Rosacea is a common skin condition that mainly affects the face. It causes redness and spots and can be very distressing for the sufferer. There is a range of symptoms, although not all sufferers will experience all of them and most usually see the severity of their symptoms fluctuate.
Flushing : This is when your skin turns red for a short period. The flushing is mainly to the face but it can spread to the neck and chest. Sometimes there may also be an unpleasant feeling of heat. These effects can be caused by certain triggers, such as sun exposure, alcohol, hot drinks or exercise.
Persistent facial redness : This can look like a blush, an area of sunburn or can be blotchy. This redness is usually found on the cheeks, nose and chin but can reach the forehead, neck and chest.
Visible blood vessels : Over time, the blood vessels in the affected areas may become permanently dilated (widened) and visible.
Papules and pustules : Rosacea sufferers may develop papules (round raised red lumps) and pustules (pus-filled swellings). These appear on the face and look similar to acne but the two conditions are very different. Rosacea does not cause oily skin but rather dryness and peeling and the spots do not cause scarring.
Thickened skin : It is uncommon but in the most severe cases the skin can thicken, usually around the nose which causes a bulbous appearance. This most severe symptom takes several years to develop and more commonly affects men than women.
Eye problems : Many patients also suffer with ocular rosacea and symptoms include:
- the sensation of a foreign body in the eye
- dry eyes
- irritated/bloodshot eyes
- inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis)
- sensitive skin (burning, itching, stinging, pain)
- dry, rough skin
- raised red patches (plaques)
- facial swelling
- sensitive skin
Permanent scarring to the face occurs very rarely in rosacea but sufferers can find the symptoms very distressing and they can affect their self-confidence.
Here at Perfect Image Consultants we recommend IPL to reduce rosacea symptoms as this light based treatment can be very effective for the redness and flushing. By treating the blood vessels, the vascular response is diminished. We have seen dramatic results for patients with rosacea, even those who were suffering from the stinging and burning aspects of the condition. After several treatments their symptoms were gone. However please note that the worse your rosacea is, the more treatments you will need for optimal results. Also, it is important to remember that IPL will not cure rosacea, but it will greatly alleviate the symptoms. We are just treating one part of the problem and your genetic background and environmental exposure, diet and UV exposure will be important to keep the symptoms at bay.
IPL is contraindicated in individuals with tanned and dark skin. It is also not suitable for the treatment of larger veins.
During the treatment :
Protective eye wear is worn and a layer of cooling gel is applied to the treatment area. The IPL applicator is applied to this area of cooled skin and a short pulse of light of the appropriate wavelength is released. The treatment may feel like the flick of an elastic band on the skin.
After the treatment :
The pigmented areas treated may darken before they fade away. Some are seen to flake before disappearing either partially or completely. Between one and four treatments, at 4 week intervals, may be necessary.
Slight soreness and redness, similar to mild sunburn, may be felt soon after the treatment and will disappear after a few hours. Blisters and darkening/lightening of the skin are rarely seen.
How it works :
The IPL laser is applied to the lesion in short pulses, increasing the temperature of the melanin containing cells, causing them to disperse. The body then replaces these cells with new cells generated by the surrounding, untreated tissue.
Prices start from £80 per session.