NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Do you flush easily, get red in the face or break out – even though you have not had acne since you were a teenager?
As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports, you might have rosacea.
The red face condition has famously affected politicians, celebrities and even royalty. It leads to one or more problems like bumps, pimples, sometimes thickening on the skin and lots of redness of the skin or eyes.
That’s what happened to Alyssa Sheridan about six or seven years ago.
“I hadn’t changed anything, nothing changed in my life – my diet, nothing. It just, all of the sudden, one day was there pretty fiercely,” she said. “Bright red, predominantly cheeks but also some on the chin and the forehead. Hot, painful in a way not like you’re being stabbed but like a burning hot sensation and very puffy.”
She was treated with both topical and oral medications – the usual first line of defense, which helped with some of the symptoms, but not all. That led her to see Dr. Mitchell Chasin for laser therapy.
“The redness from rosacea is most often caused by dilated blood vessels. That’s not what medicines treat. Medicines treat the bumps, the swelling, the inflammation,” Dr. Chasin said.
Those dilated and broken blood vessels required a laser. That’s what has improved Sheridan’s skin. She’s been getting lasered for a few years, but new lasers called Perfecta and Prima are dramatically improving results for patients with rosacea.
“(Prima laser is a) much more powerful technology than we’ve had previously, and with this extra power we can drive energy more deeply into the skin and reach the deeper blood vessels that are feeding the little ones that are causing redness on the surface,” said Dr. Chasin.
The results are pretty obvious. The redness is significantly reduced with two or three treatments, which Sheridan says are easy to go through.
“It just gets hot. It’s just feels a little sore for about a day,” she said.
The one-two punch for rosacea is medicine combined with lasers to treat all the skin symptoms. But it’s not a cure. It just controls the symptoms, so you may need a maintenance laser once a year.
The cost for the laser is $200 to $300 a treatment.