I was born with a condition called Rosacea which is something both of my parents have. Essentially it is a reddening of the face caused by enlarged veins beneath the skin which cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be managed and treated to minimise their prominence. I returned to the Pulse Light Clinic in London to have a top-up session of IPL rosacea treatment to reduce the redness which darkens with age.
Rosacea typically begins after the age of thirty, although anybody can get it at any time, with the main symptoms being redness to the cheeks nose, chin and forehead. At first the redness may come and go but as time passes it tends to get darker and more chronic. As a child I always had a bright red face as if I were constantly blushing, yet as a teenager I went on to have aggressive and burning hot dark patches appear across my cheeks when I ate certain foods, or drank any alcohol, and it made me look as if I had been brutally slapped in the face for hours at a time until it would calm down.
As an adult I have noticed the flare-up of my redness coming and going has now stopped, however I am left with permanently pink cheeks and more noticeable dark red veins around my nose which makes me feel very self-conscious without makeup. Left untreated, the veins start to become more visible, bumps and pimples develop and the nose can even become swollen and bumpy whilst the eyes are irritated, watery and bloodshot.
Whilst there isn’t yet a medical cure for rosacea, treatments aim to tackle the symptoms whilst patients should aim to implement lifestyle changes in order to reduce the causes of rosacea flare ups. Pulse Light Clinic use a successful combination of IPL treatment for reducing the symptoms and a nutritional therapist to assist in the dietary and lifestyle aspect to aide in prevention of flare ups.
The IPL device is specially designed to emit a range of light waves precisely calibrated to target the haemoglobin in the blood vessels. These light beams pass through the layers of the skin where they are then absorbed by the haemoglobin and cause damage the blood vessels walls. This form of controlled injury triggers the body’s natural response to break down and remove the damaged tissue so that new cells can replace the problem area with clearer, more even skin.
The IPL laser feels like a hot flash of bright light that penetrates deep down into the skin, much like opening a hot oven door when you get blasted by a wave of hot air. The warmth from the laser only lasts a split-second at a time and makes me blink beneath my eye protection as it comes as quite a surprise because it is such an unusual sensation you wouldn’t normally experience.
The laser runs across the face using a covering of cool gel to conduct the light to the skin. The treatment covers the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead and is repeated four times in total with each varying laser setting targeting a different depth of skin to treat and repair. The face is then cooled with a wet towel and all heat removed from the skin.
Whilst I had my rosacea treatment, my boyfriend Freddy had a laser treatment to an old injury scar on his shoulder. My condition is a skin complaint and his scar is from an injury yet lasering can help us both by repairing and rebuilding our skin to improve the surface appearance and reduce discolouration.
Short pulses of laser energy are directed into the scar tissue whilst simultaneously stimulating cells to produce new collagen. This naturally repairs the skin from deep below as it gradually rebuilds the surface with new healthy cells and each treatment helps the scar to gradually fade away. Complete in just several minutes Freddy found the treatment perfectly comfortable and is looking forward to improving a scar that he has disliked for so long.
Remember to check back soon to see how our treatment and results are getting on!