Rosacea Causes and Treatment
Rosacea is a common condition that causes redness of the face, spider vessels (telangiectasia) flushing, and sometimes acne like spots.
Rosacea is still not fully understood, and there is no simple test for it.
It is more common in women and caucasians, often runs in families, and many probably suffer from minor forms of it un-knowingly.
It often starts in early adult life but can worsen around menopause.
There appear to be several distinct forms, with some suffering mainly from redness and flushing, others from acne like spots.
It generally affects the middle of the face – the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. It can rarely affect the eyes causing red irritated eyelids and dry irritated eyes.
Rosacea and simply flushing must not be confused with other conditions causing redness of the face.
Signs and symptoms of rosacea may include:
- Facial redness. Rosacea usually causes a persistent redness in the central part of the face.
- Swollen red bumps. Many people who have rosacea develop pimples on their face that resemble acne. These bumps sometimes contain pus. Your skin may feel hot and tender.
- Eye problems. About half of the people who have rosacea also experience eye dryness, irritation and swollen, reddened eyelids.
- Enlarged nose. Sometimes the nose can become enlarged and thickened – termed “rhinophyma” – although this variant primarily affects men.
What aggravates rosacea?
Commonly sufferers find that certain things aggravate their condition or precipitate a flushing episode. Common aggravating factors include alcohol, heat, exercise, hot drinks, spicy food, and emotions.
Does alcohol cause face redness and rhinophyma?
Although alcohol is often said to be the cause of these conditions (the so called “drinker’s nose”) this is generally untrue.
Alcohol can cause flushing and redness in some rosacea sufferers – and maybe needs to be limited in those that find it to be a strong factor in their flushing.
How is Rosacea treated?
There are several treatments for Rosacea, and they need to be tailored to the individual. Most sufferers find they have very sensitive skins, so strong topical treatments are often too irritating.
Antibiotic creams and/or low dose antibiotic tablets (as used for teenage acne) can be very effective, mainly for the acne like lesions.
Recent research has shown that many sufferers have an overgrowth or sensitivity to skin mite (Demodex) and there is now a prescription cream that specifically targets this which can be very beneficial.
If you or a family member are suffering from Rosacea, please call us today on (07) 5539 4000 and we’ll organise a treatment plan personalised for you.
IPL as a treatment for Rosacea
I have found over many years that one of the best treatments for Rosacea is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL).
This is often combined with other therapies. IPL uses targeted light treatment to shrink or reduce the enlarged blood vessels that cause the spider vessels, redness and flushing.
Often 2-6 treatments are performed at 2-4 weekly intervals, generally with little to no downtime.
IPL must be performed strong enough to have a real effect and can be repeated as often as is wanted.
At each treatment the wavelength of the light used can be changed, which allows us to treat vessels at different depths in the skin.
I have found that IPL often reduces redness and flushing by at least 50%, often considerably more, and gives a long term benefit, often over many years.
We often treat the entire face with the first treatment as IPL is so beneficial for the skin, then target just the redness with subsequent treatments.
Most will notice an improvement after every treatment.
After IPL there is often a feeling of heat and some redness – a bit like sunburn.
Some patients have swelling which is generally mild but can rarely be significant.
All redness and swelling is generally gone in 2-4 days.
Freckles and pigment spots will darken for 7 days before lightening. Make up can be applied generally the next day.
How much does IPL cost?
Because Envisage is a medical clinic, there is often a Medicare rebate for Rosacea treatments where the condition is significant.
Cost does depend on the size of the area treated.
An initial treatment of the whole face would have a gap payment of approximately $290, subsequent treatments would usually be largely covered by the Medicare rebate.
All consultations are bulk billed, so there is no cost to come and find out what your treatment options are.
- UV exposure
- Hot environments/ cold environments
- Some medications
- Physical irritation
- Cosmetic/ sunscreen products
- Spicy foods
- Alcoholic beverages
- Stress/ anxiety
“Before and after pictures – Envisage Clinic patients, all after a single treatment. Individual results may vary”
Envisage Clinic offers the following treatments for Rosacea Blushing, Redness & Flushing
Dr Christopher Leat – Medical Director Envisage Skin Clinic Founder and Director.
Dr Christopher Leat has 33 years’ experience in Medicine and is a member of The Royal College of Physicians of London. Dr Leat has devoted the last 18 years to Cosmetic Medicine and is recognized throughout Australia as one of the most experienced doctors in the field of Cosmetic Medicine.