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As many as 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea, and despite being such a common skin disorder, much remains to be learned about its causes and dermatologists continue to explore new treatments. In fact, a new rosacea classification system was published earlier this year—and this new approach to diagnosis and treatment focuses more on a patient’s unique symptoms, rather than predetermined subtypes based on groupings of specific rosacea signs.
According to dermatologist Dr. Jeanine Downie of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey, the main upside of this updated classification system is the list of associated disorders and diseases that can accompany rosacea. “This is helpful for patients because it makes them understand that rosacea symptoms may be linked to their overall health and wellness,” she explains.
Dr. Downie also says that recent studies have shown a connection between Helicobacter pylori bacteria found in the digestive tract and rosacea. “We know there is a link between the gut and the skin, and many people find their rosacea improves when taking medication for various stomach issues,” she says.
While taking a holistic approach to overall health can certainly have a positive impact on the skin, there are a variety of topical and in-office treatments that can help minimize and manage the redness, stinging and burning associated with rosacea. In addition to the options below, Dr. Downie emphasizes, “The most important over-the-counter product is sunblock, and it should be used every day, January through December, rain or shine, regardless of ethnicity.”
ZO Medical Rozatrol
Over-the-counter products are often the first line of defense when dealing with skin redness or discomfort. This soothing serum takes a multi-pronged approach to improving the feel and appearance of the skin thanks to an amino acid complex, gentle exfoliating enzymes, antioxidants and barrier-strengthening ingredients that enhance radiance, smooth skin texture, minimize inflammation and help maintain the skin’s hydration levels.
Dr. Downie is a fan of this prescription-based topical for managing the redness associated with rosacea. “It is not a new treatment, but it has been proven to be very effective,” she explains. Unlike other prescriptions, Rhofade provides redness relief for up to 12 hours with just one daily application.
Cutera Excel V
“I recommend laser treatments for persistent rosacea. The Excel V laser targets the redness caused by broken blood vessels, therefore it work for telangiectatic rosacea as well as acne rosacea,” Dr. Downie says. Multiple treatments are necessary for optimal results, and Dr. Downie adds, “Many patients use topicals along with laser treatment for the most long-term improvement.”
If you believe you have rosacea but have yet to be diagnosed, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist so he or she can recommend the best treatment approach for your unique symptoms.