Celebrity Secrets To Treat Rosacea
HOLLYWOOD’S SKINCARE SPOTLIGHT: TREATING ROSACEA
More than 16 million Americans have rosacea, so if you’re currently dealing with the frustrating condition that causes a flushed, often ruddy look to the skin, you’re not alone. The condition is most often characterized by redness, blushing, visible blood vessels and in some cases bumps and pimples, but no matter what symptoms you have, the bottom line is that rosacea is a frustrating and often embarrassing skin condition to live with. But there are effective treatments available, lasers being the latest among them.
Among the millions of people currently affected by rosacea, more than a few are names you probably recognize. Famous faces reportedly affected by rosacea include Bill Clinton, Cameron Diaz, Renee Zellweger, Mariah Carey, Rosie O’Donnell and Cynthia Nixon just to name a few. Since makeup can only cover so much, it’s safe to assume that some of these A-listers turned to lasers to trade redness for smooth, clear, red carpet-ready skin.
Lasers to the Rescue
“Redness and flushing, which are probably the most prominent and common features of rosacea, are, in my opinion, best treated with lasers,” says Dr. Eric Bernstien. Most patients see a significant improvement in their symptoms following one laser session, but several sessions are usually needed to complete the treatment, he explains.
77 percent of those who received laser treatment for rosacea said they would do it again. “I was hoping for a miracle, and that was what I got. My face was no longer red, it was amazing!” said one patient from Seattle, WA. “It was the only thing that has pretty much cleared up the redness on my face. I feel great,” said another from Charlotte, NC.
Lasers and Rosacea Explained
To remove visible blood vessels or reduce the extensive redness associated with rosacea, lasers are the answer. They emit wavelengths of light that target tiny blood vessels just under the skin. Heat from the laser’s energy builds in the vessels, causing them to disintegrate. Generally, at least three treatments are required, depending on the severity of redness or visible blood vessels, but the skin-saving results speak for themselves. The best part (aside from redness-free skin, of course), is the fact there’s no downtime. You can go back to whatever you were doing right after your treatment.
Certain lifestyle factors can make rosacea symptoms worse and those factors differ from person to person. While one person may experience a flare-up as the result of eating a spicy meal, someone else with rosacea might be able to eat a huge bowl of hot chili without any effect on their skin. Once you know what triggers your rosacea, you can work to avoid your exposure to them.
When it comes to what triggers are most common, sunlight leads the way. Surveys of rosacea patients have revealed that sunlight is the leading trigger of flare-ups. If you make the effort to avoid rosacea-aggravating sun exposure (by wearing a strong sunscreen daily), visible blood vessels may not return for years.
Sun Smart Tips
Minimize your direct exposure to the sun as much as possible, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear protective clothing, including a brimmed hat, and always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (one that offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays) to your skin before going outside. Your sunscreen should have an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30.
Celeb sun tips: “Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross wears a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen wherever she goes, as does TV correspondent Maria Menounos. Connie Britton, of “Friday Night Lights” fame, uses sunless tanner rather than hitting the beach, and protects her skin with organic sun care products and “Sex and the City” star Kristen Davis never leaves the house without wearing SPF 50.
Along with avoiding your rosacea triggers, staying out of the sun and wearing SPF, talk to your doctor about what rosacea treatment is right for you. As daunting as it feels to live with rosacea, know that the skin you want could be just a few laser treatments away.