Rosacea is a problematic disease of intense emotional distress. Associated with an alcoholic nose, patients are embarrassed to be wrongly thought to be large consumers of alcohol. This disease has many causes including genetics and hormone stimulation and is worsened by sunlight, caffeine, and of-course, alcohol.
The typical patient has red cheeks, acne-like pimples, and easy flushing. A variant is perioral dermatitis which presents as an inflammatory condition around the mouth with acne and irritation. In addition men may develop rhinophyma (enlargement of the bulb of the nose) and women may develop ocular rosacea (red, painful, irritated eyes). While no one treatment has proven effective, certain antibiotics with anti-inflammatory properties can be combined with topical anti-inflammatory compounds like sulfur.
Flushing and red cheeks are now well controlled for varying periods of time with photo-rejuvenation and photodynamic therapy (PDT). Photo-rejuvenation can be performed with a number of lasers, but is usually accomplished with IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy. PDT is performed by applying a chemical (aminolevulinic acid) to the skin. After waiting an hour, the skin is then exposed to IPL and the light activates the chemical to produce an inflammatory response. The response is to shrink blood vessels and oil glands. Patients have experienced improvement for up to 2 years.
Click here to view pictures of typical cases of rosacea and schedule your consultation for evaluation and treatment. Medical treatment of rosacea is usually covered by health insurance. Phototherapy typically is not covered by health insurance.