What is Couperose?
Cuperosis is characterized by a persistent noninflammatory dilatation (expansion) of narrow blood vessels in the skin. It is manifested by a more visible vascular star or net. Cuperosis can appear independently, i.e. as an isolated cosmetic skin issue, or as a result of a different medical issue (eg. liver disease, rosacea, etc.).
Causes of couperose development
- Dry, thin, and sensitive skin is particularly prone to couperose, but the changes can occur even in people with oily skin, especially in the nasal area.
- Genetics – If one of the parents struggled with couperose, chances are that their children will develop a similar dermatologic issue.
- Exposure to UV rays – Chronic and intensive exposure to sunlight (know as “sunbathing”) and regular use of tanning beds can hasten the aging process and appearance of skin changes that occur as a result of UV ray exposure, the so-called “photoaging”. Damaged blood vessels lead to accelerated development of couperose.
- Extreme temperatures – Extremely low or high temperatures have a negative effect on the human body. In fact, even exposing yourself to an extreme temperature just once, for a short time, can result in the appearance of blood vessel changes and couperose. This is characteristic of people who are exposed to extremely low or high temperatures in a work environment.
- Alcohol – Alcoholic drinks damage blood vessel walls and contribute to the appearance of couperose.
- Smoking – Smoking has an extremely negative effect on the entire cardiovascular system, making the blood vessel walls sclerotic and fragile. The blood that circulates has low oxidation levels and additional vasoconstriction of the peripheral thin blood vessels further contributes to the minimized tissue malnutrition. Changes are caused due to microcirculation damage, which can be manifested in the skin by couperose.
- Stress – Emotional stress provokes the appearance of couperose due to elevated blood pressure that leads to the destruction of capillaries.
- Cuperosis that appears due to an internal organ disease.
- Inappropriate skincare – Aggressive skincare procedures can lead to skin thinning, its pH value, dehydration, and damage of vascular networks.
- Demodex Folliculorum – Demodex is a parasite that appears in the sebaceous gland openings and hair follicles and can, in rare cases, cause couperose.
Stages of Couperose
There are three main stages of couperose development. Each one is characterized by uncomfortable sensations, such as itchiness, tingling, redness, and sometimes even inflammations.
- Stage I
It is manifested with the appearance of redness and “hot flashes” on the face. The redness withdraws without leaving any traces because the blood vessels still remain elastic enough to return to their original state.
- Stage II
This stage is characterized by the appearance of visible changes on the skin blood vessels causing telangiectasia. Patients who suffer from this stage of couperose usually turn to a medical professional for help.
- Stage III
In this stage, people develop irreversible microcirculatory changes followed by the change in skin nutrition and inflammation.
Cuperosis often appears in:
- people with light skin
- between the ages of 30 and 50
- people with sensitive skin
Before starting the treatment, it is important to determine its cause to propose the most adequate treatment. The best results are achieved with a comprehensive approach.
- Hygienic-dietary regimen
The patient should adhere to the hygienic-dietary regimen which implies eliminating the consumption of alcohol, spicy food, chocolate, and foods that contain yeast.
- Proper daily skincare
In addition to the prescribed dermatological treatment, patients pay special attention to their daily care which involves the use of skincare products that don’t cause damage to the topmost layer of the skin and are not abrasive to the epidermis. Creams with a high SPF factor are also obligatory, due to the negative effect UV rays can have on the development of couperose. Vitamin supplements are recommended, the addition of flavonoids, vitamin K that strengthens the blood vessel walls, and Vitamin C which stimulates the synthesis of new collagen and improves the blood vessel’s ability to adapt to changes in blood pressure.
Laser Treatment of Cuperosis
Laser therapy is the most effective method for the treatment of couperose. It is popular due to its ability to remove any visible traces of couperose. During the laser treatment, we rely on photocoagulation to reverse the changes made in the tiny blood vessels. We use Nd:Yag laser therapy approved by the FDA to treat couperose and other dermatological issues that are manifested in redness and vascular changes in tiny blood vessels.