Rosacea, one the most common skin disorders is a chronic inflammatory condition that is characterized by persistent redness or flushing in the central facial region. While it is non-life threatening, it can have some severe psychological effects because of the adverse impact it can have on your appearance. Currently, it is estimated that 14 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from this. While there is no “cure” for rosacea, the treatments including antibiotics, creams, and lasers can often be time-consuming and expensive. Recently, Botox has been shown to reduce breakouts and redness, how effective is it really?
Rosacea: What are the symptoms?
Many people know that rosacea has redness to the central part of the face, but they don’t know the other symptoms. We have all seen that person whose face appears to be that of a drinker. Their nose and cheeks are red, along with their eyes. This can actually be due to rosacea, rather than the effects of drinking. Often embarrassing, rosacea is also characterized by:
v Spider-looking or swollen surface veins on the cheeks and nose
v Red bumps that are similar and often mistaken for acne. These bumps may contain pus.
v Feeling hot or tender skin in the affected area.
v Dry, swollen and irritated eyes. This occurs in about 50% of all people diagnosed with rosacea.
v Eyelids that appear reddened.
v Because of the reddened, often drunk appearing face, many sufferers are embarrassed to go out in public. They may also suffer depression or anxiety because of the condition.
v It primarily affects individuals between 30-60 years old, with women being more likely to have it than men.
What Is Botox?
Botox is a trade name for a type of botulism toxin that is created by Clostridium botulinum. When we think of botulism, we think of food poisoning. Vomiting, nausea and everything that is associated with it. But, when injected as it is in this case, the dosage is too low to cause any toxicity and it has shown to be an effective treatment for rosacea along with many other problems.
Everyone has heard about Botox as used for those who want to get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. Touted as an “anti-aging” product, the thought of injecting toxins into our skin was almost revolting. However, FDA approved for a wide variety of problems, Botox soon became one of the hottest cosmetic non-surgical treatments and has remained so for more than 15 years.
How does Botox work for rosacea?
There are many types of treatments available for the control of rosacea symptoms. Since there is no cure, finding effective treatments has become imperative for the millions of sufferers. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, so finding a cure has been difficult. With Botox, it is not a cure, but an effective treatment that seems to work this way: Botox blocks the release of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the major neurotransmitter that is released by different nerve cells. This neurotransmitter can cause increased sweating and dilation of blood vessels. By blocking acetylcholine, it can reduce the reddened appearance of the face and decrease those swollen veins.
Research is currently being done to check into the actions of acetylcholine in the disorders that are “nerve-mediated”, meaning those causes by the various parts of the nervous system. Since there has been some link between rosacea this nerve-mediated response, and acetylcholine has been shown to have a causal link, Botox may be a better choice for treatment and control.
Research is still ongoing into Botox and rosacea. With several studies having been done, the results are promising. While not a cure, Botox has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for the control of rosacea outbreaks and redness. It can be considered as an alternative to the existing medications and light treatments that have to be utilized on an ongoing basis since the Botox injections have the potential to help for 6 to 8 months after one treatment. So, if you have concerns with Rosacea consider using Botox injections today; see your dermatologist.