When you think of rosacea, you probably think of the acne-like pimples that crop up over the top of facial redness. The truth is, rosacea can affect almost any part of the body, and there are four different types, not just the papulopustular variety that creates the little blisters. Since rosacea can be very severe, and often embarrassing for older adults, several cosmetic procedures have been developed to treat it. Some less invasive treatments are also available through aesthetic dermatology clinics.
In milder forms of this skin disorder, small blood vessels near the surface of your skin are the cause of the flushed appearance. Using small voltages, the aesthetician applies electrocautery to cauterize and minimize the appearance of these blood vessels. Without the blood vessels, your skin immediately clears and takes on a more even tone. It does sting, and you may even feel twinges of pain after the procedure, but it is quite effective at eliminating minor cases of rosacea.
Dermabrasion is often used to treat many other skin conditions, from wrinkles and age spots to acne. With rosacea, dermabrasion reaches a little deeper into the skin than electrocautery, and lifts the dead skin cells that cause infection in the papules associated with rosacea. It also helps prevent some of these acne-like blisters from developing by stopping the production of excess body and facial oils.
Laser treatment treats some of the worst cases of rosacea. It combines the best of dermabrasion with electrocautery to eliminate the most problematic aspects of rosacea. It is not a recommended treatment for people with really sensitive skin, since the lasers reach deeper than dermabrasion can. However, your dermatologist and your aesthetician can determine if this is an appropriate treatment for your skin type, and make adjustments to the laser for ongoing treatment procedures.
Typically, a dermatologist (such as one from Appearance Dermatology) will prescribe creams and lotions for you to apply to your rosacea. If infections are present, you may also have to take antibiotics regularly. Medicinal treatments are covered under most insurance policies, but cosmetic procedures are not. The only time an insurance provider may cover a cosmetic treatment for rosacea is when a dermatologist deems it medically necessary because medicinal treatments do not appear to be working for your skin. There is no known cure for rosacea, and you will have to embrace your doctor's recommended treatment plan for life or pay out of pocket for one of the above treatments.