Dr. Teo Wan Lin
MBBS (S’pore), MRCS (Edin), FAMS (Dermatology)
Dr. Teo Wan Lin (Zhang Wanlin; Chinese: 张婉琳), a board-certified dermatologist in Singapore and director of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, specialises in medical and cosmetic dermatology. An innovator in the dermocosmetic / cosmeceutical skincare industry, she is the chief scientific officer of Dr. TWL Dermaceuticals, an e-commerce-based cosmeceutical concept, which she has taken from its inception in 2016 as a start- up to an established cosmeceutical line in Singapore/Asia today.
Signs that you may need to have your rosacea diagnosed by a dermatologist
What is rosacea?
Do you have red skin that flushes whenever you experience anger, get excited, or even when you are in a warmer climate? Well, you may have rosacea. Rosacea is a disorder of blood vessels. It’s commonly described as red face, but it really is an underlying disorder of the blood vessels that result in the appearance of a constantly red face. There can be accompanying symptoms, such as burning and stinging. Additionally, it can also coexist with eczema, which is a problem with the skin barrier function.
How do I know if I have rosacea?
If you experience flushing, often, and find that the flushing does not go away as quickly as others do, for example, after exercise. Also if you find the redness being triggered by small, everyday exposures such as spicy or hot temperature foods, then you may truly have rosacea. The danger, as mentioned, is if it’s not treated by a dermatologist, the long-term complication of rosacea is actually skin thickening.
What happens if rosacea is not treated?
Rosacea itself, besides being cosmetically disturbing for many people, can also result in skin thickening. This skin thickening eventually results in a severe form of disfigurement, known as rhinophyma. To illustrate, rhinophyma is the end stage of rosacea, which is why we need to treat it early. Early diagnosis is key.
Skin specialist in rosacea treatment
Who should I see if I have rosacea? Can a dermatologist help with rosacea?
Only dermatologists are accredited by the Ministry of Health to diagnose and treat rosacea. A lot of skincare doctors are actually general practitioners who are not dermatologists. You should check your doctor’s accreditation at the Dermatological Society of Singapore, where they have a list of accredited dermatologists. Aesthetic doctors are not dermatologists.
Importantly, if you suffer from rosacea, have an accredited dermatologist diagnose you to rule out other conditions which may look like rosacea. Certain auto-immune diseases such as lupus present with facial redness. This is what we call a malar rash that can mimic the appearance of rosacea. It’s very important to rule lupus out. If the appearance of the skin is consistent with what is described as malar erythema, your dermatologist may ask for associated symptoms such as body aches, joint pains, intermittent fevers, hair loss. These are all associated symptoms of auto-immune disease.
Dermatologist approach to different types of rosacea
What are the different types of rosacea?
There are different subtypes of rosacea. Rosacea is also characterized by enlarged pores on the surface of your skin, and sometimes can even look a lot like acne. Acne rosacea is the commonest type, which looks like acne, except that there is a lot of background redness.
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea is a type that is predominantly characterized by persistent redness. Telangiectasia is the appearance of the superficial Starburst capillaries, which are the smallest of blood vessels on the surface of your skin. The crucial impact of missing treatment is this. Once the blood vessels are burst, they become permanent. It can be reduced with certain laser treatments, but it is important for you to also realize that rosacea has to be treated with oral medications.
Important dermatologist recommendations for rosacea treatment
How does a dermatologist treat rosacea?
Here we focus on the importance of medical therapy for rosacea. Our dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin has been widely interviewed for her expertise in the treatment of medical and cosmetic dermatology conditions. As an accredited dermatologist with the Ministry of Health Singapore, she has published books on the treatment and diagnosis of common skin disorders, as well as on the topic of cosmeceutical skincare.
At her practice TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Center, she treats rosacea patients with a combination of both laser and cosmeceuticals. Medical therapy involves taking a course of oral antibiotics. Antibiotics such as doxycycline and erythromycin have proven to be efficacious for the treatment of rosacea. Your dermatologist will decide if an appropriate duration is sufficient for your condition. Or if treatment should escalate to Isotretinoin, which is also an option especially for certain types of acne rosacea. Furthermore, there will also be monitoring for side effects if any.
Topical treatment can involve the use of metronidazole gel, Azelaic Acid, as well as calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus. Although topical therapy in rosacea is not always effective. Dermatologists often see a combination of rosacea and facial eczema. Hence, it is important to use a barrier repairing moisturizer as well, to minimize any skin dryness which can worsen that facial redness.
Rosacea skincare products can help
What skincare products do dermatologists recommend for rosacea?
Cosmeceuticals for rosacea is a fairly new area of research. So far, the literature identifies certain active ingredients, mainly botanical actives, to have positive benefits for individuals who suffer from rosacea. These include ginkgo Biloba extract, aloe vera, amongst other antioxidants. At Dr. Teo Wan Lin’s practice, the specialist skincare pharmacy Dr.TWL Pharmacy, compounds active ingredients in the cosmeceuticals which helped to stabilize rosacea.
Dr.TWL skincare e-Pharmacy featured on Cosmetics Design Asia
There are also cleansers, such as the Miel Honey Cleanser, which helps to stabilize the skin microbiome. Because, we know that skin hygiene does make a difference in patients who have rosacea. For example, a study has actually identified that individuals who suffer from rosacea have an increased amount of a certain type of bacteria known as fusarium. Furthermore, it got better after treatment of fusarium.
“H is for Honey” Featuring the Miel Honey Cleanser in AUGUSTMAN’s October Skincare Glossary
Common rosacea triggers explained by a dermatologist
Never forget the importance of controlling your exposure to environmental triggers. For example, the common lifestyle intervention that we advise is to avoid taking hot showers, but rather, take cold showers. Cold water is always beneficial. If you live in a tropical country like Singapore, it’s important for you to seek out areas which are cooler indoors with air conditioning.
Best tips by a Singapore dermatologist specializing in rosacea
How do you stop rosacea flare ups?
Also, minimize exposure to spicy and hot temperature foods. If you suspect that you suffer from rosacea, do make an appointment with an accredited dermatologist in Singapore. So that your condition can be diagnosed early and treated to avoid long-term complications. There are a variety of effective medications and creams that can help to restore your skin. You may book an appointment with Dr Teo Wan Lin, a rosacea dermatologist Singapore here.