Couperose is a red skin condition caused by broken blood capillaries. People often confuse Couperose with Rosacea because both skin conditions present quite similar symptoms. However, there are some differences between these two conditions.
Couperose treatment entails everything from light therapy, phototherapy, to natural skin care regimens.
Improper treatments of Couperose can intensify the appearance of red patches, making them more and more difficult to hide and treat successfully.
Read on to learn more about Couperose and treatments for this condition.
What Is Couperose
Couperose is a chronic skin condition caused when the blood vessels around the nose and cheek area weaken and break.
When exposed to extreme conditions such as heat, cold, spicy foods, emotions or exercise, the body pumps more blood through the blood vessels, causing parts of the body such as the face to redden. However, after a while, this red appearance fades away.
In people with red skin conditions such as Couperose, facial redness can be a constant fact of life. This happens when the blood vessels in the facial area fail to close, therefore letting excessive blood to flow into the capillaries around the face. The result is a constant redness in the face and especially around the nose and cheeks.
Risk Factors For Couperose
While Couperose can affect anyone, certain factors increase the risk of having this skin condition. Some Couperose risk factors include:
- Family History: A history of Couperose or rosacea in your family can significantly increase your risk for these conditions.
- Age: Blood vessels can lose their vitality with time, increasing the risk for facial redness.
- Environmental factors: Sunburn due to direct exposure to harmful UV rays can aggravate your skin and damage your blood vessels, increasing the risk for Couperose. This skin condition is also likely to worsen in winter.
Difference Between Couperose and Rosacea
Although some patients find Couperose unsightly, this condition is primarily characterized by localized facial redness. Couperose is caused by damage to both small and large blood vessels.
On the other hand, Rosacea is a permanent reddening of the face accompanied by acne-like pimples, inflammation, and skin irritation. One could look at rosacea as an advanced form of couperose.
Treatments For Couperose
Medical skin specialists treat Couperose using several treatment modalities. The most common ones include laser, light therapy, and peeling. Depending on the severity of your condition, the doctor may recommend one or a combination of any of these treatments.
Vascular laser is a pain-free and non-invasive technique that can help to minimize the appearance of facial redness associated with Couperose.
The process is performed in a dermatologist’s office typically without the need for a general anesthetic.
Your doctor will direct the laser device toward the affected area i.e. on the parts of your face where the capillaries are dilated and broken.
Because the laser device is focused on the affected area, the laser beams will not affect the healthy cells around this area.
A laser session typically takes about 20 minutes but the treatment duration could take longer depending on the affected area that needs treating. For significant improvement and reduction of facial redness, you may need to undertake 2 to 3 sessions.
After a laser treatment, be sure to care for your skin. Avoid direct exposure to the sun and apply a high SPF sunscreen.
While most patients tolerate laser treatment, some may feel slight discomfort. In the first few days following treatment, some patients experience skin flaking as well as intense swelling and reddening but these symptoms eventually resolve.
Intense Pulsed Light
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is quite similar to laser but this treatment method uses phototherapy instead of laser beams.
Phototherapy or IPL can help to treat several chronic skin conditions including rosacea, acne, age spots, and couperose.
During an IPL session, the doctor uses a light therapy device with a filter that helps to deliver the desired wavelength for a specific treatment effect.
Before directing the light therapy device onto the skin, your doctor may apply a gel on your skin for protection against the light beams. The device is then moved over the affected area of the skin using a pulsating motion.
At the end of the session, your doctor will use several customized products including creams or lotions to soothe your skin and encourage healing.
Depending on the condition of your skin, you may need 3 to 4 light therapy sessions to see moderate results. Annual treatment may be necessary to strengthen the facial capillaries.
A peeling is a type of liquid, solid or chemical substance applied to the skin to improve texture, eliminate dead skin, and rejuvenate your skin.
Peelings are available in different types and strengths for example fruit peels and chemical peels.
A chemical peeling is a liquid solution applied to the skim to a certain depth, depending on the condition of your skin.
Fruit acid peeling can help to eliminate dead skin to allow smoother, younger skin to come to the surface. More importantly, fruit acid peeling accelerates the production of new cells, therefore, making the skin firmer and reducing the appearance of damaged blood vessels through the skin.
Tips To Manage Couperose
In addition to these treatments, you might need to make slight adjustments to your lifestyle. Below are a few tips to help you manage Couperose:
- Eliminate foods and drinks that trigger your facial redness. Opt instead for clean, whole, and organic foods.
- Adopt a consistent skin care routine that includes natural, fragrance-free, organic products and ingredients.
- Clean your face with warm water instead of very cold or very hot water that could cause blood to rush to your face.
- Use a good moisturizer that can minimize inflammation, irritation, dryness, and redness.
Although Couperose is a harmless skin condition, some people may feel self-conscious due to the facial redness.
Common treatments for Couperose such as laser, light therapy, and peeling can help to minimize the appearance of facial redness. The only downside is that results are not instant and treatment requires several sessions for you to see moderate results.