Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that involves abnormal functioning of your skin’s barrier, immune system, blood vessels, and nerves. Although rosacea most commonly appears in adults in their 3rd to 5th decade of life, some individuals may experience an earlier or later onset of symptoms. While rosacea may appear most noticeable in Caucasian patients, this condition can affect individuals with skin of color as well, and is in fact often underdiagnosed among these patients, due to findings that may be more difficult to discern in more richly pigmented skin.
Rosacea can be classified into 4 main subtypes, and it is possible for an individual to exhibit multiple subtypes concurrently. These subtypes include:
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Persistent redness on the central part of the face, often with discreet blood vessels that can be discerned amidst this redness. Flushing may occur, causing an individual to experience an itching, stinging, burning, sweating, hot, or tingling sensation on the face. In very advanced cases, the affected areas can appear almost swollen, and dark red to almost purple in color.
Papulopustular rosacea: Red bumps and pustules that can resemble acne will often appear on the central part of the face, superimposed on the aforementioned background redness.
Phymatous rosacea: Arises when chronic inflammation leads to fibrotic changes in the skin, overactivation of oil glands, and marked overgrowth of tissue that imparts the affected areas with anything ranging from a cobblestone or orange peel appearance to frank tissue distortion and disfigurement. The most common presentation of phymatous rosacea is known as rhinophyma, which affects the nose. Although rarer than rhinophyma, phymatous rosacea can also lead to distortion of the ears (otophyma), chin (gnathophyma), forehead (metophyma), and/or eyelids (blepharophyma).
Ocular rosacea: Rosacea of the eyes that causes one to experience a dryness, grittiness, tearing, and itching, as well as inflamed appearing eyes.
What are some treatment options for rosacea?
Depending on how your rosacea presents, your current state of health and past medical history, and your personal preferences, treatment options can entail medical management, laser treatments, neuromodulator injections, a careful dermatologist-advised skincare regimen, or some combination of all of these.
What are some options for medically managing rosacea?
Depending on how your rosacea presents, as well as any associated symptoms that it is causing, its severity, your current health status and medications, and your personal preferences, there are various prescription-strength oral and topical medications that our board-certified dermatologists may recommend to gain rapid control of your rosacea in the short term, before transitioning to a more long term maintenance regimen. These medications may include:
Topical creams such as:
- Azelaic acid
- Sodium sulfacetamide
Oral medications such as:
- Systemic steroids
What are some laser treatment options for rosacea?
At Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, our board-certified dermatologists utilize the most advanced technology to treat both facial blood vessels that become more noticeable as a result of rosacea, as well as phymatous changes that cause distortion of the nose and other parts of the face. Facial blood vessels and ocular rosacea can be treated with intense pulsed light (IPL), pulsed dye lasers (PDL), or Nd:YAG lasers, whereas phymatous changes are treated with our fully ablative CO2 and erbium lasers.
Learn more about how IPL, PDL, and Nd:YAG lasers can be used to treat facial blood vessels here
Learn more about how fully ablative lasers can be used to correct rhinophyma and other phymatous changes of the face here
Is there a cure for rosacea?
While there unfortunately is no cure for rosacea, there are numerous ways that the appearance of the condition can be improved, as well as prevented from getting worse, with some combination of the interventions described above.
Why trust Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center to help get my rosacea under control?
At Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, our board-certified dermatologists are able to utilize the most advanced laser technology alongside the latest in medical advances, to bring about more superior results for your rosacea than any modality alone. While some other practices might offer vascular laser treatments, it is highly unlikely that the providers there possess the expertise, experience, and high-powered devices to make your treatments effective, while also complimenting these treatments with a carefully guided regimen of neuromodulators, prescription medications, and skin care recommendations. Furthermore, we are one of the few laser centers in the world that can treat all of the other manifestations of rosacea such as rhinophyma and enlarged oil glands in a single, highly effective treatment session. Our dermatologists can also continue seeing you on an ongoing basis for the long-term management of your rosacea so that you can not only experience continuity of care but also updated, customized treatments that evolve as your rosacea does.
Because rosacea tends to develop in older adults, many of whom have a significant history of sun exposure, skin cancer surveillance is of the utmost importance. It is very important to have your face examined by one of our board-certified dermatologists before having any kind of laser treatment to address your rosacea, as various forms of skin cancer – such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, sebaceous carcinoma, angiosarcoma, B-cell lymphoma, and others – have been observed to arise amidst the redness and fibrotic changes of rosacea, and can furthermore be difficult to discern.
Finally, our compassionate and experienced team of board-certified dermatologists understands how psychologically devastating rosacea can be for a patient. They also understand that rosacea, if not intervened upon in a timely manner, can cause significant, disfiguring changes to one’s appearance that can be difficult to reverse. You can be assured that when you trust our board-certified dermatologists to manage your rosacea, you are placing your care in the hands of knowledgeable, highly skilled, and experienced physicians who will approach your unique skin issues with a customized treatment plan that is tailored to restore your natural appearance, as well as your confidence in it.