Our Services - Rosacea
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin condition caused by abnormal nerve control of the facial blood vessels. It triggers excessive dilation of facial blood vessels that leads to flushing and acne-like lesions. The etiology of rosacea include both hereditary or environmental causes. Although rosacea can occur in both genders, it commonly affects women after 30 years of age.
Causes of Rosacea
While rosacea are multi-faceted in cause, dietary factors play an important role in exacerbating the condition. Alcoholic, caffeine-containing beverages (e.g. tea or coffee), spicy food, chocolate and cheese are known to precipitate rosacea. Other triggers include sunlight exposure, hot temperature and stress. Inpatients with rosacea, skin is more sensitive and unstable, hence the use of new skin care products or cosmetics is cautioned. Those with underlying chronic facial inflammation (such as atopic dermatitis or contact dermatitis) or on long-term topical steroid are also prone to development of rosacea.
Symptoms of Rosacea
Symptoms of rosacea can be classified into four stages:
1. Intermittent facial flushing (particularly on cheeks or the nose) with burning or stinging sensations;
2. Persistent redness with transient bumps, dilation of blood vessels near the skin surface on the cheeks or around the nose;
3. Papules on the skin, and acne-like pustules. Rosacea is distinguishable from acne by the presence of dilated blood vessels and absence of clogged pores (blackheads or whiteheads);
4. Thickening of the skin due to persistent hyperaemia and inflammation. Rhinophyma may occur at a later stage, causing one’s nose to become bulbous and ruddy.
Treatment of Rosacea
Lifestyle changes can improve rosacea symptoms significantly. Avoid aforementioned triggers and have better management of stress and emotions. Avoid alcohol, caffeine-containing drinks, chocolate, cheese and spicy food. Use sunscreen regularly and avoid using cleansers with face scrubs. Maintain simple makeups and skincare routines. Use skincare products that contain minimal additives.
In terms of medical treatments, doctors will prescribe topical agents for mild cases. Topical medications include metronidazole, tacrolimus, vitamin A and azelaic acid. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics containing tetracycline or macrolide. Treatments are individualised based on case history and presentation. Courses of oral antibiotic usually last between one to three months. Blood tests will be required for patients on long-term antibiotics to ensure patient safety.
Other Effective Treatment Options
Persistent facial erythema or abnormal dilation of blood vessels affects skin appearance. Patients may undergo laser or intense pulsed light treatments to reduce the redness and appearance of unsightly blood vessels. Improvement is usually noticeable after three to four treatments. Detailed assessments will be conducted by doctors before laser or intense pulsed light treatments. Patients will be informed of the mechanisms behind these treatments and should be aware of risks and complications related to the procedures.