Rosacea Treatment

Austin, TX




Before and Afters

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

Doctors Edward Buckingham and Erin Smith offer Rosacea solutions for patients in Austin & Sunset Valley, TX. Rosacea is a somewhat mysterious skin condition that affects millions of Americans each year. Fortunately, it is often possible to improve facial redness caused by rosacea with innovative treatments at Buckingham Center in Austin, TX. Dr. Edward Buckingham is a double board-certified expert in facial plastic and cosmetic procedures who has successfully treated many cases of rosacea in the Austin area.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea, or facial spider veins, is a skin condition that causes facial redness and typically affects the cheeks, chin, and often the central forehead. During a flare-up, the skin develops a flushed appearance due to an increase in blood vessels in the surface of the skin, and possibly bacteria. Redness, flushing, and other rosacea symptoms are believed to be activated by heat, alcohol intake, and other factors.

There is no clear reason as to why the condition develops, but it is thought to be hereditary. Rosacea can cause an uncomfortable sensation in the affected areas. This has been described as a flushed feeling or a burning sensation. The condition can also cause social or emotional discomfort due to the reddening of the skin. If left untreated by a professional, rosacea can permanently damage the skin.

Ocular rosacea can also occur in those whose surrounding skin is affected by rosacea. The whites of the eyes are reddened with prominent blood vessels. The eyes may itch, feel dry, or water, and vision can be affected.

While there is no apparent cure for rosacea, Dr. Buckingham can perform treatments and address routines that may cause flare-ups.

Why Should I Undergo Treatment for Rosacea?

Those in need of rosacea treatments in Austin, Cedar Park, or West Lake Hills who experience red, blue, or purple tinges in their facial skin are encouraged to contact Dr. Buckingham for relief. If the inflammation persists, patients may develop rhinophyma, which describes a bulbous nose with thick, textured nasal skin.

While some lifestyle modifications like avoiding spicy foods and hot drinks or environmental triggers like sun exposure can help control symptoms, they may not be fully alleviated without intervention.

There are other skin conditions that may occur alongside rosacea or independently that can also benefit from treatments for skin discoloration. Visible facial veins, known as spider veins, and brown spots (also called liver spots or sun spots) can also be targeted during dermal therapies to restore a uniform color to the skin. Depending on the treatment, maturing skin can also be rejuvenated, creating a more youthful appearance with fewer fine lines and wrinkles.


Though many Austin patients at rosacea specialist Dr. Buckingham’s practice have fair skin and therefore a noticeable contrast between their skin tone and facial redness caused by rosacea, patients of all races can develop the condition. In darker skin colors, there may be a warm sensation in the facial skin, with less noticeable color changes. Most rosacea patients are candidates for treatments but will have therapies tailored to their specific needs. Procedures can address both comfort and aesthetic concerns.

Dr. Buckingham will work to establish a clear diagnosis of rosacea and review a patient’s health history to design the best treatment plan. Because there is no test to determine if a patient has this common skin condition, the doctor may need to rule out any other underlying causes or conditions before recommending a treatment plan. This can be accomplished through visual inspection, a health questionnaire, or further testing like blood work or imaging.

The Consultation for Rosacea Treatment in Austin

Patients who have been diagnosed with rosacea might be asked to send their medical records to the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery prior to their rosacea consultation in Austin, TX. Dr. Buckingham will be able to go over any previous treatments, whether they were successful or not, and create a new treatment plan based on that information. Dr. Buckingham can also treat additional inflammation, like rhinophyma caused by long term rosacea.

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Preparing for Rosacea Treatments in Austin

Dr. Buckingham may require specialized pre-treatment care for rosacea procedures depending on the chosen treatment plan, but will generally provide the following instructions:

  • Refrain from taking certain medications or supplements for at least two weeks prior to the procedure
  • Discontinue the use of certain skin care products that may further aggravate the surface of the skin or its underlying layers, like retinol or salicylic acid
  • Use an approved hygiene routing prior to the procedure; exfoliation may not be recommended for a period of time
  • Follow post-care instructions, like avoiding direct sun exposure, which is especially important for Austin-area rosacea patients

Rosacea Procedures

Depending on the specific vascular problem, treatment will often involve a series of sessions with Intense Pulsed Light, more commonly known as IPL therapy. Through a calculated wavelength of light directed at the skin, the IPL device is used with a cooling gel at the treatment site. The temperature difference spares the surface of the skin while delivering greater energy to the underlying layers of skin.

Following IPL, patients will likely experience light facial redness for 24 hours. IPL can typically cause blood vessel issues like facial veins to disappear in 3-6 sessions. Moderate to severe cases may require increased energy delivery and a slightly longer recovery period.

Other types of facial pigmentation, like brown spots, will often require multiple modes of therapy to ensure optimal results. Prescribed treatment begins with medical-grade skin care. Dr. Buckingham uses the highly recommended Skin Medica brand or Revision Skincare, both lines have specific products aimed at treating discoloration.

In some patients, professional skin care may be all that is needed to resolve certain conditions, though often a boost is necessary. Depending on the patient’s tolerance for recovery, a variety of treatments are available. The least invasive treatment is to perform either a series of IPL treatments or a series of light chemical peels targeted at the unwanted pigment.

One step up would be to treat the skin with the Halo Laser. If more aggressive treatment is desired to dramatically improve the skin, a deep chemical peel or fractionated CO2 laser skin resurfacing can be performed.

While there are multiple cosmetic treatment methods available to control rosacea and restore the aesthetics of the skin, some medical solutions exist as well. Topical or oral medications can reduce inflammation and help alleviate symptoms. Some prescriptions may be recommended for short-term use, while physical methods like light and laser therapy provide longer relief, which can last for years.

Recovering from a Rosacea Procedure

Dr. Buckingham will provide specific instructions for patients following each procedure, as the aftercare recommendations can vary depending on the treatment method. Some general guidelines are:

  • Use only provided or highly recommended skincare products
  • Stay out of direct sunlight
  • Do not apply cosmetics until approved; Dr. Buckingham may recommend natural or hypoallergenic ingredients
  • Avoid rosacea triggers, like eating spicy foods, consuming hot drinks, or becoming overheated
  • Use a high SPF sunscreen to protect the skin from the Austin sun and to help prevent further rosacea flare-ups

The doctor may provide an ointment or cream to use following the procedure. A cooling pack can also be applied to the skin for patient comfort. Some medications like antibiotics for rosacea or anti-inflammatories can be taken as directed by Dr. Buckingham.

To avoid infection, Austin rosacea and skin rejuvenation patients should follow the prescribed hygiene protocol and avoid touching their face. Antibacterial hand wipes and gel should be used frequently, especially following ablative laser procedures or deeper peels.

Risks and Side Effects of Rosacea Treatments

Rosacea, broken capillaries, and pigmentation issues of the skin require non-invasive or minimally-invasive treatment methods, which are generally performed at Dr. Buckingham’s Austin, TX plastic surgery center. More invasive options include the ablative CO2 laser and deep chemical peels, which remove the outer layers of skin and may require anesthesia and sedation so the patient is comfortable during the procedure. These procedures can lead to increased risks of:

  • Infection
  • Discomfort
  • Burns
  • Permanent changes in skin texture
  • Allergic reaction
  • Scarring

Less intense treatments include IPL, which may cause bruising, blistering, or burns. Medication regimens may lead to an allergic reaction or minor side effects.

Why Should Dr. Buckingham Perform My Rosacea Procedure?

Dr. Buckingham specializes in cosmetic treatments of the face. He is board-certified through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology, achieving the top credentials of a practicing physician in his field.

Although some rosacea patients seek out assistance from a med spa or dermatologist for treatment, a skilled plastic surgeon like Dr. Buckingham has the equipment and expertise necessary to help rosacea patients improve their symptoms. Dr. Buckingham is known for his meticulous attention to detail and he enjoys the intricacies of his work. He remains active in related physician organizations and the latest research, providing modern treatment methods for conditions like rosacea to his patients at his Austin, TX practice.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Rosacea and Brown Spots

What are brown spots?

Brown spots are irregularities in the facial pigmentation resulting in discoloration of the skin. Discoloration may occur for a number of reasons including sun exposure, age, and increases in estrogen levels from pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives. Rosacea cases in Austin tend to be fairly common due to high levels of sun exposure.

How is rosacea treated?

Rosacea can be treated with laser therapy, which is effective in eradicating blood vessels while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.

How are brown spots treated?

Fraxel laser therapy or chemical peels are often used to reach the layers of the skin where pigmentation occurs.

What are facial spider veins?

Spider veins are a type of visible vein occurring on the face as a result of age and sun exposure. They are more common among individuals of northern European descent. Areas of the world that receive more sunlight, like Austin, TX may cause more people to be affected by skin conditions like rosacea. Spider veins may be referred to as starbursts because they often radiate out from a central point just beneath the skin like a starburst or spider. They may also appear as many fine, separate lines, as a tree with many branches, or as a maze of veins.

How are facial spider veins treated?

While many spider veins can be treated with sclerotherapy, the best facial spider vein treatment is laser therapy due to the targeted approach and their small size. There are many different types of lasers that may be used, including the BBL Laser.

What is laser surgery?

Laser surgery involves using light energy to affect targeted tissues within the body. Lasers can be used in a variety of different applications including skin resurfacing, spider vein treatment, rosacea treatment, and the removal of brown spots, birthmarks, skin lesions and tattoos.

This article was written by Dr. Edward D. Buckingham, MD, {About Dr. Buckingham} and edited by Dr. Scott Smith, MD {About Dr. Smith}.

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