Let’s face the facts: mild sunburns are an unfortunate part of summer. After a long day outdoors, it’s not uncommon to see a bit of redness in your cheeks, even if you were scrupulous with applying your sunscreen. Fortunately, sunburns fade, but what if the redness persists? Or seems to come and go without sun exposure?
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a facial skin disorder that many people don’t even realize that they have. In fact, many people mistake it for a sunburn or acne! Since the majority of individuals suffering from rosacea don’t know they have it, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what it is.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by flare-ups and remissions of redness around the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. In some individuals, this redness can also appear on the neck, chest, scalp, or ears. Rosacea always includes at least one of the following primary signs: flushing of the skin, persistent redness, visible blood vessels, bumps or pimples. It can be triggered by a number of factors including environmental conditions, foods, stress and physical exertion. Each symptom may progress from mild to moderate to severe, therefore early diagnosis and treatment is recommended.
Treatment for Rosacea
At ArtMed, we have first-hand experience managing rosacea. Dr. Mary Peirson, our Medical Director, had treatment for her own rosacea here at our clinic starting in her 30s. In our experience, the optimum therapy available to individuals suffering from rosacea is intense pulsed light (or BroadBandLightTM).
BBLTM emits wavelengths of light that target tiny blood vessels just under the skin. Heat from the BBLTM energy builds in the vessels, cauterizing the vessels which can drastically reducing the appearance of redness. We recommend at least initial treatments, depending on the severity of redness or visible blood vessels. Generally, treatment a treatment session takes between 10 – 40 minutes and patients experience very little discomfort. Treatments are spaced 3 weeks apart. Many people are nervous before their first session because they think it’s going to hurt, however, it simply feels like having someone snap a very small, hot elastic against your skin. It’s not particularly pleasant, but not scary or painful either! And the results are worth it! As rosacea is a chronic condition, having BBLTM treatments periodically thereafter will maintain the results.
To learn more about rosacea treatment options at ArtMed, give us a call or visit us at 381 Woolwich Street, Guelph.