Did you know that people who blush are typically seen as more trustworthy and attractive? So, getting red in the face can actually be a positive thing, right? However, frequent or intense blushing can trigger or worsen something that may not give you such a rosy-eyed perspective: rosacea. This condition doesn’t make your face look swollen, but it may also cause emotional and psychological distress. Before you get anxious about it, it may comfort you to know that this condition is neither unique nor untreatable. Rosacea is highly common. Despite its continued position as a disease more prevalent in fairer-skinned individuals, an estimated 40 million people with skin of color have it.
Also, there are now many generally safe and effective treatments that can alleviate it or help control its symptoms. But of course, checking in with your physician is always best to ensure a thorough diagnosis and a safe and effective management plan. In this article, we will unpack how red light therapy for rosacea, one potent treatment likely to be part of your treatment plan, can shed light on this skin disease.
What is rosacea?
If you experience flushing episodes with burning or stinging sensations, perpetual redness, tiny yet visible blood vessels, and spots on your skin, then you may have rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that usually affects the face, making it red and full of rashes.
What causes rosacea?
So, how does one end up having rosacea, to begin with? Although its exact causes still haven’t been pinpointed, scientists have found a strong association between this common skin condition and several factors, including the following:
A study shows that 49.2% of the sample group had at least one family member affected by rosacea. Even more striking, this figure increased to 69.2% when the search included relatives up to six generations. This indicates a strong association between family history and having the condition.
2. The presence of Helicobacter pylori
These spiral-shaped bacteria can cause infections like chronic gastritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, and even gastric cancer. You can get this intestinal bug from contaminated food or water or through direct contact with saliva (person-to-person), feces, or vomit.
3. An overreaction of the immune system to bacillus oleronius
Demodex or tiny face mites live in human hair follicles in the nose, cheeks., eyelashes, forehead, and outer part of the ear canals. This is common in most people. However, these mites can spread uncontrollably when your immune system isn't functioning correctly. It is believed that the overabundance of bacillus oleronius triggers redness and inflammation.
4. Excessive production of cathelicidin
Cathelicidin is a protein that normally fights microbes that cause skin infections. However, its biological functions depend a great deal on how it binds to receptors in the immune system. Receptors, such as cathelicidin, are molecules within cells or on their surfaces that bind to substances, effecting changes in the cells. A dysregulated immune system can produce abnormally high levels of cathelicidin, something common to individuals with rosacea.
However, note that not everyone with a family history of rosacea, bacterial infections, or weakened immune systems has rosacea.
Risk factors for rosacea
Although anyone at any age or of any race can get rosacea, your risk of the skin disease may be higher if you are:
- Between 30 and 50 years of age
- Fair-skinned or with blonde hair and blue eyes
- Prone to acne or have had a lot of bumps and skin inflammation
- A woman (although they're less likely than men to get severe rosacea)
How does red light therapy for rosacea work?
Even if this skin disease doesn’t go away completely, there are treatments you can do to address the symptoms, lessen the flare-ups, and enhance your skin’s appearance. Enter red light therapy for rosacea.
Red light therapy is a type of low-level light therapy (LLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM) which is more than 50 years old.
Today, it has many medical uses, such as the reduction of chemotherapy side effects, the relief of pain and inflammation, and the improvement of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. One of its more popular applications is addressing various skin disorders, such as acne, alopecia, and rosacea. So how does red light therapy for rosacea benefit individuals suffering from this condition?
During red light therapy for rosacea, a beam of light from a device or laser is directed onto the affected part (i.e., your facial skin). Unlike the sun's harmful UV rays, red light is safer because of its lower energy levels at 1.8 electron volts or eV (compared to 3 to 124 eV of UVA, UVB, and UVC light). However, this doesn't mean that red light therapy for rosacea can't deliver a powerful healing punch. With its longer wavelengths reaching close to 650 nanometers (in contrast to the 10-to-400 range of UV beams), red light can penetrate deep into the skin to infuse the mitochondria with energy.
Popularly known as the power generators of cells, the mitochondria are dynamic machines within the cells. These soak up all the energetic goodness from the light therapy to produce the chemical energy needed by the body to perform its many functions, such as cellular growth and skin rejuvenation. As a result, red light therapy for rosacea can deliver the following benefits:
- Reduce redness by diminishing pro-inflammatory cytokines and activating the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins that tell the immune system to do specific jobs.
- Stimulate the production of collagen for the healing of injured skin tissues
- Spur antioxidant activity to relieve inflammation by lowering oxidative stress. The latter is caused by unstable DNA-damaging molecules called free radicals.
- Prevent scar formation and reduce the appearance of scars
- Boost the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), helping reverse the effects of rosacea, such as premature skin aging, thickened complexion, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sagginess. The TGF-beta is a superfamily of proteins that tones down cytokine production, among other functions.
Yes, red light therapy for rosacea can well be the light at the end of a possibly frustrating journey with this skin disease. But how do you know which health and wellness provider to choose? It’s quite simple—just follow the stars!
HigherDOSE Red Light Therapy: Radiance without the redness
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With HigherDOSE, you can supercharge your self-care and boost holistic recovery with nature-inspired at-home wellness tools designed to ignite vitality from the inside out. Our Infrared, PEMF, and Red Light devices elevate your health and beauty rituals. At the same time, our collection of body products boosts the benefits, so you feel more rejuvenated, refreshed, grounded, and glowing. So radiate without the redness—only with HigherDOSE. Get into the high life by dropping by the HigherDOSE shop today.