gritty in their eye. They may also have a dry,
burning or stinging sensation they may attribute to a contact lens problem.
What Causes Rosacea?
Its cause is unknown, though there
are several theories. It has been postulated that the bacterium Helicobacter
pylori, which has also been implicated in duodenal ulcers, may play some
role. Study results are inconsistent, but it has been suggested that H.
pylon synthesizes the hormone gastrin, which may stimulate flushing.
The presence of a mite called Demodex
folliculorum, a normal inhabitant of human skin, has also been examined as a
potential contributing factor to Rosacea, but study results have been
If you suspect you may have Rosacea, it is essential to see a
skin care specialist for further evaluation. Rosacea is a chronic and often
progressive condition subject to remissions and flare-ups. Without
treatment, the symptoms tend to become increasingly more severe.
The first challenge for patients is to
realize that their skin condition is a recognized skin disorder that
responds to therapy - not just a complexion problem that will simply go
away, or an untreatable individual skin reaction. Therefore it is important
to understand that Rosacea is a controllable although not curable skin
condition. If left untreated, it will worsen. Early acceptance of the
possible necessity for a continuing therapy program is important, as the
stress that accompanies denial and disappointment can make the symptoms
The key to managing Rosacea is to consult a skin care specialist.
While it is not curable, Rosacea’s symptoms may be controlled and often
reversed with oral and/or topical antibiotic treatment in addition to a well
defined cleansing and moisturizing routine. Oral antibiotics are used in the
clinic's treatment routine only to bring the inflammation of Rosacea under
immediate control, and only in the most severe cases. Otherwise,
topical antibiotic therapy is recommended. Topical antibiotics, such as
Metrogel and Benzoyl Peroxide are used most commonly for Acne Rosacea
conditions. With continued use and in combination with other specific
topical solutions, these antibiotics reduce the symptoms and serves to keep
the condition in remission without the systemic side effects often found
with long-term oral antibiotic therapy: gastrointestinal upset, nausea and
vomiting, as well as photosensitivity and yeast infections.
Monthly clinical treatments are strongly
recommended to manage and monitor progress in Rosacea conditions. Treatments
are crucial to reducing redness, controlling breakouts, balancing skin type,
reducing pore size, re-texturizing skin surface and most importantly,
evaluating progress and skin response to home care routines. Monthly
treatments will generally include but are not limited to, enzyme and/or
glycolic therapy to address textural, pigmentation, congestion and
exfoliation needs. Deep pore cleansing for congested skin types, Hydration
and Vitamin/Oxygen therapy. Our oxygen therapy uniquely combines 87
vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to calm, sooth, and hydrate.
Oxygen is responsible for the health and
maintenance of every cell in the human body and can assist ultimately in
improving the strength of the skin's supporting structure. Collagen and
elastin fibers and the delicate vascular network of the skin are nourished
with high concentrations of moisturized, nutrient-based additives.
The Copper Vapor, and DioLitetm
lasers can be used to erase any traceable blood vessels effectively. The
short pulses ensure that only the blood vessels are targeted, thus reducing
or eliminating the chance of damage to surrounding facial tissue. DioLite
laser sessions are available at the clinic on a periodic basis. The pulse
dye laser is more effective for solid redness in the skin. Pulse dye lasers
disperse blood vessels over a larger surface area and will cause some
bruising around the treatment site.
Consult with your clinical esthetician on
what laser therapy would be right for you. Likewise, early treatment of
rhinophyma with the ultra pulse dye laser can help shrink the nose tissue,
and often prevents further development of the condition. A different type of
laser, the CO2 laser, which requires a local anesthetic, can be used as a
bloodless scalpel to effectively remove excess tissue and re-contour the
nose. See your clinical esthetician for recommendation and referral. Oxygen
therapy should be considered following any laser treatment. Post-laser
treatment will accelerate healing, reduce the discomforts and down-time
associated with laser treatment.
Naturally, nutrition is very important in maintaining the health of your
skin. Internal vitamin therapy provides benefits that diet may be lacking
and can also focus extra nutrients to address specific skin concerns such as
inflammation, broken capillaries, excess oiliness, dryness, etc. At a
minimum, daily vitamin intake should include a multi-vitamin, up to 2,000 mg
of Vitamin C and 80 mg of Zinc. Vitamin formulas should not contain any
added algae, kelp or seaweed extracts, iodide or sea salts. Consult with
your clinical aesthetician for other nutritional supplements that will
benefit your skin needs.
After seeking and beginning a daily treatment program, the patient's
next challenge in controlling Rosacea is to discover and avoid the
environmental, emotional, or lifestyle factors that act as that patient’s
personal Rosacea tripwires. While a vast variety of factors that can
precipitate an outbreak have been observed, identifying these factors is an
individual process, as what may cause a flare-up in one patient may not in
another. Possible triggers are:
- Liver, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Cheese
(except cottage cheese)
- Chocolate, Vanilla, Soy Sauce, Yeast
extract (bread is OK)
- Vinegar, Eggplant, Avocados, Spinach
- Broad-leaf beans and pods, including
Lima, Navy or pea.
- Citrus fruits, including tomatoes,
bananas, red plums, raisins or figs.
- Spicy and thermally hot foods
- Foods causing histamine reactions
- Alcohol, especially red wine, beer,
bourbon, gin, vodka or champagne
- Hot drinks, including hot cider, hot
chocolate, coffee or tea.
+ "Lift and Load" Jobs
- Heat, Humidity
- Hot baths or showers
- Simple Overheating
- Excessively warm environments
- Strong Winds
- Topical Steroids
- Frequent Flushing
- Chronic Cough
- Caffeine withdrawal syndrome
Home Care Products
- Some cosmetics and hair sprays,
especially those containing alcohol, witch hazel, or fragrances.
See comedogenic listing.
- Alcohol or acetone substances.
- Any substance that causes excessive
redness or burning.
- Fragrances & Dyes