Rosacea is a chronic (long-term) disease that affects the skin and
sometimes the eyes. The disorder is characterized by redness,
pimples, and, in advanced stages, thickened skin. Rosacea usually
affects the face; other parts of the upper body are only rarely
Who Gets Rosacea?
Approximately 14 million people in the United States have rosacea.
It most often affects adults between the ages of 30 and 60.
Rosacea is more common in women (particularly during
menopause) than men. Although rosacea can develop in people of
any skin color, it tends to occur most frequently and is most
apparent in people with fair skin.
What Does Rosacea Look Like?
There are several symptoms and conditions associated with
rosacea. These include frequent flushing, vascular rosacea,
inflammatory rosacea, and several other conditions involving the
skin, eyes, and nose.
Frequent flushing of the center of the face--which may include the
forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin--occurs in the earliest stage of
rosacea. The flushing often is accompanied by a burning
sensation, particularly when creams or cosmetics are applied to the
face. Sometimes the face is swollen slightly.
A condition called vascular rosacea causes persistent flushing and
redness. Blood vessels under the skin of the face may dilate
(enlarge), showing through the skin as small red lines. This is
called telangiectasia (tel-AN-je-ek-tay-ze-ah). The affected skin
may be swollen slightly and feel warm.
A condition called inflammatory rosacea causes persistent redness
and papules (pink bumps) and pustules (bumps containing pus) on
the skin. Eye inflammation and sensitivity as well as telangiectasia
also may occur.
In the most advanced stage of rosacea, the skin becomes a deep
shade of red and inflammation of the eye is more apparent.
Numerous telangiectases are often present, and nodules in the
skin may become painful. A condition called rhinophyma also may
develop in some men; it is rare in women. Rhinophyma is
characterized by an enlarged, bulbous, and red nose resulting from
enlargement of the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands beneath the
surface of the skin on the nose. People who have rosacea also may
develop a thickening of the skin on the forehead, chin, cheeks, or
What Causes Rosacea?
Doctors do not know the exact cause of rosacea but believe that
some people may inherit a tendency to develop the disorder.
People who blush frequently may be more likely to develop
rosacea. Some researchers believe that rosacea is a disorder
where blood vessels dilate too easily, resulting in flushing and
Factors that cause rosacea to flare up in one person may have no
effect on another person. Although the following factors have not
been well-researched, some people claim that one or more of them
have aggravated their rosacea: heat (including hot baths),
strenuous exercise, sunlight, wind, very cold temperatures, hot or
spicy foods and drinks, alcohol consumption, menopause,
emotional stress, and long-term use of topical steroids on the face.
Patients affected by pustules may assume they are caused by
bacteria, but researchers have not established a link between
rosacea and bacteria or other organisms on the skin, in the hair
follicles, or elsewhere in the body.
Rosacea Treatment Using IPL
We treat the redness and broken veins of Rosacea with Intense
Pulse Light using the Lumenis Quantum SR machine. This delivers
a pulse of light to the broken vessels causing them to heal up and
How does it work?
It is believed that the IPL has two actions that help in Rosacea.
Firstly red thread veins absorb the light energy, this makes them
hot. This damage encourages the body to reabsorb them,
improving the appearance. Secondly the light energy warms the
collagen fibres in the skin this stimulates new collagen and collagen
remodelling, this improves the support of the small blood vessels
which helps to delay the development of more thread veins.