A disorder involving chronic inflammation of the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids; it may cause redness, vascularity (increased prominence of the blood vessels), swelling or hyperplasia (increase in size of the tissue), or skin eruptions similar to acne.
Causes, incidence and risk factors
The cause of rosacea is unknown. The disorder involves enlargement of the blood vessels just under the skin. It occurs most often in fair skinned people, particularly those who blush easily. Women are more commonly affected, but men are usually more severely affected. Symptoms usually begin between ages 30 to 50. Rosacea may be associated with other skin disorders (acne vulgaris, seborrhea) or eye disorders (blepharitis, keratitis).
Erythema (red areas on the face)
Discrete areas or the entire face
A tendency to flush, blush easily
Increased vascularity (telangiectasis) of the face
A red, bulbous nose
Acne-like skin eruptions (macules, nodules, pustules, may ooze or crust)
There is no cure known for rosacea. The treatment at the Ailesbury Clinic is aimed at the control of redness, inflammation, and skin eruptions through the use of topical or oral anti-biotics or laser therapy. Long-term treatment (5 to 8 weeks or more) with oral antibiotics such as tetracycline may control skin eruptions. Oral medications similar to Vitamin A (isoretinol or Accutane) are also used as adjunctive treatment.
The Aurora Laser System uses both optical and electrical energy to effectively control the dilated blood vessels or telengectasia commonly seen during this condition. Radio-surgery may also be used to improve the cosmetic appearance of rhinophyma or sebaceous gland hyperplasia that is commonly seen with this condition.
The treatment of skin eruptions may also include long-term treatment with topical (applied to a localized area of the skin) antibiotics such as metronidazole. In severe cases, laser surgery may help reduce the redness. Surgical reduction of the nose hyperplasia may also improve the patient’s cosmetic appearance. Expectations (prognosis) Rosacea is not medically dangerous. It is not curable, but usually is controllable with treatment.
It may be persistent and chronic. Prevention There is no known prevention for rosacea. Patients with rosacea may help control their disease, however, by avoiding triggering factors. For many, sun avoidance and sunscreen use is helpful. Others are aggravated by embarrassment, hot or spicy foods, alcohol, or extremes of temperature.
Ellipse treatment of facial redness makes your skin look smoother by removing diffuse redness. Your skin texture is also improved and many women report that it becomes easier to apply makeup. Facial treatments are most popular, but other parts of the body can be treated.
To do this, short, safe bursts of light (called SWT® by Ellipse, but often referred to as a laser) are directed at the skin. The system filters the light to ensure the wavelengths used are absorbed by haemoglobin in the fine blood vessels. When vessels containing haemoglobin are treated, the target heats up and is destroyed within a few thousandths of one second.
Treatments are most efficient in patients with light skin who are not suntanned at the time of the treatment. If your skin is less tanned, the contrast between the blood vessels and background colour of the skin is greater, making treatment easier. However, Ellipse has pre-programmed settings for different skin types that deliver the correct energy output for your complexion.
A full-face treatment takes less than 20 minutes. You should see an improvement after the first treatment, but up to 3 treatments may be required to achieve the full effect.
No anaesthetics are required, and many patients describe the treatment as practically pain-free.
The light used is completely safe, visible light. It is, however, important to avoid tanning (sun, solarium or self-tanning products) before and during the treatment period. Otherwise your tanned skin will absorb more light, which makes treatment less effective and less comfortable. Generally, no special care is necessary after treatment, but people with sensitive skin may benefit from applying a cold compress (a cold damp cloth) to the face immediately after treatment or from using an ointment prescribed by the doctor. After treatment, you should avoid sun exposure for 30 days, even if there is no sign of inflammation in the treated area. Use sun protection (minimum SPF 30) if sun exposure cannot be avoided.
You may notice that the skin looks a little “dirty” for a few days following treatment. After that you will find that your skin looks smoother and fresher. You might choose to have 1-2 annual maintenance treatments in order to keep your youthful appearance.
Clinical trials documenting Ellipse safety and effectiveness were carried out by leading doctors prior to the launch of the treatment, and these were published in respected, referenced medical journals.
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