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Rosacea and Spider Veins

What is it?

Rosacea is simply a term to describe a wide variety of symptoms that arise from a tendency to “turn red” easily.

There are other complications which can arise as Rosacea progresses, and the dermatologist may manage the advanced stages with prescription medications (topical and/or oral) and/or advanced laser surgery. Laser and/or light therapy treatments are proven methods to reduce the appearance of redness and spider veins, and can actually minimize the occurrence and/or severity of “blushing,” and help to prevent more advanced complications of Rosacea.

Advanced complications of rosacea include: ocular problems such as inflammation of the eyes and/or eyelid skin; red and white inflammatory pimples/cysts in areas of chronic redness; scarring and deformation of chronically inflammed areas such as the nose (rhinophyma)

Lifestyle Factors

If you blush easily or turn red when you get hot/cold, have wine or spicy food, then you are more likely to develop permanent redness or spider veins on the face. Hot flashes during menopause cause Rosacea symptoms to worsen in many women. Areas that have had injury such as sunburns, frostbite are also prone to Rosacea because of the damage to the collagen which helps to support blood vessel function. The sun and unprotected UV exposure weakens collagen and impairs proper function of the blood vessels, this is why rosacea is worsened by chronic sun exposure.

Skincare Adjuncts

Prescription skincare like 15% azeleaic acids, metronidazole, and other compounds may be prescribed depending on the specific subset of rosacea that you have. It is important to note that while these prescription topicals are necessary for decreasing the inflammatory pimples and pustules, it is not a treatment for the general redness or spider veins in the skin.  Daily use of a good sunscreen is essential to prevent further sun damage to the capillaries.  Anti-aging based skincare is also helpful but needs to be carefully selected with a view that rosaceous skin is more likely to react or become irritated.

Treatment Options

Treatment OptionKey BenefitAverage Number of TreatmentsAmount of DowntimeComfort Measures
Pulsed DyeSpot treatment of spider veins1 treatment can clear 80-100%Significant bruising, up to 1 week to fadeTopical anaesthetic
Fotofacial or BBL RejuvenationDiffuse redness, ruddy or blotchy skin tones, can improve blushing and flushing3-5 sessions
1 month intervals
Maintenance treatments done yearly are recommended
Little to none. Can feel like a mild sunburn. Can resume work on the same day. Make-up can provide sufficient coverage.Topical anesthetic
KTP LaserReduce inflammation and redness of patches on the face like cheeks and foreheads2-3 sessions at 2-3 month intervals3-5 days of redness in the treated area. Skin can feel like a mild sunburn. Swelling if large area.Topical anaesthetic. Cold compresses and Tylenol and or Advil for post-tx.
Laser GenesisEvens out mild pink or ruddy skin tones, improves pores and mild scarring6 treatments at 2 week intervalsLittle to none. Can resume work on the same day. Make-up can provide sufficient coverage.None needed, treatment feels like a warm hair dryer on the face