Dr. Jennifer Cather, a board-certified dermatologist, as well as Chief Medical Officer and founder of Mindful Dermatology and Modern Research Associates tells PaperCity what triggers rosacea.
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Summer is just on the horizon, and that means lots of long months with intense exposure to the sun — and not to mention that infamous Dallas heat that’s hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk. Along with this heat and sun exposure comes a variety of skin conditions that any North Texan needs to be prepared to face, regardless of age, ethnicity, or skin tone.
According to Dallas-based medical practice Mindful Dermatology, one of the most important conditions to consider as we approach summertime is rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes facial redness, acne-like pimples, visible small blood vessels on the face, swelling, and occasionally watery and irritated eyes. This inflammation of the face can affect the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids and can be associated with itching and burning sensation of the skin. In support of the more than 16 million Americans who suffer from rosacea, April has been named National Rosacea Awareness Month.
“Rosacea is an unpredictable inflammatory disease state which has numerous triggers,” said Dr. Jennifer Cather, the Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Mindful Dermatology and Modern Research Associates. “It typically affects the central face with intermittent flushing and redness, culminating in an increased cluster of visible blood vessels. Red bumps and whiteheads often accompany these other noticeable symptoms. “Like so many things in dermatology, the exact cause of rosacea is unknown. Onset of the disease typically occurs after the age of 30. There is a female predominance, but interestingly, it can be more severe in men.”
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology reported that in a study of over 1,000 patients performed by the National Rosacea Society, the most frequent rosacea triggers in over 50% of patients include sun exposure, emotional stress, hot weather, wind, heavy exercise, alcohol consumption, and hot baths. Eating spicy foods was also reported as one of the highest triggers in 45% of patients.
Dr. Cather believes that the best way to approach rosacea as we enter summer is with education and evaluation by a dermatology provider. “Rosacea can run in families and affect anyone. Therapeutic interventions must be individualized for each patient, focusing on identifying personal triggers and preparing to mitigate a flare. Dermatologists are like personal chefs—we create individualized, made-to-order regimens that target each patient’s priorities.
“For patients with persistent redness, flushing, red bumps, and whiteheads, daily topical and oral medications which target the inflammation associated with the disease are advised.” There are numerous prescriptions– creams or oral anti-inflammatories (vitamin supplements or antibiotics) to treat the inflammation and bring the skin relief and help it needs. Luckily, there are steps that rosacea patients can take to help minimize a flare-up.
“When the sun is a trigger, a mineral-based sunscreen and oral polypodium leucotomos (PLE) supplements have been helpful in our patients,” Dr. Cather said. Avoiding or limiting topical products and foods containing many top trigger ingredients and excessive sun exposure and heat is helpful.
Dr. Cather also mentioned that when lifestyles and medications do not meet patients’ needs, leveraging devices have been effective. In an effort to decrease the use of systemic antibiotics, Dr. Cather shared that Mindful Dermatology promotes the use of at-home LED face mask devices, as they can help decrease skin inflammation.
“For end-stage changes in the skin, such as increased persistent blood vessels and skin thickening, we recommend in-office treatments like Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or other device therapies. There is a lot of interest in early intervention with devices in families with rosacea since technology targets the more visible aspects of the disease, so oftentimes the best outcomes utilize all available interventions.”
Mindful Dermatology is a Lumenis Center of Excellence and a progressive medical and aesthetic practice offering the full spectrum of cosmetic and general dermatology services, provider care, and products. They provide personalized dermatologic care using evidence-based medicine, a state-of-the-art independent research entity, the latest laser technologies, and innovative techniques.
One thing that makes Mindful Dermatology stand out when it comes to the plethora of options for dermatological care in Dallas is that it offers a wide range of clinical and cosmetic services. On its clinical side, Mindful Dermatology specializes in all dermatological conditions, including skin cancer examinations, acne, psoriasis, and, of course, rosacea. On the cosmetic side, they specialize in Botox, dermal fillers, skin resurfacing, laser treatments, and more.
Dr. Cather believes that success is dictated by its outcomes, and her mission is to provide a meaningful experience for every patient, no matter what their skin health goals may be. If you struggle with rosacea or have any other skincare conditions, know that you have options at Mindful Dermatology. Dr. Cather, Melodie Young, NP, and Alyssa Spiegel, PA and her comprehensive skin health professionals are dedicated to helping North Texans feel the best in their skin.
“It is never too late to modify lifestyles for a better healthcare outcome,” said Dr. Cather. “At Mindful Dermatology, we’ve created a brand and a group of people to handle every dermatological care consideration. Thoughtful lifestyle choices and decisions can lead to a better you and future generations.”