Category Archives: Rosacea

Oral and topical niacinamide for rosacea

Rosacea can be a challenging condition to live with. The unpredictable flushing, uncomfortable dryness, random pimples, and the frustrating sensitivity of the skin would make anyone desperate to find a cure.

 

While there is no treatment that can permanently correct rosacea, there are many treatments, skincare, and lifestyle measures that can help decrease flare-ups. One that is gaining popularity is a vitamin called niacinamide. With its high safety profile, economic accessibility, and ease of use, it has earned a place in many a rosacea patient’s routines.

 

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is none other than Vitamin B3. Specifically, it is the form of Vitamin B3 that is actively used by the body for various processes; the most basic of which is cellular metabolism. Each and every cell in our body requires NAD(H) and NADP(H) to use and harness energy. In fact, the “n” in the acronym stands for nicotinamide. Without these molecules, cells will not be able to function normally. These also have antioxidative properties that help repair damage to cells.

 

The entire body benefits from this vitamin, but let’s take a closer look at what it does for the skin. Studies suggest that niacinamide plays an important role in maintaining the skin barrier by upregulating the production of ceramides and collagen. Ceramides are lipids that prevent transepidermal water loss, helping keep the skin soft and supple. Meanwhile, collagen is a structural protein that provides for elasticity and tensile strength.

 

In addition, niacinamide has potent immunomodulatory properties. It inhibits the production of some cytokines, the chemical messengers that trigger inflammation. In fact, niacinamide has been used to successfully treat inflammatory dermatoses, including bullous pemphigoid and is sometimes used as part of acne treatments.

 

How does niacinamide help rosacea patients?

 

The skin of rosacea patients is much more sensitive than those of people who do not suffer from the condition. Flare-ups are triggered by anything from sunlight to windburn, spicy food to alcohol, cosmetics to strong emotions. The skin reacts disproportionately to the perceived threat, becoming red, blotchy, rough, and swollen. Unfortunately, angry skin is not great at protecting itself from further irritation, and so the cycle continues.

 

Niacinamide throws a wrench into this process by making the skin more resilient against threats. It does this by improving the structure of the epidermis to prevent moisture loss, improve tensile strength and suppleness. With niacinamide, the cells that make up the layers of the skin have the sufficient building blocks to produce NAD(H) and NADP(H), allowing them to do their jobs optimally. It also helps to modulate the overactive immune response associated with rosacea.

 

Topical use

With niacinamide’s many mechanisms of action for improving skin condition and texture, many products have begun to incorporate this vitamin into their formulas. Serums, moisturisers, foundations, creams–you name it.

 

However, if it is used as a supportive treatment for rosacea, you should pay attention to the concentration. Using a moisturiser containing 2% niacinamide was shown to decrease blotchiness, flakiness, and bumps in rosacea patients after 4 weeks of use. Other studies that focus on this vitamin’s effect on other skin conditions like acne, wrinkles, and pigmentation use products that have up to 10% niacinamide.

 

Discuss with your practitioner what product they would recommend for your condition. Always be sure to patch-test before applying on your whole face to see how your skin will react to it. Many rosacea patients love niacinamide and most skin types will tolerate it well, but each body is different. It’s better to err on the side of caution and check first, especially if you have sensitive, rosacea-prone skin.

 

Oral use

In the quest for the ultimate cure to rosacea, oral treatments have been considered. These include low-dose antibiotics and isotretinoin. Initial studies on oral niacinamide for rosacea show promise, though there is still much research needed to find out exactly how it works. Likely, its effect has something to do with the vitamin’s ability to inhibit the chemical triggers for vasodilation, provide energy for cellular repair, and modulate inflammation.  This translates to a decreased likelihood of flare-ups and improved ability of the skin to regenerate after irritation.

 

 

Purpose of this information

The information presented on this website and in this article is for general information and example purposes only, does not contain health advice specific for users and must not be relied on for that purpose.  Please see your GP, dermatologist or other health care professional for specific advice.

 

References

Draelos, Z. D., Ertel, K., & Berge, C. (2005). Niacinamide-containing facial moisturizer improves skin barrier and benefits subjects with rosacea. Cutis, 76(2), 135–141.

 

Fivenson D. P. (2006). The mechanisms of action of nicotinamide and zinc in inflammatory skin disease. Cutis, 77(1 Suppl), 5–10.

 

Levin, J., & Momin, S. B. (2010). How much do we really know about our favorite cosmeceutical ingredients?. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 3(2), 22–41.

 

Matts, Paul & Oblong, John & Bissett, D.L.. (2002). A Review of the range of effects of niacinamide in human skin. Int Fed Soc Cosmet Chem Mag. 5. 285-289.

 

Niren N. M. (2006). Pharmacologic doses of nicotinamide in the treatment of inflammatory skin conditions: a review. Cutis, 77(1 Suppl), 11–16.

 

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/nicotinamide

 

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/rosacea

 

 

 

Green Light Vascular Laser

Vascular Laser Therapy for Rosacea

Some sufferers of rosacea may have agonised in front of the mirror about the diffuse redness and prominent blood vessels on their face. Thankfully, advances in medicine and technology have resulted in numerous treatments that can help improve the appearance of red-blotchy skin.

 

Among the treatments stirring up a lot of buzz is the Excel V 532nm vascular laser therapy. If you’re considering this procedure, it’s important to get a general idea of what it is, how it works, and the factors that affect its efficacy and safety. Armed with this knowledge, you can make better decisions for your skin.

 

What is vascular laser therapy?

The term “laser” actually started out as an acronym for “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation”. It sounds like a handful, but translated into layman’s terms, it basically refers to high-intensity light produced through excitation of specific molecules. The wavelength of the light that is produced depends on what molecules are used to create them. If the wavelength is between 400 to 700nm, you’ll be able to see it as within the spectrum of visible light. There are also lasers that produce wavelengths greater than 700nm, which fall into the range of infrared light.

 

Laser light is very different from the light coming from your lamp. It contains large amounts of energy contained in a very narrow beam, allowing it to change the objects it’s pointed towards. Because it’s so precise, you can target it at a specific spot on skin while minimising collateral damage.

 

How does it work?

The goal of vascular laser therapy is to destroy the small blood vessels that have dilated so much that they are visible through the skin. We know that blood that fills it contains oxygenated hemoglobin, and we also know that oxygenated hemoglobin strongly absorbs light at around the range of 418, 542, and 577nm.

 

Vascular laser therapy delivers a concentrated beam of light in an absorbable wavelength into a blood vessel. The light energy is converted into heat, and that causes the destruction of the offending blood vessel. The surrounding structures are not damaged because they do not absorb the wavelength of the laser light, they just reflect it. Plus, the beam of the laser is so narrow, it can target a small area.

 

This is great for people diagnosed with rosacea. It can greatly reduce telangiectasia (the visible red blood vessels) and overall redness within a few sessions, depending on the depth and size of the lesions. Many people report being satisfied with the relatively quick, long-lasting, and obvious improvement in their skin.

 

Considerations before opting for laser therapy

By this time, you might be ready to start looking for the nearest clinic that offers vascular laser therapy. But before you do that, there are things you have to consider finding out if this is the right procedure for you.

 

Firstly, laser therapy is generally considered supportive to medical therapy for rosacea. In other words, a few sessions will not magically make the skin condition go away. Following a good skincare regimen, avoiding triggers, and using any prescribed treatments are just as important to managing rosacea.

 

Laser therapy may also have different effects on different types of skin. This may cause a reaction to skin that burns easily or is sensitive to light and heat. Those with darker skin tones should be especially careful as not all laser are suitable in such cases.

 

It is important to note the change is not instantaneous. There may be discomfort, increased redness, and swelling on the face a few days after the procedure. Sessions are usually spaced a few weeks apart to allow the inflammation to settle down. There is also an increased risk of sun sensitivity, so be ready to slather on the sunscreen, wear a hat, and avoid the sun as much as you can.

 

But the most important factor to consider is where you plan to get vascular laser treatments done. Not all lasers are the same, not all laser clinics are the same, and not everyone should be operating a laser device.

Not all lasers are the same, not all laser clinics are the same, and not everyone should be operating a laser device.

Conclusion

Rosacea can be a difficult condition to live with, but there are therapies that can help improve the appearance of the skin. With proper medical advice and research, you can get the help you need to not just look better but feel better about yourself.

 

Purpose of this information

The information presented on this website and in this article is for general information and example purposes only, does not contain health advice specific for users and must not be relied on for that purpose.  Please see your GP, dermatologist or other health care professional for specific advice.

 

References

Carniol, P. J., Price, J., & Olive, A. (2005). Treatment of telangiectasias with the 532-nm and the 532/940-nm diode laser. Facial plastic surgery : FPS, 21(2), 117–119. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2005-872412

 

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/lasers-in-dermatology/

 

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/rosacea/treatment/lasers-lights

 

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/rosacea/

 

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/facial-red-vein-and-vascular-birthmark-treatments/

 

 

Learn more about Vascular Laser & Download our brochure here: Vascular Laser Excel V

 

Gentle Skincare in Rosacea

Gentle is the way in Rosacea Management

 

Rosacea is a skin condition that causes various types of sensitivity and inflammation of the skin. These hallmarks of inflammation need to be soothed and calmed, and to do that, one must practice gentle skincare.

Gentle skincare is all about minimising irritation that otherwise can cause the skin to flare up. It’s important to remember that this includes avoiding both chemical and mechanical irritants. It’s not just the products you use, but also how you apply them.

 

Here are some tips to help you practice gentle skincare.

 

Look at the ingredient list.

You can tell which products are more likely to irritate your skin by checking its formulation. Avoid those that have ingredients such as menthol, alcohol, camphor, fragrances and sodium lauryl sulfate. Now here is something that may shock you.  Avoid essential oils! Dermatologist Dr Chris Jalilian says to avoid ingredients that contain ‘botanicals’.  “These are more likely to do more harm than good”.  Go for products that are labelled as “mild”, “gentle”, “non-irritating”, or “for sensitive skin”. Run away from toners, even if it’s suggested that they may be OK to use in sensitive skin. Rosacea needs no toning!

 

You should apply these guidelines to anything that touches your face. For example, sodium lauryl sulfate is often found in shampoos and toothpaste. The residue from these products could cause redness in the forehead or around the mouth for example.

 

  “Avoid menthol, alcohol, camphor, fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate and essential oils. These are more likely to do more harm than good”.

 

For more product suggestions, you can check out the rosacea products page of our partner pharmacy.

 

Consider the two staple ingredients for rosacea skincare, Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and Vitamin A (retinols). Our favourites are Propaira Skin Defence serum with 10% niacinamide and The Skincare Company’s Vitamin A which glides on the skin so elegantly.  As for a gentle moisturiser, our pick is La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Light Sensitive Moisturiser.

 

Do a patch test

Each person’s skin is different from the next. So what will work for one person may not necessarily work for you. To make sure that the product you are purchasing is right for your skin, do a patch test first. Place a small amount on your jawline or somewhere that is not so obvious. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes to see if it will cause a reaction. If it causes redness, itching, or dryness, best leave it on the shelf.

 

Cleanse twice a day

To complement your prescribed rosacea treatment, it is important to cleanse twice a day. It’s best to use products that have a slightly acidic or neutral pH to mimic the skin’s natural state.

 

“Blot your skin dry rather than rubbing and use a soft towel to dry your skin then allow your face to air dry for a further 5 to 10 minutes before you put on your creams”.

 

The goal is to remove oil and residue from the face as gently as possible. Avoid using washcloths or face brushes as they can be abrasive. Instead, use your fingertips and gently move it against your face in circular motions using a light touch. Wash away the cleanser with lukewarm water as temperature extremes can trigger rosacea. “Blot your skin dry rather than rubbing and use a soft towel to dry your skin” says Dr Chris Jalilian.  “Then allow your face to air dry for a further 5 to 10 minutes before you put on your creams”.

 

 

Moisturise regularly

People who suffer from rosacea have skin that is sensitive and easily damaged. Proper moisturisation helps repair that barrier and protect the skin, which results in improved skin appearance and increased comfort.

 

When you find a gentle, non-irritating moisturiser that works for you, apply it as often as you want. With clean hands, dab it gently onto your face and enjoy the relief from dryness.  You don’t need a lot of moisturiser to cover your face, just enough for a thin coat.

 

 

Apply sunscreen everyday

Sunscreen is one of the cornerstones of rosacea management. Use a broad-spectrum product with at least SPF 30+. Physical filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide may not be easy to blend into the face, but these are less likely to irritate the face, making them the active ingredients to look out for when shopping for sunscreen.

 

Make sure to apply every 2-3 hours during the day when outdoors, regardless of the weather or your location.

 

Conclusion

Combining gentle products with gentle application can significantly improve the effectiveness of medical rosacea treatments. But as with any skincare routine, consistency is key. Make it a habit to take care of your skin by cleansing, moisturising, and applying sunscreen, and you’re sure to see (and feel!) the results.

 

Purpose of this information

The information presented on this website and in this article is for general information and example purposes only, does not contain health advice specific for users and must not be relied on for that purpose.  Please see your GP, dermatologist or other health care professional for specific advice.

 

References

 

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/rosacea/triggers/tips

 

https://www.rosacea.org/patients/skin-care/facial-cleansing-for-rosacea

 

Levin, Jacquelyn & Miller, Richard. (2011). A Guide to the Ingredients and Potential Benefits of Over-the-Counter Cleansers and Moisturizers for Rosacea Patients. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. 4. 31-49.

 

Santoro, F., Lachmann, N. An Open-Label, Intra-Individual Study to Evaluate a Regimen of Three Cosmetic Products Combined with Medical Treatment of Rosacea: Cutaneous Tolerability and Effect on Hydration. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb) 9, 775–784 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-019-00331-4