Rosy cheeks, spider veins, adult acne? You may Have ROSACEA
If you have even one of these symptoms you may be suffering from Rosacea. Until recently the only options for treatment were topical steroids or oral antibiotics, which for most sufferers gave little improvement. At Lasting SkinSolutions®, we have created a combination laser and topical treatment program to effectively treat the symptoms of Rosacea. We have seen significant improvement in just a few short treatments with long lasting results.
Rosacea is usually seen in adults with onset in the 30’s. Rosacea will continue to get worse with age and without proper treatment. Rosacea is most common in fair-skinned people, but can affect all skin types. Symptoms may come and go with the weather, stress and physical activity.
Rosacea can’t be cured, but effective treatments can give you much clearer skin and can actually help your symptoms from coming back.
Diode (Vascular/Blemish Laser Treatment) Diode treatments improves the overall skins color, tone and texture, giving it a clearer, smoother, more youthful look. The procedure works well for Vascular Lesions such as Facial Spider Veins, Rosacea, and other blood vessel inflammations that cause facial redness and enlarged pores. Diode eliminates Cherry Hemangiomas, Raised Pigmented Lesions (Seborrheic Keratosis, Sebaceous Hyperplasia and Papulosa Nigra) and also removes Skin Tags, benign Moles, and Warts.
What is it? Diode is a laser heat treatment. This heat is created by the laser’s specific high-energy light wavelength. Unlike IPL, Diode’s focus is narrow, and its pen-sized beam must be aimed directly at each targeted blemish.
How does it work? The dark brown or red pigments in the skin’s blemishes and inflammations absorb diode’s laser wavelength. After these areas absorb the heat created by the laser, blemishes on the skin’s surface scab and fall off and deeper blemishes break apart and are gradually re-absorbed into the body. Vascular Lesions and other blood vessel inflammations shrink, reducing redness and pore size.
How should I prepare for this treatment? Patients should avoid sun exposure and tanning 4 weeks prior to treatment. If the darkness of a patient’s skin is close to the darkness of their blemishes, the skin surrounding the blemishes, diminishing the treatment’s effectiveness and increasing the chances of unwanted side effects will absorb the laser’s wavelength. Some providers (including Lasting SkinSolutions) will not administer a laser treatment to a tanned person. For patients with sensitive or naturally darker skin, a bleaching cream may be used one month prior to treatment to “calm” the pigment cells surrounding the blemishes so they will not react to the heat. Patients should avoid using Accutane for 6 – 12 months prior to treatment because it increases the chance of scarring. In addition, patients should not use harsh “skin renewal” products like Retin-A or other glycolics in the days before their treatment. Instead, patients should use gentle, moisturizing, protective products including sunblock that contains 9% Zinc Oxide. Patients who have previously experienced facial cold sores are pretreated with Valtrex to reduce the risk of breakout 2 days before, the day of, and 2 days after treatment.
How long will it take? The procedure will last anywhere from 15 – 60 minutes, depending on the condition of the skin being treated and how many sites are being done.
Is it painful? Patients usually experience some discomfort during a Diode treatment because of the heat it generates. Numbing creams can reduce this discomfort by about 25% throughout the treatment. Another option is to apply a cooling gel. Ice, gel packs or other cooling methods can be applied during and after the procedure to minimize the heat. There will be no lingering pain during or after the treatment.
Is it safe? Diode treatments are generally very safe. However, because this is a heat treatment, there is a slight risk that pigment darkening, blistering, and scarring can occur. Working with an experienced provider reduces this risk even further.
Are there any side effects? Expect the treated area to be pink for 1 – 2 hours, and puffy for 1 – 3 days, although the puffiness may last for up to five days in some cases. Occasionally, fine brown lines develop, but will disappear in 3 – 5 days. When Raised Pigmented Lesions are treated, water blisters may develop but will only last for 24 – 48 hours and then scab. These scabs usually fall off in 1 – 2 weeks, and deeper lesions break up and are gradually re-absorbed in 4 – 6 weeks.
How long is the downtime? Post treatment recovery time usually last for 3 – 5 days, or the time it takes for any pinkness or puffiness to disappear. In some cases, the pinkness or puffiness can up to 7 days depending on the patient’s skin type and what part of the body was treated. The patient should stay out of the sun during this period, and always use a sunblock that contains 9% Zinc Oxide afterward to protect and soothe the skin and to calm any swelling. After 1 – 2 weeks, treated skin will respond to the sun the way same it has in the past.
What should my expectations be? In the treated areas, spots and blotches will darken slightly immediately after treatment then quickly begin to fade or disappear. Visible veins will immediately shrink but then reappear – only to fade away in 4 – 6 weeks. Redness will subside quickly and pores will get smaller as well. There is a certain amount of unpredictability about which blemishes can be eliminated with this procedure. For example. Diode cannot get rid of freckles, and about 1% of pigmented lesions do not respond to treatment. Pre-cancerous lesions resist treatment because they are somewhat “transparent” and will not absorb enough heat to break up. These lesions can usually be identified, but not always. Also, Rosacea and Melasma cannot be cured – just kept under control with repeated treatments. There are extremely rare cases when a particular patient sees little or no results.
How soon will I see results? Improvements from Diode treatments are usually seen after four weeks, with continued improvements over the following 4 – 6 weeks. Full results are usually reached within 12 weeks.
Will it look natural? Yes, as soon as any pinkness or puffiness disappears and any scabs fall off, the treated area will look less blemished, smoother, less bumpy, and have an overall more even tone.
How long-lasting are the results? Results are directly related to the unique characteristics of a patient’s skin, their genetic predisposition and hormonal balance. In general, results can last anywhere from 1 – 3 years.
WHAT NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU ABOUT DIODE TREATMENTS:
Better Balance Means Better Results. A patient’s hormone levels can affect how they will respond to Diode, and in some cases, what kind of results they will get from their treatment. Higher Testosterone levels increase the chances of blistering. Also, patients with this condition “flush” and turn red easily and often. Since flushing (the expanding of the facial blood vessels) causes Rosacea and enlarged pores in the first place, higher Testosterone levels end up working against an IPL treatment so its results are not as effective or long-lasting. A patient with balanced hormones may get better results than one with imbalanced hormones. Knowing a patient’s hormonal levels can help avoid substandard results or unwanted side effects.
The Secret To Always Achieving Maximum Results. The more heat applied during a treatment, the more effective the treatment is. There comes a point when a blemish has absorbed too much heat and the risk of unwanted side effects increases dramatically. An experienced provider can get maximum results without harmful side effects. Lasting SkinSolutions® has been providing laser treatments for 5 years, and therefore has the expertise and ability to treat certain blemishes until they have absorbed maximum energy without crossing the damage threshold. By knowing what the targeted area should look like, and how the surrounding tissue should respond when this threshold has been reached (for example, the “puffier” the treated area, the better the end result will be), Lasting SkinSolutions can get maximum results out of each Diode treatment.
Sometimes Diode Is Not The Answer. Stubborn or larger Vascular Lesions like some Spider Veins must absorb a high level of heat to make them shrink or disappear. When treating these types of Vascular Lesions, many providers will continue to “turn up the heat” until they feel the lesion has been addressed. Higher heat compromises the integrity of the skin that covers the lesion. In some instances, this skin becomes temporarily damaged and shallow indentations occur. These indentations gradually disappear over a 4 – 12 week period and the lesion may still remain! Lasting SkinSolutions® has extensive experience with Vascular Lesions and the knowledge to determine when to work with another type of laser or treatment to achieve optimal results with minimal pain and downtime.
The Best Way To Remove A Blemish? Dermatologists often choose to either cut out or freeze off certain blemishes – two techniques that will leave a scar. Lasting SkinSolutions® primary goal is to provide the best possible cosmetic outcome that leaves no mark or scar.
Quality vs. Quantity And The Realities Of Cost. Some providers offer Diode treatments in a “package” that usually consists of 3 – 5 sessions. While the cost of each individual session may be inexpensive, the entire package’s price tag may not be. Each individual session has an average of 4 days of downtime, meaning a 5-session package creates at least 20 days of downtime! By offering multiple sessions in a package, a provider may be saying they need that many sessions to get good results. Lasting SkinSolutions’ expertise and specific techniques allow them to provide the same or better results in an average of 2 sessions that some providers may need 3 – 5 sessions for. In some cases, this can save the patient a great deal of money and a great deal of downtime!
What Is Easy For The Provider Is Not Always Easy On The Patient! Many providers use a Pulsed Dye Laser to treat the same Pigmented and Vascular Lesions that the Diode Laser does. Pulsed Dye Lasers are popular among providers not necessarily because of the results they generate, but because they are fast and easy to use. A common side effect of Pulsed Dye Laser treatments is Purpura, which is large; purple bruising that literally makes the patient look like they have “taken a beating”. This bruising usually lasts for 8 – 12 days. Sometimes the treated area remains red and takes a few weeks to return to its normal color. The Diode Laser does not create side effects or downtime of this nature. What it does create is exceptional results in just 1 – 2 treatments. These are the reasons Lasting SkinSolutions® has chosen the Diode Laser over the Pulsed Dye Laser – even though the time, accuracy and precision Diode requires makes it less convenient to use.
Different Areas Of Skin Have Different Sensitivities. The skin on the face is actually thicker than the skin on many other parts of the body. Old or damaged skin cells replace themselves more quickly on the face. These factors make facial skin ”tougher” than the skin on other parts of the body. The skin on the neck and chest is far more sensitive than the skin on the face, and is more easily damaged. This is why Lasting SkinSolutions® will not treat a patient’s neck or chest with Diode before first finding out how the skin on their face responds to a heat treatment.
Superficial Lasers and Light
Lasers and Light can be used superficially to shrink blood vessels causing red spots on the skin called Cherry Hemangiomas or in a condition causing easy flushing or redness in the skin called Rosacea. Lasers can be used to treat benign or non-cancerous skin tags or moles. Intense Pulsed Light can be used to target pigment in the skin caused by sun damage, sunspots or a condition that looks like the skin is mottled or “dirty” called Melasma. Often a medium depth and fractionated laser may be needed to reach the deeper pigment of Melasma.
Pre-Cancerous Sun Spots
Sun Damage generally appears as an even brown flat spot. If a flat brown spot takes on a scaly, transparent appearance this may warrant evaluation by your physician. A yearly skin evaluation by a dermatologist is recommended as a good practice. If a pre-cancerous lesion is a concern, a FDA approved treatment with a medication called Levulan® combined with the Light can be warranted.
**The Levulan and Light treatment can also be used if an age spot is light or transparent to improve the effectiveness of the treatment.