What Can we help you with today? ROSACEA
Lasers - what can we help you with today?
Last month we chatted about why we got the lasers. Let’s chat more specifically about what those lasers can do -
not quite everything but ALMOST!!
We’ll pick a topic a week and we’ll probably still be here next year - the lasers are good for that much. And with today’s topic you’ll see where medicine and cosmetics merge - and the lasers help with both.
You know that red flushing you get with Spicy food, alcohol or hot weather? It’s actually a condition called rosacea.
The flushing to the Cheeks, nose, chin and neck is caused by microscopic blood vessels under the skin that dilate in the heat and cause the redness. Sometimes the blood vessels are big enough to be seen with the naked eye - when they get this big you usually get some redness there all the time. Some people even get acne like breakouts with it.
Usually happens to people over 30 - just when you thought you’d finished with the acne! And more often it’s women but men can get it too. Men can get quite swollen and bumpy noses with Rosacea - a condition called Rhinophyma.
Some people will also get dry, itchy, red eyes as part of their Rosacea - these people usually require daily antibiotic eye drops.
What causes Rosacea? We’re still not sure.
Some say it’s a little bug/mite under the skin. His name is Demodex folliculorum and he lives on everyone’s skin - just more of him live on rosacea faces.
Another bug, helicobactet pylori, of peptic ulcer fame is also rumoured to be involved. He does it by living in your gut and causing the production of a hormone that causes flushing. Might be worth seeing a doctor and getting a urea breath test to see if you have the H Pylori - treat two problems in one go.
It’s usually fair skinned people so maybe environment has some impact on the thinner,finer skin.
Maybe it’s because we get embarrassed easily and the flushing just keeps getting worse and worse - and then it goes the other way the flushing causes embarrassment rather than the embarrassment causing flushing.
And, of course, it’s genetic so blame Mum and Dad - they’ve got broad shoulders.
What triggers Rosacea?
The triggers are numerous
hot foods or drinks, caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol - all the good stuff! At least chocolates not on that list.. yet!
sunshine, wind, heat or cold - can’t win can you?
Embarrassment, anxiety, stress - well us married women don’t stand a chance do we?
Hot baths, spas, saunas - what are we gonna do to relax now!
Exercise - but don’t think you’ve got a good excuse to avoid it, up and moving!
some medications will also cause or make Rosacea worse - but they’re necessary medications like steroids or blood pressure medications so please don’t stop taking them (You could chat with your doctor about alternatives)
And most importantly, how do you treat it?
Notice it didn’t say get rid of it because, honestly, you probably can’t BUT YOU CAN CONTROL IT.
There are a number of things you can try
Topical (applied to the skin) or oral antibiotics - oral work faster but are going to cause all the gut problems you normally get from antibiotics.
Avoidance - of all the good stuff listed above that triggers Rosacea.
Always wear an SPF sunscreen - goes without saying.
Stress management - if stress triggers it then it makes sense to minimise stress - relaxation, a good nights sleep
Mirvaso is a prescribed skin cream that shrinks the blood vessels and takes away the redness - but it only lasts 12 hours and you need to use it everyday, or every time you’re going out and want to reduce the redness
And then there’s laser treatment..
Laser treatment ‘zaps’ all the blood vessels - the ones you can’t see and the ones you can. The laser/light is attracted to the blood cells in the vessel and hears them up. This blocks the blood vessel and stops the blood flowing through it. Over the next few days the blood vessels seal off and the body removes them because they’re no longer of any use. It’s important to avoid the triggers mentioned above for the first few days after treatment.
Treatment initially starts with 3-5 treatments about 6 weeks apart but you’ll usually notice benefit after the first treatment. You’ll probably need a couple of treatments a year to keep the Rosacea under control. As we mentioned earlier, because we don’t know what causes it we can’t cure it, only control it.
No, the laser doesn’t hurt. It feels like someone snapping you with little rubber bands. You’ll get some swelling and redness for 48 hours after but this should settle and take some of the Rosacea redness away with it. The Rosacea will continue to improve over time.
If you’ve got some pigment changes you may notice improvement in them as well - and you’ll also get the general skin benefits of laser as well - smoother softer skin straight away, and with continual use the laser builds up collagen in the skin and helps against fine lines (if you’ve got deeper wrinkles you’ll need to check out one of our other lasers that’s better for dealing with them).
Sounds too good to be true hey? And this is why we love the lasers. It’s true. We have medical evidence they work. A condition where mainstream medicine has had minimal luck but the lasers are cruising - where medicine and cosmetic dovetail perfectly.
Come in and check out our lasers, or call Sally and ask for more details - she can put together a package for you at a realistic price.
Stay tuned next week - we’ll be talking about Acne …