Rosacea is a disorder characterized mainly by redness of the face. Of vascular origin, its mechanism is triggered by flushes, the frequency and intensity of which are well-known aggravating factors.
While cheeks and nose are usually hit first, the chin can also be affected as well as the forehead.
Rosacea can happen at any age, but usually starts after the age of 20. Adults with fair skin are more likely to be affected, as well as women.
Rosacea can develop in 3 stages
1) The first stage or flush stage is marked with sudden, temporary bursts of redness occurring sometimes after meals.
2) In the second stage, the face turns progressively red. This redness is caused by the dilatation of blood vessels: this is rosacea per se, with the typical presence of telangectasia (micro-vessels) of the cheeks and nose, which become more and more visible. This stage may be accompanied by dryness of the eyes.
3) Sometimes, in the third stage, small red pimples appear on the face.
- Prolonged sun exposure
- Sudden temperature changes
- Avoid: Exposition to sun and strong winds
- Exposure to heat
- Hot and/or alcoholic drinks
- Intense exercise
Drugs are usually not needed. They should anyway be used on a case-by-case basis, depending on the stage of the illness. Treating stress may sometimes be useful.
b) Cosmetic advice
They are always helpful because rosacea causes the skin to be dry and irritated. Irritating products should therefore be avoided and replaced by plain moisturizing creams and mild cleansing gels.
c) Treatment of facial varicosities
Three methods are available:
The largest vessels of the face can be treated that way, as in varicosities of the legs. A sclerosant solution is injected in a dilated vein with a very fine needle. The chemical will cause the vein to shrink and disappear. Two or three sessions may be necessary for the most visible vessels to disappear. A trained physician must perform this treatment.
Laser treatments give good results provided the right machine is used (there are many kinds of laser machines on the market). The treatment consists of light impulses that eliminate the small vessels of the face by coagulation.
Some redness and a slight edema of the eyelid may persist for two or three days after each session. The number of sessions needed depends on the extent of the rosacea, but two or three sessions are generally enough. The cost of this method remains an important obstacle to its popularization.
Electrocoagulation or thermocoagulation
In this very efficient method, a fine needle is placed on the skin point by point every 3 mm along the vessel and triggers its coagulation through heat. The number of sessions needed depends on the extent of the rosacea.
As with lasers, some redness may persist for two or three days after each session. This method is very efficient and its cost is low.