facial flushing treatment

Facial flushing

Facial flushing occurs because of vascular expansion and blood flow under external conditions, usually due to heat. Mostly we are dealing with rosacea, a chronic inflammatory disorder with a tendency for facial flushing, capillaries and changes (similar to acne). Initially, blood vessels contract after the initial external stimulus and the flushing disappears. If the stimuli repeat, the vessels stay permanently expanded with a development of facial flushing and appearance of capillaries. People with this disorder are usually marked as alcoholics even though this disorder has nothing to do with alcohol. Second major cause for facial flushing is the sun, which stimulates the development of blood vessels. In both cases, with rosacea and because of the sun, multiple small blood vessels combine to give that distinct redness. 

How to treat facial flushing and remove capillaries?

Treatments of choice are lasers, the IPL device or AFT treatments which burn blood vessels with optical energy and remove redness. Hemoglobin, protein in the red blood cells, absorbs the optical energy which destroys just the capillary but spares the surrounding tissue.

If properly applied, all devices help. It is necessary to determine the device type in accordance with the type of redness (from light red or deep dark red to purple). Devices have certain characteristics and depth of penetration which vary. Usually, for best results it is recommended to combine more devices. 

How many treatments are needed and are the results permanent?

In average 3 to 5 treatments are needed with a gap from 3 to 4 weeks between every treatment. Weaker energy power is used in the initial treatment as not to damage the face, and results are not visible. During the following treatments the power intensifies and results keep getting better. Usually the results are visible after the second or third treatment. Facial flushing cannot be completely cured, but can be decreased significantly. We are talking about an enduring tendency and maintenance treatments at least 1 to 2 times a year are needed after the treatment is finished. The duration of results is individual and lasts approximately from 6 to 12 months, although they can last longer depending on the individual and their compliance with the doctor's instructions. Even though the redness is successfully treated, it is necessary to protect oneself from external provoking factors because they shorten the duration of the results. 

Are there any additional causes of facial flushing?

Facial flushing can appear because of other reasons, and in these cases the mentioned devices will not help because the flushing is not caused by blood vessels. Usually it is just face irritation, high blood pressure, adrenal gland tumor, menopause and thyroid gland disorders.

Are there any possible complications?

There are no scars or they are extremely rare. Temporary swelling and facial sensitivity is possible after the treatment. As a sign of a successful therapy minor bruises, which heal soon, can appear. Sometimes after the destruction of blood vessels and capillaries  a dark brown coloring will appear and pass in a few days. In case of highly visible redness a minor surface damage can appear which will heal within couple of days without scaring or with a minimum surface defect which can be mostly corrected afterwards. 

KTP laser

This laser is, because of its shallow skin penetration, used only for superficial facial flushing or minor blood vessels. Minor bruises are possible after the treatment which can easily be covered. 

Pulsed Dye laser

This is the best laser for removing facial flushing and is used as a golden standard. This laser gives the best and most lasting results. It is used for removal of minor capillaries and redness which is superficial or moderately deep. Bruises are common after the treatment and heal soon. In the past this treatment was unpleasant, but today this is not the case because of cooling of the skin. 

Neodymium Yag laser

Because of its penetration depth this laser is used for removal of deeper redness (dark red or even purple) and larger or deeper blood vessels. 

AFT treatment

Represents a novelty in facial flushing and smaller blood vessels removal. Up until now an IPL device was used, which also uses optical energy, but with weaker results. AFT is the newest treatment which gives much better results in comparison to the IPL device. It is used for superficial to moderately deep facial flushing and removal of smaller capillaries. Sometimes it is possible for the treated part to gain a dark brown color which is a sign that the capillaries have been destroyed.

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