Here we go again! Busy week of talking, talking, talking! This time my other favourite skin topic… Rosacea!
For a long time we have not understood this complex condition. However, now we are beginning to learn about some of the inflammatory processes involved, and some of the potential microbes contributing to the inflammation.
Because of the complex pathogenesis, the treatment is also complex. It requires a multifaceted approach:
1) Avoid triggers where possible. Common culprits are the sun, alcohol, emotional upset/stress, tea and coffee, certain foods, some medications and cosmetics.
2) Skin care - repair the barrier. I've said this before. But THIS IS IMPORTANT. Repair the barrier with gentle cleansing, emollient (moisturizer) and avoidance of irritants.
3) Photoprotection> we have known for a long time that UV light exacerbates rosacea. This is for multiple reasons.
a. UV exposure encourages vasodilatation (opening up of blood vessels)
b. UV stimulates vitamin D which contributes to downstream inflammation
c. UV produces REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES which are very inflammatory
4) Medical treatments. Either topical or oral medicines are required to get flares under control. Once controlled, the skin should be able to be maintained with appropriate specialty skin care
5) Physical treatments: laser and light based therapies. Lasers have a great role in the treatment of erythema (redness) and telangectasiae (capillaries). Not only this, but we now know that laser can help REMODEL COLLAGEN and repair some of the damaged connective tissue that resulted from the inflammatory aspect of rosacea.
In essence, take control of your rosacea. Become informed. There is a lot you can do to keep the skin in good nick and reduce flares.