Facial Flushing and Facial Redness
Rosacea is an inflammatory condition mainly affecting the face. It is marked by episodic flushing of the skin, often lasting for several hours. Some people will periodically develop multiple spots in the affected areas which often become pustular and are a special form of acne requiring different treatment from regular acne.
It is an under-diagnosed condition which may affect up to 10% of the population. There are two peak incidences of rosacea, one in the 20s and one in the 50s, although people of any age may develop the condition.
Treatment for rosacea is different than for acne, and it is important that you consult a physician to determine whether you are suffering from acne vulgaris or rosacea.
Symptoms of Rosacea Include:
- 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, sometimes bulbous nose
- Acne-like skin eruptions (macules, nodules, pustules, may ooze or crust)
- A burning or stinging sensation of the face
Rosacea can be hereditary, but there is no known cause. The flushing attacks may be triggered by a number of different factors. Often these trigger factors will vary considerably from individual to individual.
No exclusion list exists that is suitable for everyone. There are, however, many common triggers, including:
- Hot temperature
- Dairy products food and drinks
- Spicy foods
- Temperature changes
Rosacea Progression and Treatments
After a period of intermittent flushing, the skin becomes persistently red with the development of multiple telangiectasia (tiny broken veins) over the affected area. Experiencing these flushing attacks can be extremely uncomfortable. Attacks can vary from burning to intense pain.
Rosacea also causes considerable embarrassment itself. For example, 70% of a 400 patient group with rosacea say they suffer from embarrassment from their condition*. (Source: National Rosacea Society.)
Many people believe their facial redness is purely a cosmetic problem and do not seek advice about it. However, it is important to treat this condition early to prevent long term side effects which include: telangiectasia; coarsening of the skin, rhinophyma (enlargement of the nose); persistent swelling of the face or eye problems.
Treatment should start with identifying possible trigger factors. It could be helpful to keep a diary over a few weeks to help to identify foods which might make the flushing worse. In mild rosacea, topical antibiotics are commonly used. In general, metronidazole is used and needs to be applied sparingly to the whole affected area.
Treatments which Dr. Sedgh may consider using for your rosacea may include PhotoDynamic Therapy or IPL. These laser and light treatments are designed to vastly improve the persistent redness and the intensity of flushing episodes by reducing the size and number of the involved capillaries and tiny spider veins that are part of the rosacea problem.
In those who fail to respond to topical antibiotics, or those with a more severe disease, systemic antibiotics can be used. Systemic antibiotics tend to have their major impact on the inflammatory lesions, with the flushing tending to respond less quickly. Oracea is a newer prescription medication used for inflammatory rosacea acne and is deemed to be a better long-term antibiotic without the high risk of antibiotic resistance.
Rosacea can be confused with acne or seborrheic dermatitis, although some people have both rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis. Therefore it is important that the condition is diagnosed correctly, so that the most appropriate treatment is administered.
Rosacea which has progressed to the stage of rhinophyma may require the use of resurfacing lasers such as the fractional resurfacing laser. The key to managing rosacea is to implement the necessary treatments and learn to recognize and avoid your triggers.
For more information about rosacea treatments and a full consultation with Dr. John Sedgh, please call Beverly Hills Laser Institute, Inc. at 888-333-2515 today.
* Individual Results May Vary