Skin Rejuvenation
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Ft Worth Cosmetic Medicine

Rosacea

Rosacea is a common condition, typically presenting with one of four different appearances.  Some people flush easily and have a red or ruddy complexion.  This is the first type of rosacea, called erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.  Others with a second type called papulopustular rosacea complain of pimples on the face, sometimes more common around the mouth or nose.  In the third type, there is an enlargement of oil glands causing a thickening of the soft tissue of the nose, called rhinophymatous rosacea.  Another variant not addressed here is ocular rosacea, which typically causes redness of the eye, irritation, and swollen eyelids.

The cause of rosacea has been a topic of much research, and it appears that it might be related to several factors.  Certainly it is more common in fair-skinned individuals with Northern European ancestry.  Many individuals have food or environmental triggers such as alcohol, spicy food, hot showers, or stress that seem to exacerbate their condition.  People with rosacea appear to have an altered immuno-inflammatory response to bacterial proteins, often found on normal skin mites, which may trigger inflammation and redness more than a normal person would have.  Sun damage causes changes in the support structure of skin making flushing easier and may play a role in worsening rosacea.  Finally, oxidative stress and damage from the environment can play a role as well. 

When treating rosacea, it is best to identify what type a patient suffers from.  All patients benefit from avoiding triggers and daily use of sunscreen.  The generalized redness patient may benefit more from topical or dietary antioxidants and laser/light directed therapies that help to seal off permanently dilated blood vessels.  Patients with pimples and redness tend to do best with oral antibiotics and/or topical sulfur or antibiotic preparations.  Some patients even treat the Demodex mites that live on their skin to eliminate the inflammation they cause in their follicles.  Patients with thickened skin on the nose may need special surgical procedures to remove some excess soft tissue.

Rosacea is a treatable but chronic condition.  With continuing avoidance of triggers and sun protection coupled with the use of topical, oral, or laser-based therapy, most patients see improvement in their condition and feel better about their overall appearance. 

 

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