Getting The Red Out- Rosacea Updates

In my e-newsletters and on my blog, I have written many time about rosacea.  To save you the trouble of venturing back to the blog or digging deep in your e-mail box, allow me to reitterate the basic details about this all too common skin ailment.

Rosacea is one of the most common skin conditions in America, affecting over 14 million each year.  One simple word would best describe rosacea: Redness.  However, you’ll hear me use two more complicated words to more accurately describe it:  Facial telangectasias.

Those two words mean small, broken blood vessels that commonly cause flushing and acne-like eruptions on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead.   Despite being so common, much remains unknown about rosacea.

Recent research from the University of California, however, indicates that rosacea patients may have problems involving their skin’s immune system.  Due to this immune imbalance, there is an abnormal production of a skin peptide called cathelicidin that stimulates blood vessel growth and inflammation in affected area.

This new research will allow for better understanding of the underlying causes of rosacea and help us develop new treatment strategies to combat it.  The research will also help doctors and researchers understand how and why the current effective treatments and lifestyle adjustments work on a chemical or cellular level.

For topical treatment, antioxidant-based skin care products work best to diminish redness. These products work better than traditional soaps and abrasive cleansers, which strip the skin of its natural protective oils, thereby causing irritation and inflammation.

I am also a big advocate for topical vitamin K in fighting rosacea as it promotes stabilization of blood vessels and prevents worsening blood vessel flushing.   For resolving skin damage brought on by prior redness and dealing with any chronic progression, laser treatments remains the mainstay.  Vascular lasers help to reduce redness and collapse the abnormal facial veins while also reducing abnormal sebaceous (oil) gland production and sterilizing pimples of bacteria.  Lasers will also help with collagen damage limiting acne scars.

Even though I have written extensively in the past on rosacea in this newsletter, new information continues to be discovered and published.  I will continue to bring you new research findings as they become available.

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
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