What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory disorder of the hair follicles and blood vessels characterized by redness, flushing, burning, discomfort, and inflamed skin. Rosacea causes a range of symptoms that may also include swelling, visible blood vessels, bumps or pimple-like blemishes and skin thickening in later stages. 

Rosacea occurs most commonly on the central facial area, and more frequently in women and in those with fair skin. However it is usually more severe in men, and tends to occur most often to people between the ages of 30 to 50 years. Often mistaken for adult acne, the condition is not life threatening, but even mild symptoms can seriously affect quality of life. In a National Rosacea Society survey, nearly 70% of rosacea patients said the condition had lowered their confidence and self-esteem, and 41% said it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.

There is no cure for rosacea and the cause is still unknown, but it can be effectively treated utilizing a combination of laser treatment and skin care. 

Did you know? Rosacea affects around 15 million people in North America. 

Common types of Rosacea

Type 1 – Facial redness, flushing, visible blood vessels – ETR

– Intermittent flushing and or permanent redness on cheeks, chin, nose, forehead

– Dilated visible blood vessels (telangiectasia)

– Warmth and heat intolerance

– Sensitive skin – skin may sting or burn

– Swollen skin

– Dry, rough or scaling skin


Type 2 – Acne-like breakouts – Papulo-pustular Rosacea

– All of the above

– Acne-like breakouts where skin is red.


Type 3 – Thickening Skin – Phymatous Rosacea

– Bumpy texture of skin

– Skin begins to thicken especially on nose – called Rhinophyma

– May also affect skin of chin, forehead, cheeks, ears

– Open pores with oily skin


Type 4 – Ocular Rosacea:

-Dry irritated, ‘gritty’ eyes

-Recurring styes

-Swollen, itchy eyelids

-Tearing and burning


Rosacea has a number of differing triggers or stimulants which include spicy food, cold or hot weather, stress, alcohol particularly red wine. It sets up a cascade inflammatory reaction which results in the over-production of pro-inflammatory mediators and vasodilation of the skin leaving it red, flushed, irritated, and sore.

Rosacea can seriously impact on self esteem and can even lead to depression with emotional, social and professional consequences.


There are a variety of medical treatments for rosacea including topical and oral medication as well as laser treatment. During your skincare consultation, a detailed skin analysis will take place and a personalized program will be created for your treatment.

Here’s what Dr. Filyk has to say about it

“Laser genesis is an excellent treatment to decrease diffuse redness experienced with rosacea patients. Often, I combine Laser genesis, with laser vein removal and Limelight for patients with rosacea to target the spider veins and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation that they often present with.

Laser Genesis has great anti aging benefits too, as it reduces the appearance of fine lines, scars, and is safe for all skin tones.”

Procedure time: treatment may take up to one hour.

Number of sessions: After 4-6 treatments clients will begin to see results as cellular turnover has taken place. After 4-6 months optimal results are seen. Treatments are booked 2-4 weeks apart.

Before the procedure: Discontinue using Retinol products for one week prior to treatment and for two days after treatment.

During the Procedure: The laser creates a warming sensation almost but not to the point of discomfort.

After the procedure: At most, the skin will appear mildly red or flushed.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments have been found highly effective in the treatment of rosacea, as well as other conditions like rosacea (redness). IPL treatments for rosacea significantly reduce the symptoms, and depending on your skin care regimen, may produce results that last from 6 months up to three years. One of the best treatment options available today is the Cutera Excel V IPL Laser. While the results of rosacea laser treatment can dramatically improve the symptoms, it cannot cure rosacea itself. Sometimes a combination of Excel V IPL treatment and salicylic acid peel treatments can most effectively reduce the symptoms for longer periods of time.

The new SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer reduces redness by interrupting the inflammatory cascade and protects the skin’s barrier. We have had amazing results with this product and recommend it highly for use with all patients suffering from rosacea.

Book a free individual consultation with our AAAM Board-certified Physician at Westside Medical Surgical Clinic- the Calgary Laser Rosacea Clinic -to select the best treatment for your skin type. We look forward to hearing from you!



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