What you can do against couperose
Couperosis is also called copper rose or copper pinnacle. It manifests itself by the appearance of redness in the area of the nose and cheeks, which initially disappear. In the further course of the disease, however, vascular dilatation occurs again and again.
These cause redness and permanent skin changes. Sometimes additional complaints occur such as dry and very sensitive skin prone to inflammation. Couperosis is usually a cosmetic problem and not a skin condition requiring treatment.
However, many affected individuals suffer from the noticeable redness and veins on their face. They would like to have a uniform and healthy looking skin appearance. With a professional laser treatment, the symptoms can be largely eliminated. Individually tailored skin care reduces the likelihood of recurrence.
How can couperosis be recognized?
Initially, couperosis appears only very discreetly. It is often only noticed by the affected person when the symptoms become clearly apparent. The development begins with the first small rednesses on the wings of the nose and all around as well as in the adjacent cheek area, which often disappear again. Later, the symptoms become more pronounced, but months or even years may pass before this occurs.
Symptoms that are common at the onset of couperosis include:
- Spontaneous redness on the face (“flushing”).
- blurred, patchy-appearing, unevenly colored redness of the skin
- bluish or reddish veins and plexuses appearing through the facial skin
- sensitive, dry and easily scaling facial skin
In some cases, the neck and décolleté are also affected by the appearance of the fine vein plexuses. After some time, the appearance of couperosis becomes chronic. The skin changes no longer recede on their own and even appear more pronounced. The facial skin of affected individuals is often particularly prone to inflammation and skin irritation. Inappropriate skin care can exacerbate the problem.
For example, skin care products such as Peelingswhich stimulate blood circulation, are not suitable for people prone to couperosis. Creams and massages that are too greasy also stimulate skin circulation and have an unfavorable effect on couperosis. The development of couperosis has a genetic component. It is therefore more likely to suffer from the disturbing skin redness oneself if close relatives are also affected.
How does couperosis develop?
Why the unpleasant redness of the skin occurs is not clearly understood. However, there are several factors that favor the development. Couperosis develops when small veins and/or capillary vessels in the face dilate. In case of venous dilatation, it is called phlebectasia. In contrast, the dilation of venous or arterial capillary vessels in the face and neck is called telangiectasia by medical experts.
This is caused by a weakness of the connective tissue – usually genetic – which also affects the vessel walls. The first appearance can be very sudden. Since the vascular dilatations initially disappear spontaneously, many of those affected do not even notice at first that they are suffering from couperosis. Only when the symptoms are more pronounced do they take a closer look and notice the characteristic skin redness and protruding vessels.
There are numerous “triggers” that promote the development of the annoying redness. These include, for example:
- elevated blood pressure
- Consumption of spicy foods that promote blood flow
- regular consumption of coffee or other beverages containing caffeine
- Consumption of alcohol and/or nicotine
- intensive sunbathing
- Use of ointments containing cortisone
- Facial massages or visits to the sauna, as these promote blood circulation
- Influence of hormones or hormonal changes in the body.
- Fragrances and detergents causing skin irritation
- strong temperature fluctuations
Environmental or lifestyle-related risk factors should therefore be reduced as much as possible by affected individuals to prevent the progression of couperosis.
Who has a particularly high risk with regard to the occurrence of couperosis?
In principle, couperosis occurs in both sexes. However, women seem to be affected somewhat more frequently than men. However, it may also play a role that men go to the doctor less often or only when symptoms are obvious. Women, on the other hand, often find even minor irritations of the complexion disturbing.
People aged 30 and older are most commonly affected by the condition, with initial onset occurring between the ages of 30 and 50. As age increases, so does the proportion of people affected. In addition to age, there are several other risk factors that unfortunately cannot be influenced. These include:
- light skin type (“Nordic/Celtic type”)
- genetic vascular wall weakness
- misdirected congenital immune response
- increased tendency to inflammation
Couperose and rosacea – two courses of one disease?
Couperosis is often confused with the skin disease rosacea, which runs very similarly at the beginning. This is not completely wrong, even though they are actually two different diseases. There is widespread agreement among dermatologists that couperosis should be regarded as an early stage of rosacea. However, not all couperosis progresses to the characteristic course of rosacea.
The likelihood of the troublesome skin redness developing into rosacea is increased especially when:
- Inflammation of the skin by bacteria or hair follicle mites or neurogenic inflammation exists,
- the immune system is weakened or there is a misdirected immune response,
- risk factors such as prolonged and unprotected sunbathing, alcohol and tobacco use are not reduced,
- inadequate or incorrect skin care is used.
If couperosis develops into rosacea, it is initially manifested by clearly dilated blood vessels in the face and strongly pronounced, two-dimensional skin redness. In the further course, nodules and papules develop, the skin appears irritated and burns or itches.
Growths of connective tissue can eventually lead to nodular thickening of the skin. This is how, among other things, the characteristic “bulbous nose” develops, an appearance often seen in older men. In contrast to couperosis, the Rosacea due to the inflammatory process has disease value and should therefore be treated by a dermatologist.
Couperosis: prevention and treatment options
Couperosis disturbs. Every look in the mirror reminds of the disturbed skin appearance and that other people always see this. The awareness of this can cause a strong psychological suffering. Because even though couperosis is not considered a disease, the red veins can still have a strong influence on our well-being. For this reason, we have compiled here for you what you can do against the redness.
1. lead a healthy life
Lifestyle has considerable influence on the skin appearance of our face. In this respect, the motto is once again to lead a healthy life. The cause of couperosis is the dilatation of blood vessels. The extensions of the blood vessels are located in the connective tissue.
When the vessels dilate there, this becomes visible on the skin surface in the form of specific redness. Often the dilation of the blood vessels is due to natural aging processes. However, the skin disorder can also occur at a young age. This is particularly unpleasant if the nose or cheeks are affected in particular, as the redness can easily be mistaken for the consequences of increased alcohol consumption.
To reduce symptoms as much as possible, you should avoid certain habits and foods. These include alcohol and coffee. In addition, you should also stop smoking. The dilation of blood vessels is also caused by stress or high temperature differences. For this reason, avoid these possible triggers as much as possible.
2. use the right cosmetics
When using cosmetics which are applied to the affected areas, the following points should be observed:
Since perfuming creams are usually based on the addition of essential oils, their use should be limited as much as possible. The reason for this is that the oils promote blood circulation, which can dilate the end vessels. In addition, the creams should be low in fat, as this promotes heating of the skin.
This includes creams in which alcohol, mineral oils and silicone oils are contained. Instead, pamper your skin with moisturizing creams. Especially for couperose, medical cosmetics are available which contain active ingredients such as aloe vera, dexpanthenol, echinacea, chamomile, linseed oil or frankincense.
To cover red veins, you can resort to makeup products with light green pigmentation. Since green is the complementary color of red, the makeup has a neutralizing effect on the observer and the redness is no longer seen.
3. therapies for couperose
The above measures can slow down or stop the spread of couperosis. However, if you want to achieve lasting success, you can resort to professional and modern therapy methods. In laser therapy, the vessels can be sclerosed in one or more sessions.
The number of sessions depends largely on the area to be treated, the procedure used and the expected success of the treatment. The prospect of treatment success drives patients. The subcomponents that have a significant influence on the success of the therapy are the color of the vessels and their diameter, as well as the size and thickness of the skin growths.
Depending on the skin and the severity of couperosis, the laser energy is individually adjusted to achieve the best possible result. The treatment itself is relatively painless. The stinging sensation can be relieved with the help of a pain-relieving ointment during the treatment. After the laser therapy, the treated skin is cooled.
As a result of the treatment, the skin may swell and redness may occur, so you should apply special ointments to the face afterwards. Aesthetically disturbing expressions of couperose can be treated in our practice. In addition to the prescription of redness-reducing creams, we offer you vaso-occlusive laser treatments for the reduction of skin redness and veins. We use the following procedures:
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
- Dye laser
- Radio Surgery
If you have any further questions about the diagnosis and treatment of couperose, please feel free to contact your dermatologist today.