Rosacea Treatment in the Minneapolis, MN Area

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a very common skin disease that typically affects people over the age of 30. It causes redness on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. Some people get little bumps and pimples on the red parts of their faces. Rosacea can also cause burning and soreness in the eyes.

Some people say that having rosacea keeps them from feeling confident at work or in social situations. If your rosacea bothers you or has gotten worse, it’s time to call the specialists at our Medical Spa. Getting treatment can help your skin look and feel better, and it may keep your rosacea from getting worse.

What causes rosacea?

Experts are not sure what causes rosacea. They know that something irritates the skin, but rosacea doesn’t seem to be an infection caused by bacteria. It tends to affect people who have fair skin or blush easily, and it seems to run in families.

The pattern of redness on a person’s face makes it easy for a doctor to diagnose rosacea, and most of the time medical tests are not needed or used.

Rosacea often flares when something causes the blood vessels in the face to expand, which causes redness. Things that cause a flare-up are called triggers. Common triggers are exercise, sun and wind exposure, hot weather, stress, spicy foods, alcohol and hot baths. Swings in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also cause a flare-up of rosacea.

What are the symptoms?

People with rosacea may have:

  • A flushed, red face with sensitive, dry skin that may burn or sting.
  • Small bumps and pimples or acne-like breakouts.
  • Skin that gets coarser and thicker, with a bumpy texture.
  • Dry, red, irritated eyes.
  • In rare cases, rosacea that is not treated may cause permanent effects, such as thickening of the skin on your face or loss of vision. It may cause knobby bumps on the nose, called rhinophyma. Over time, it can give the nose a swollen, waxy look. But most cases of rosacea don’t progress this far.

How is it treated?

At our medical spa, each patient is evaluated extensively by our board certified physician, Dr. Alia Sharif. She will then develop a treatment plan unique to that patient and will include prescription and nonprescription items.

As most people who suffer from rosacea know, there is no cure, but with treatment, most people can control their symptoms and keep the disease from getting worse.

Redness and breakouts can be treated with pills periodically, such as low-dose antibiotics. Skin creams that contain medicine, such as azelaic acid or metronizadole, are also options. Chemical peels that contain a high concentration of azelaic acid can be very useful for oily sebaceous rosacea skin.

The hallmark treatment for improving the appearance of rosacea are lasers and IPL.

How does IPL work on rosacea?

Intense pulsed light treatments (IPL) can help reduce the redness, dilated blood vessels and acne-like breakouts associated with rosacea. It does this by emitting high-intensity, non-laser pulses of light that penetrate the skin to very specific computer-controlled depths, but without damaging the top layer of skin.

IPL uses a wide spectrum of light. Different wavelengths of light are used to target different tissues in the skin. For example, wavelengths that can be absorbed by the reddish color of hemoglobin in blood vessels are used to remove the dilated spider veins associated with rosacea.

What is the treatment like?

Your skin will be gently cleansed before treatment, and a topical anesthesia may be applied to make you more comfortable. You’ll be given goggles to protect your eyes, and a cool gel will then be spread onto the area of your skin targeted for treatment. The treatment itself takes about 15 to 30 minutes. During the procedure, Dr. Sharif will gently press a smooth, wand-like hand piece, which delivers the carefully calibrated pulses of light, across your skin. Some people describe the sensation of the pulsing light as similar to the tiny snapping of a rubber band.

You can expect to see some results after a week or two. For optimal, long-lasting results, however, you’ll most likely need a short series of treatments – four to six, spaced a month or so apart. Effects can last for 12 months or longer.

What are the side effects of treatment?

Because its light does not damage the top layer of skin, IPL is known as a non-ablative procedure. As a result, side effects are minimal. You’ll experience some mild redness and swelling for 24 to 48 hours, but bruising and other side effects are rare. As a result, you can return to your normal activities immediately after treatment, if you wish. You won’t need to take any time off for recovery.

Is IPL a good option for all rosacea sufferers?

IPL does not work on all skin types. People with darker skin tones or who have spent a lot of time in the sun may not be good candidates for this treatment. Be sure to ask Dr. Sharif about all the risks and benefits of IPL – and about all other treatment options – before you select a strategy for treating your rosacea.

What else should I know?

Once you sign up for the unique treatment plan developed for you by Dr. Sharif, you will receive all treatments at Metro Vein and Cosmetic Surgery and will not need to see any other doctor for your prescriptions. The prescription writing services will be included with your IPL package.

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