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Broken facial capillaries are caused in large part by environmental damage and genetics and can be unsightly and embarrassing.
Commonly located on the nose, cheeks and chin they appear as small red vessels under the skin. If left untreated, these vessels will continue to dilate and become more noticeable. Prevention, early treatment and on-going maintenance yield the best results.
The most common causes are:
· Environmental - sun exposure and weather extremes
· Hormonal fluctuations
· Medical conditions such as high blood pressure
· Pressure e.g. squeezing acne or glasses pressing on the face
Treatment aims to repair the existing damage as well as prevention of further damage by improving the overall strength and health of your skin. The treatment to repair broken capillaries requires a multi-modality approach. This is because vascular damage often sits at many different levels in the epidermis and dermis.
Traditionally, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) has been the only option to treat fine, superficial vessels. It works by emitting a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by the haemoglobin in the vessel. This light heats up the vessel walls, causing them to eventually collapse down. This is a highly effective treatment for damage close to the surface but does not always reach vessels deeper in the skin.
The number and type of treatments required depends on the size of the vessel, the length of time it has been visible, the general health of the skin and any underlying medical causes for the vascular damage. Your beauty technician will be able to advise you of the best treatment or combination and estimated number of treatments required at the time of your consultation.
Rosacea is one of the most common skin disorders, affecting 1 in 20 Australians. Yet very little is known about its causes.
Theories range from the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria to mites, but as yet, there is nothing conclusive. What we do know is the devastating effect this condition can have on a person’s self esteem.
Starting with facial flushing, rosacea usually progresses to persistent redness, thickening of the skin, visible capillaries and then to painful inflammation and raised red bumps. It is embarrassing and very difficult to hide.
Any of the following warning signs is a signal to seek help before the condition becomes increasingly severe:
· Redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead
· Small visible blood vessels on the face
· Bumps or pimples on the face
· Watery or irritated eyes.
If you think you have rosacea you need to get help as the condition gets progressively worse.
With no cure available, effective management is essential. Start with avoiding known triggers like alcohol, spicy foods, saunas and weather extremes. Seek advice on choosing the most appropriate skincare for your rosacea as the wrong skincare can exacerbate the condition.
Avoid toners, perfumes and irritating products. Use anti-inflammatory, immune boosting ingredients and incorporate Vitamin A. Retinoids like Retin-A are usually too irritating for rosaceous skin but using a retinaldehyde is a great option for reducing redness and improving the skins integrity.
Most people with rosacea are Caucasian and have fair skin. As UV damage is a known trigger for the disease, protect with a physical, rather than a chemical sunscreen like zinc, which is also very calming for the skin. Women should switch to a pure mineral make-up.
The good news is there are fantastic treatments available for rapid improvement in redness and dilated capillaries. Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light therapies work by heating up and collapsing the vessels down. Although most clients see a significant improvement in their symptoms following one session, several sessions are usually needed to complete the treatment and maintenance may be required.
Left untreated, rosacea can severely damage the skin, leading to dilation of facial capillaries, extreme sensitivity, and thickening of the skin causing a condition called rhinophyma (enlargement of the nose).
If you suspect you may have rosacea then seek advice from a skin specialist. Rosacea may not be curable, but it is controllable and with the right advice, you can learn to live with it.