Rosacea is a challenging, hard-to-treat skin condition whose hallmarks are facial redness and obvious broken blood vessels. It can really cramp your style, as it affects how you feel about the one and only face you present to the world.
If you’re discouraged by your rosacea, you’re not alone. About 14 million Americans suffer with it. When the condition worsens, it causes pus-filled eruptions and thickens the skin around your nose, giving the nose a bulbous look. It’s smart to get treated routinely for your rosacea, before this happens, because available treatments can tame it.
Dr. Pamela Kimbrough and the Life’s Cycle Women’s Care team in Norman and Ardmore, Oklahoma, have adopted a treatment that brings lots of relief — and improved self-esteem — to many patients. Dr. Kimbrough’s care is defined by a willingness to listen, a whole-patient approach, and unfailing compassion.
How do I know if I have rosacea?
If you haven’t received a formal diagnosis, consider these ways in which the skin disorder reveals itself:
- Redness in the center of the face
- Swollen, itchy eyes
- Periodic flare-ups
In terms of risk factors, you’ve got a higher chance of being affected with rosacea if you’re fair-skinned, female, over 30, and have others in your family with the condition.
Rosacea is moody
If you have rosacea, you probably struggle with ups and downs and experience periods when your skin calms down a bit and others during which the problem intensifies. Even though there’s no cure for rosacea, you can take steps to ward off flare-ups, like lowering your intake of spicy foods and alcohol, and protecting your skin from sun, wind, and extreme hot or cold weather.
A proven treatment for rosacea
Dr. Kimbrough offers a minimally invasive treatment that’s been proved to radically reduce the look of your rosacea and keep it under control. Intense pulsed light (IPL) photorejuvenation is effective for many skin problems, from age spots to acne scars, and, fortunately, it also works to diminish rosacea.
A form of laser therapy, an IPL photorejuvenation session involves our Dermatology Nurses’ AssociationⓇ-certified team member, Peggy Dickson, who applies the treatment to your skin via a small handheld device. It emits very brief, minute amounts of light pulse energy. The treatment is highly customizable in terms of the range of wavelengths that can be used during a session.
This type of laser therapy “zaps” the blood vessels, which are the culprits when it comes to rosacea redness, with precision. Best of all, you see results in 7-10 days.
What’s a laser therapy session like?
We’d call it spa-like! You relax while we apply cool gel to your face and administer the treatment. The LumenisⓇ system we use for IPL photorejuvenation features a tool that is constantly being cooled as it’s applied to your skin. The feedback we get from patients is that each pulse feels like a rubber band gently hitting the surface of your skin.
In order for the treatment to be successful, you have to prepare for it properly:
- Stop using any Retin-A products for two weeks before treatment.
- Use only medical-grade sunscreen and a prescribed skin-care program that we can prescribe for six weeks prior to treatment.
- Stop using Accutane for two months before you get treated.
On average you need anywhere from 3 to 5 treatments, each about 30 minutes long. Though you experience swelling, redness, and other irregularities after treatment, they’re temporary and typically last about 7-10 days.