Just understanding the different types of rosacea that exist can be difficult enough, even before delving into what treatments can be done for this persistent and aggravating skin condition. There are many rosacea treatment in Singapore. Treatments that can only be prescribed by a doctor, and treatments that are home remedies which have been tried and tested by many rosacea sufferers. Let’s get started on treatments for rosacea – what you need to know.
Can Rosacea Be Cured?
First things first – can rosacea be cured? In short, no. There is no known complete cure for rosacea. However, many treatments can help control symptoms and reduce the frequency of flare ups.
Why Treat Your Rosacea?
It can be easy to just throw in the towel out of frustration and say that you’ll just live with it! But treatment for rosacea is often recommended, even if it may take some time and trial and error to find the right combination of treatments for you. This is because rosacea can often get worse over time if left untreated. As the redness persists, the chronic inflammation of the blood vessels can result in degradation of your dermis, blood vessels with thickened walls, and even more formation of blood vessels (neoangiogenesis) which causes worsening redness.
How To Treat Rosacea?
Treatments for rosacea typically go according to the symptoms.
Treatments for red skin and small visible blood vessels (Telangiectasia)
- Medicated gels – Brimonidine gel (also known as Mirvaso) can help narrowing of blood vessels (vasoconstriction), but it cannot help with pustules/papules. It is applied to the face once a day, and effects can last up to 12 hours. This treatment needs monitoring by a doctor, especially if used for ocular symptoms because it can lower the eye fluid pressure.
- Laser treatment – Laser light therapy, such as the Pico laser treatment or Q-Switched Nd: Laser YAG, can help to reduce redness which were among the treatments reviewed for rosacea treatment best practices, and shown to have good results.
- Beta blockers – This medication causes the blood vessels to become narrower, causing less blood flow through the skin on the face. Because beta blockers are used for high blood pressure, it can cause dizziness or tiredness in some people.
Treatments for red and yellow spots (Papules & Pustules)
- Azelaic acid – This can help to reduce inflammation. It can also help control acne in those experiencing multiple skin conditions. Studies show that continuous use up to 15 weeks show improvement in rosacea symptoms.
- Oral antibiotics – Oral antibiotics are usually given when rosacea papule/pustule symptoms are severe, typically doxycycline, because of its safety and effectiveness in anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic (preventing excessive blood vessel formation) properties. Because oral medication enters the bloodstream, some people may have side effects like diarrhoea or nausea.
Treatments for skin thickening changes (Phymas)
- Skin thickening changes can cause the skin around the chin or nose to look bulbous. Treatment for this usually involves isotretinoin medications to shrink oil glands (like Accutane), and very severe swollen and bulbous phymas can be operated on to remove excess tissue. If there is too much inflammation, several months with an oral antibiotic may be considered.
Treatments for rosacea affecting the eye (Ocular rosacea)
- Eye drops – Steroid eye drops or ointments can reduce eye inflammation and help prevent infections from clogged oil ducts in the eye. Eye drops that mimic artificial tears can also help with the irritating or burning sensation, but watch out that you do not use eye drops for bloodshot eyes as that can make symptoms worse.
- Eye hygiene – A gentle eyelid scrub (sometimes called eyelid cleansing wipes in pharmacies) can help to keep eyes clean and free from infection. If redness is severe, oral antibiotics are also prescribed.
How Long Will It Take For My Rosacea To Clear Up?
Those who use topical treatments may need several weeks to see results, and oral antibiotic dosages may be prescribed from 6-12 weeks (2-3 months) to assess if they are effective or not. Isotretinoins are also usually prescribed for 3-4 months in combination with other medications. If lasers are used, it may also take multiple treatments over a period of months for the full effect. Overall, treatment for rosacea takes time for changes to occur and patience is needed before identifying if a treatment is working or not.
Does Rosacea Treatment Work For All Ages?
Rosacea Treatment can work for all ages, but different ages can benefit from different treatments. Laser treatments should not be done for individuals below the ages of 18, and a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding should not take isotretinoin medications.
Do Acne Treatments for Rosacea Work?
Some acne treatments and rosacea treatments overlap.
- Isotretinoin medications (commonly known as Accutane, Oratane, or Acnotin) are often used for acne treatments. Because they work by decreasing the size of oil glands in the skin, they can help to reduce and prevent the growth of papules/pustules in those with inflammatory/papulopustular rosacea.
- Isotretinoin, when used by younger people and the rosacea is not yet advanced, can also slow down skin changes causing phymas (such as rhinophyma, where the nose starts to grow bulbous tissue).
- Other topical treatments for acne can also help rosacea – azelaic acid can help to calm down redness and inflammation in both rosacea and acne flare ups.
- Laser treatments are used in acne and rosacea. However, it can be for different reasons. For acne, laser treatments are used to reduce the pigmentation and atrophic scarring left after the active lesion is gone. For rosacea, it is used to reduce flushing and redness.
Do Rosacea Over-The-Counter Treatments Work?
Some OTC treatments may help, especially for rosacea symptoms that are not too advanced yet.
- Sulphur – Like Prosacea or Nixoderm, the sulphur content can reduce inflammatory lesions and also facial seborrheic dermatitis in patients with rosacea-seborrheic dermatitis overlap.
- Ceramides – Ceramide-containing cleansers and moisturisers help to bind skin cells together to create a protective barrier within the skin’s surface. This helps the burning, stinging, and skin thickening of rosacea since the thinning skin layer in rosacea makes it more vulnerable to triggers.
When OTC treatments don’t work for your rosacea symptoms, you may need a professional to have a look and see if prescription-strength treatments can help. Our team of professionals at SL Aesthetic Clinic are ready to help!