Dr. Paul Lubitz at Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery discusses: Rosacea Awareness Month

Dr. Paul Lubitz – New Article – March 2015

Dr. Paul Lubitz Brings Attention to Rosacea Awareness Month with Fifth Element Skincare Line

Many people do not know that April is Rosacea Awareness Month. What is Rosacea? Rosacea (full name: erythrotelangiectatic acne rosacea) is a common and chronic skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans and over 2 million Canadians. Characterized predominantly by progressive facial redness, dilated blood vessels, acne and skin sensitivity, rosacea is a red-faced skin disorder that affects adults of all ages and that usually worsens over time.

Less well-known but very important side effects of Rosacea also include debilitating soft tissue growth of the nose (known as rhynophyma), facial skin swelling and eye irritation. Rosacea can affect both men and women, and people of all racial groups are at risk, however, patients of fairer skin types such as those of British Isles and northern European descent will have the highest likelihood of suffering from this disorder.

To raise awareness of Rosacea and the psychological discomfort that it causes, the National Rosacea Society has declared the month of April to be Rosacea Awareness Month.

Royal College Accredited Dermatologist and cosmetic skin specialist, Dr. Paul Lubitz of Canmore and his staff at Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery would like to bring further attention to Rosacea and impart guidance on how those with Rosacea can better manage the condition.

Although no definitive cause for Rosacea is known, studies suggest that people can be genetically predisposed to the disorder. With that said, there are treatments that can help those with Rosacea better manage their condition. Since Rosacea affects every person differently, it’s important for those with the disorder to study what triggers their flare-ups and tailor their lifestyle around those triggers.

Extremes of temperature such as cold, heat, a brisk wind, or high levels of ultraviolet exposure can definitely trigger a flare of Rosacea for most patients. Dr. Lubitz comments: “Here in the Rocky Mountains were I practice, we have all of these triggers, a lot of the time. Therefore, it is very important that patients with Rosacea be educated on the detrimental effects of these triggers on their skin and to protect their skin accordingly with such things as protective clothing, sunglasses, skincare and sunscreen.”

Fortunately, there are some skincare products that can also help manage Rosacea symptoms. Last year, Dr. Paul Lubitz and his Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery Centre introduced two lines of skincare products – Fifth Element and Fifth Element MD skincare lines. Both Fifth Element and Fifth Element MD contain organic, natural ingredients, such as orange, licorice, mango, and for the Fifth Element MD line, botanical extracts, like green tea extract, Siberian ginseng, Mannentake, Calendula and shiitake mushroom to name a few, all ingredients which can help manage and prevent Rosacea outbreaks.

While some people are aware that Green Tea is good for you, most people do not realize that green tea extract decreases skin inflammation and helps to neutralize free radical damage after UV exposure. Hyalronic Acid is known to increase skin’s hydration, thus allowing for better penetration of other topical ingredients. Licorice extract aids in reducing erythema and is an effective anti-irritant. Calendula is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and acts as an antiseptic!

But as Dr. Lubitz explains: “While the ingredients of skincare products are very important, they are not everything. It is important to understand that the molecular weight (size of the molecules) of the ingredients in a skincare product be small enough to allow the particles to pass through the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) in order for them to be effective. Not all ingredients are created equal; size does matter.”

All of this critical information, from the ingredients themselves to the size of particles and their permeability (ability to travel through the lipid outer skin layer) has been also taken into careful consideration when developing the Fifth Element Product lines to ensure that the ingredients selected not only have a specific function but that they are small enough to penetrate the skin thus maximizing their potential effects.

Dr. Paul Lubitz: “Those who have Rosacea have to be particularly selective with the kind of skincare products they use. Many skincare lines have irritants that can actually worsen Rosacea flare-ups … it’s important for those with Rosacea to choose skincare products that have little to no alcohol and that have natural, botanical ingredients. Commonly used chemical sunscreens can be also particularly problematic for Rosacea patients. In most cases, a mineral based sunscreen, such as containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide will be much better tolerated. ”

Not all skin care products are created equal and definitely not all products are developed or are appropriate for the harsh Canadian climates. For example, products that might not irritate the skin in more humid climates like Los Angeles or New York can easily irritate and commonly worsen skin problems when used in the dry, cold Canadian environment. Seeing this significant variation in the quality and ingredients of mainstream skincare products available to the consumer, and the lack of products designed for the harsh northern climate were some of the major driving forces that Dr. Lubitz and his team took into consideration when developing Fifth Element Skincare.

States Dr. Lubitz: “Our Fifth Element Skincare products have been developed specifically for our patients here in the Canadian north, with our harsh weather, and for the skin problems more likely to be problematic here such as Rosacea.”

Early diagnosis of Rosacea is very important. It is much easier for patients with mild Rosacea to prevent development of more serious symptoms of this condition such as severe redness, skin swelling and dilated blood vessels if they are educated early about their condition, and then guided to take the necessary steps to ensure proper care of their skin.

For those patients that do have more advanced disease such as widespread dilated blood vessels on the face or enlargement of the nose, fortunately, there are very safe and effective laser treatments available to help improve these symptoms. Modern lasers are incredible machines that can be used to remove the redness, dilated blood vessels, and even reduce the soft tissue enlargement of the nose, and overall skin sensitivity associated with Rosacea when chosen and used correctly by a trained skin specialist.

At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Lubitz incorporates a variety of advanced vascular and ablative lasers to tailor each laser treatment to the patient’s particular symptoms and to safely and effectively reduce the redness, blood vessels or soft tissue enlargement that are associated with Rosacea.

Regarding laser treatments, Dr. Lubitz cautions: “Patients need to be aware that unfortunately the sale and use of lasers is not well regulated by government. It is of great concern to us in dermatology that dangerous lasers can be bought by medical and even non-medical individuals in the general marketplace with little or no medical training of the skin. The study of dermatology requires years of training to be able to make the correct diagnosis of the skin condition, to choose the appropriate laser for the patient’s presentation, to know how to use the laser, and then to know how to deal with potential complications. These are things that simply cannot be learned from a book, a u-tube video or a weekend course. The use of a laser in the wrong hands such as by a non-physician or in a non-skin specialist clinic can result in unwanted side effects and even permanent scarring for the patient.”

Patients with all degrees of Rosacea would benefit from a consultation and proper medical assessment from a certified skin specialist, a dermatologist, to help educate them on their particular disease and symptoms, to review steps to minimize triggers, to help them with establishing an appropriate skincare program and if necessary to guide them towards safe and effective laser treatment.

For more information on Rosacea Awareness Month, visit the National Rosacea Society’s website. For more information on Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and the Fifth Element and Fifth Element MD skincare lines, feel free to visit Art of SKIN’s Facebook page. You can also call 403 675 0018 to schedule an appointment or to talk with an Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery representative.

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