Rosacea is a chronic, lifelong, inflammatory skin disorder, and is often hereditary. People who have rosacea often notice cheek, nose and chin redness with visible broken capillaries. Though the skin has many large sebaceous glands and the skin can be oily, they skin is usually also dry, flaky and fragile with lack of moisture. With rosacea, sebaceous glands gradually enlarge as a person ages, increasing the production of sebum, which can lead to more skin oiliness, acne and inflammation and increased pore size.
This redness and fragility of the skin, though genetic, is made worse by environmental factors, such as sun exposure, cold and wind exposure, and also consuming certain foods such as spicy foods and alcohol.
Dr. Michelle Parsons treats many patients with various forms of rosacea. Dr. Parsons will evaluate your skin and determine an appropriate skin care regimen for you. Treatment recommendations may also include intense pulsed light treatments or laser treatments.
Types of Rosacea
Characterized by central facial redness and inflammatory papules and pustules.
Characterized by facial redness and broken capillaries without inflammatory lesions.
Affects the nose, affects more men than women.
Involves the eyes, symptoms may include a sense of eye grittiness, dryness, itching. blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Although there was insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of topical metronidazole for ocular rosacea, there was some evidence of a consistent improvement in all outcomes with ciclosporin 0·05% ophthalmic emulsion and that it was more effective than artificial tears in the treatment of ocular rosacea.
So what can be done about Rosacea?
Since rosacea is often inherited, there is no simple "cure" for rosacea. But it can be managed. And the best way to manage rosacea is by getting to the root of the problem, vs treating end stage symptoms. The root of the problem of rosacea is inflammation, inflammation caused by overactive oil producing sebaceous glands which are responding to thin, dry, fragile skin with a lack of a proper moisture barrier to the elements. So where do we start? We start with at home skin care that addresses these issues.
Skin Care for Rosacea
Since rosacea is caused by inflammation from excess oil being deposited on the skin, it is important to gently dissolve and remove this oil coating on the skin. This can be accomplished with gentle facial cleansers, used morning and night.
Another product to control oil production is Oil Control salicylic pads from ZO which contains gentle anti-inflammatories to further address inflammation.
Since rosacea skin, despite the excess oil production, is often dry, thin and fragile, a moisturizer is recommended to use daily. This will help maintain the natural protective barrier of the skin, to help prevent an overgrowth of naturally occurring skin demodex, skin mites, which if in excess, also cause inflammation and redness.
ZO also offers a product specifically for inflammation, Rozatrol, which helps control redness and any inflammation, which is a factor in skin aging as well.
And one of the most important daily skin health products that can be utilized to address rosacea is a zinc based sunscreen. The zinc itself is anti-inflammatory and in addition blocks the UVA rays from the sun that exacerbates rosacea. Zinc sunscreen should be used daily, regardless of weather conditions.
All of these products can be found in the ZO Normalizing System starter kit, which was designed by Dr. Obagi to specifically address rosacea to treat red, sensitive skin for optimal skin health restoration and protection. All of these products can be purchased in the SKIN NORMALIZING SYSTEM online by clicking here on on the Shop ZO Skin Health button.
Other Treatments for Rosacea
Topical Azelaic Acid gel 15% – Azelaic acid is naturally occurring in many foods, such as barley, wheat, and rye. Recommended application is twice daily. A single daily dose of azelaic acid appears to be as effective as the twice-daily dose and is also likely to result in improved compliance.
Sulfur (Sodium Sulfacetamide 10%/sulfur 5%) Topical
Oral Doxycycline – There is evidence that the 40-mg dose is at least as effective as the 100-mg dose, has a correspondingly lower risk of adverse effects, and that, albeit these events may be mild to moderate, more were reported with the 100-mg dose of doxycycline than the 40-mg dose.
For those who already have very red skin and would like to address it sooner than later while waiting to see results from their skin care regimen, we also offer intense pulsed light treatments (IPL) for rosacea. IPL for rosacea utilized pulses of green light, 560 nm, to directly target the red of fine capillaries. The IPL targets capillaries and shrinks them by heating them until they collapse, to become less visible. It may take several IPL treatments for rosacea to achieve desired results, and often semi annually or annual treatments are needed to keep rosacea at bay.
Laser Vein Treatment
For some, skin and capillary damage may be more extensive and larger veins may be visible that are too large to be affected by IPL. In these cases, we can utilize a laser treatment to directly trace and collapse larger facial veins. Typically these large veins occur around the nose, cheeks, and chin.