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April – National Rosacea Month

April – National Rosacea Month

Rosacea affects more than 400 million people worldwide and over 16 million Americans!

So, what is ‘rosacea’ anyways?  Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects adults and is typically seen on the central facial areas.  It is characterized by persistent flushing redness, visible blood vessels (telangiectasias), inflammatory acne like pimples.  In some cases, it may involve the conjunctiva of the eye (ocular rosacea).

Although rosacea may involve anyone, it is more common in middle aged women with fair skin and light features and most often from Scandinavian or northern European descent.  Clinical research reveals that there is a 20 – 40% familial or inherited component in rosacea in addition to certain trigger factors that can influence the frequency and severity of the symptoms. 

Psychological Profile

Although rosacea is not typically harmful and is not contagious, it can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life.  The psychosocial impact can involve anxiety, embarrassment, low self-esteem in addition to affecting a patient’s work and dating or personal relationships.

Causes of Rosacea

There are multiple theories regarding the complex causes of rosacea in addition to the genetic or inherited tendencies and subsequently effective treatment.  Most of the latest research on its pathophysiology identify several possibilities including blood vessel disease or inflammation, nerve or neurovascular sensitivities, autoimmune disorders or excessive reactivity of a patient’s immune system, and finally some studies have implicated a microscopic organism that is prevalent in the skin called the Demodex mite.

Proven Options to Reduce Rosacea 

Because of the genetic or inherited component of rosacea, permanent elimination is not likely, but there are several effective and proven treatment options:

 –  Trigger avoidance – rosacea has been clinically linked to smoking, sun exposure (UV light damage), cosmetics and heavy makeup, cosmetic fragrances, certain soaps, spicy foods, excessive alcohol and stress.  Becoming informed and being aware of these triggers can be helpful.  New options in medical grade makeup that reduces inflammation and calms the skin are now available and have proven efficacy.

 –  Photo protection – using a medical grade sunscreen that does not contain fragrances and other additives that can trigger inflammation is extremely important.  The UV component in sunlight is inflammatory and will thin the skin and blood vessels resulting in premature aging and more visible and inflamed vessels.  

Treatment 

It should be emphasized that any patient with severe manifestations or uncontrolled rosacea should seek the evaluation of a board-certified dermatologist.  In addition to the traditional medical management of rosacea, there are now several exciting and clinically proven new options that offer improved outcomes for the rosacea sufferer.

Comprehensive Medical Skincare for Rosacea at evolv

At evolv Medical Aesthetics, we believe in the power of restoring balanced and optimal skin health as the most effective therapy for achieving beautiful and youthful skin.  Treating and controlling chronic inflammation is one of the fundamental steps in our skin health programs and is especially beneficial for the rosacea patient as inflammation is the most influential and universal trigger in all forms of rosacea.

This comprehensive approach will involve 3 essential steps:

  1) Restore Skin Health: Get control of the inflammatory lesions with a ‘cleanse/scrub/oil control’ ZO Skin Health protocol to gently remove inflammatory oil, bacteria and debris that are triggers in inflammation.  Also essential is a topical antioxidant and Vitamin A (retinoids) that neutralize inflammatory mediators and restore a healthy barrier function.  Finally, protecting the rosacea prone skin is paramount and involves non-occlusive medical grade sunscreen with broad spectrum protection.

2) Light Therapy: visible blood vessels and redness can be dramatically improved by broad band light or BBL.  This proprietary technology is not a laser but a high intensity therapeutic light that coagulates the larger vessels and reduces excessive redness associated with rosacea.  Combined with a personalized medical skin care plan and reasonable trigger avoidance, this approach has significantly improved rosacea long term for many patients.

3) Maintenance Programs: Combined with a healthy lifestyle, an anti-inflammatory diet and reasonable stress management, new products that reduce overall redness (Rozatrol from ZO Skin Health) have been clinically tested and have been effective in over 85% of rosacea patients.  Maintenance BBL light therapy and LED red-light therapy are also helpful for long term rosacea control.  New options in medical grade makeup from Colorescience and Jane Iredale have helped improve patient confidence and have health benefits for the skin.

Rosacea is a complex and challenging skin condition that can have a significant impact on quality of life.

At evolv, we have witnessed exciting and long-term improvement for our rosacea patients by utilizing the above comprehensive approach of treating inflammation and restoring skin health.  Healthy skin with more efficient barrier function is less prone to inflammation and disease and can significantly improve quality of life for rosacea patients as well as patients of any age.

If you would like to learn more about rosacea and these new and exciting treatment options, please ask any of our skin care professionals at evolv Medical Aesthetics.

Frank Barone MD FACS

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