Rosacea is defined as a group of symptoms that generally begin with some mild to moderate redness on the chin, cheeks, nose and forehead. It then progresses to a constant redness in the nose and cheeks and then gets worse after a number of activities and triggers. Rosacea symptoms worsen with time and without treatment, so seeing your physician is the best way to improve this chronic condition.
Treatments are available now to improve the flushing and visible blood vessels. Pulsed dye lasers work well and patients have reported improvement in flushing, itching, dryness and several other rosacea symptoms. Another option is Cynosure's Elite MPX laser which is used for a number of treatments such as laser hair removal but also works well for rosacea.
Most of these laser treatments work in a very similar manner. They heat up the blood vessels causing them to coagulate and disappear. According to Dr. Brian Zelickson, a dermatologist in Minneapolis, "it takes a long time for the telltale spider veins (a major symptom of rosacea) to first appear on the face. The sun has to hit the skin for a significant period of time to trigger the creation of a few blood vessels, but once those have formed, it becomes easier for the sun to stimulate the gene in those cells to produce even more. So you have this downward spiralling effect. I often hear such comments from my patients as, 'I just started having these facial veins a year ago and now I'm covered.' The process begins to snowball, creating more and more blood vessels - and redness."
Other non-laser treatments include medications like isotretinoin or Retin-A as well as dermabrasion. Some even recommend applying ice to the skin to shrink the blood vessels in the face. Whatever your choice of treatment, understand that there are millions out there who suffer as well and the best way to improve your rosacea is with help from your doctor.