As a host beauty editor for On Magazine, Dr. Fiona Wright has published a series of Q & A articles in response to emailed questions, sometimes with collaborations by other medical colleagues in her network. She would now like to share the information with everyone!
Q: “I have rosacea and it seems that every summer my face is becoming more red and staying that way. Do you have any Texas Tricks for getting the red out?”
-Sara H. Rockwall, TX
A: Rosacea is a long-standing skin condition where there is excess blood circulation in the superficial facial skin layers. It is a common and potentially life disruptive disorder. Little is known about this skin condition which affects and an estimated 14 million Americans. In fact, rosacea is becoming increasingly widespread as the baby boomer generation enters the most susceptible ages. Unfortunately there is no cure – we can only prevent the worsening of it.
Some of the warning signs are redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead; small blood vessels on the face; bumps or pimples on the face; and watery or irritated eyes. Many stimuli can aggravate rosacea which will create facial flushing. The more common irritants to avoid are smoking, alcohol, stress, anxiety, physical exertion, hot drinks, spicy foods, and sun exposure. So you can see why in Texas it is a difficult problem to treat!
Basic skin care would include using a mild facial soap that is not irritating. The religious use of a strong UVA/UVB SPF 30 sun block with Zinc is also essential. Your physician may prescribe you topical treatments including Metrogel, Noritate, or Finacea. Oral and topical antibiotics may also be considered. If medical treatments appear to be ineffective, then PhotoFacial/ Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) may be a reasonable treatment alternative.
IPL uses wavelengths of light to penetrate to the deeper skin layers; it acts by decreasing redness and flushing from the “inside-out.” Flashes of light are administered to the entire face, and the light will disrupt the blood vessels and cause them to collapse. This will decrease the excess circulation on the skin. With the right protocol of prescriptions skin care and an IPL treatment series of 3-5 sessions it is not impossible to improve your skin tone, texture, and color – and remain symptom free. For more information you can refer to www.rosacea.org.
Fiona Wright M.D.