Rosacea is a chronic condition that usually affects the face and worsens if left untreated. 10% of us suffer from the symptoms of rosacea, particularly in women between 30 and 60 years of age. While rosacea is more common in women, it is often more severe when affecting men. It can be controlled to a degree with long-term treatment.
There are different patterns of rosacea and different patients may experience just one pattern or a combination of different patterns.
Type 1 rosacea
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea describes patients who are prone to flushing and the development of dilated facial blood vessels. This group of patients often describe very sensitive skin.
Type 2 rosacea
Papulopustular rosacea describes an acne-like eruption of red bumps and pustules.
Type 3 rosacea
Phymatous rosacea describes thickening and overgrowth of the thin mostly in older male sufferers and most commonly affecting the nose producing rhinophyma.
Type 4 rosacea
Ocular rosacea occurs when some patients may develop red gritty eyes. Whilst this may get better with some or the oral medications used by dermatologists assessment by an ophthalmologist may be required.
What Causes Rosacea?
The causes are not fully understood, but environmental factors, genetics and your immune system may all be involved. Stress, weather, certain foods and alcohol can aggravate rosacea, it can also be sensitive to the sun. For reasons unknown, certain foods including chocolates, bananas, avocado, spinach and pork can be pro-inflammatory.
Symptoms depend upon the pattern of patterns of rosacea present in a particular patient. Rosacea is a relapsing condition meaning there are times when the symptoms are more severe than others. Treatments may need to be used on and off over time or in some patients on a continual basis.
Laser treatment for visible blood vessels
Laser or intense pulsed light treatments will reduce the degree of redness and the appearance of dilated blood vessels in most patients. A series of treatments is required sometimes using a combination of laser / intense pulsed light systems to get the best overall results. If this is something you are considering, it is important to seek out medically trained laser specialists who offer these treatments. About 85% of patients who have these treatments improve. Ablative lasers can be used to remove the overgrown skin present in patients with rhinophyma.
A number of different prescribed medications in creams or gels may benefit patients with type 1 and type 2 rosacea. Your consultant will discuss these with you during your consultation.
Oral antibiotics are often very effective in the treatment of acne rosacea and may help in rhinophyma. A drug called isotretinoin is more commonly used in the treatment of common acne (acne vulgaris) but can be very helpful in patients with more severe patterns of rosacea. This drug can only be prescribed by specialist dermatologists.
Skin peels help rosacea by exfoliating the top layers of skin. This speeds up skin turnover and prevents pores from becoming clogged with dead skin cells, which can aggravate rosacea. Peels can also help reduce inflammation and promote skin healing.
If you have any concerns about the diagnosis or management of your skin condition, a dermatologist will offer you an expert opinion and guide you on the right treatment path.
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Why choose St. Michael's Clinic?
Here at St. Michael's Clinic, Shrewsbury's leading private skin and laser treatment clinic, our experts are specialists in all aspects of dermatology, skin cancer, anti-ageing and beauty treatments. We are able to offer NHS patients a consultant led dermatology service from our three sites in Shrewsbury, Much Wenlock and Donnington (Telford).
St. Michael's Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, ensuring the best level of treatment is provided to you in a safe environment. Our Clinical Lead Dr Stephen Murdoch is a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, the British Laser Medical Association and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. We are part of the Dermatology Partnership, a leading group of dermatology clinics, defined by clinical excellence and focusing on leading dermatological care.