Rosacea is a common skin condition experienced primarily by women, which can have a significant impact on sufferers' day to day lives. People with rosacea may experience facial redness, small visible blood vessels or pimple-like bumps on the face, and watery, irritated eyes. The condition, while not life-threatening, can be very debilitating due to its impact on confidence and self-esteem.
While there is no known cure, the signs and symptoms of rosacea can be controlled with a combination of medical treatments such as Intense Pulse Light (IPL) laser treatment, along with lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, until now, many women were unaware that treatment was available, or were unable to access these treatments due to exorbitant specialist fees.
Lucie Coghlan is in her late 30's and has suffered from rosacea for most of her life, a condition which has had a significant impact on her life.
'My mother has rosacea, and I have had it practically all my life," says Lucie. 'My cheeks nose and forehead were red with bumps and pimples and even visible blood vessels. Over the last few years I've tried all kinds of treatments, some incredibly expensive, but unfortunately none have made a difference. I have ended up using huge amounts of makeup to cover it up."
After visiting a range of different medical practitioners, skin specialists and trying expensive over-the-counter treatments, Lucie found she was in the same position as when she started, albeit with a considerably lighter purse.
This is a story heard all too often by Dr Suzan Bekir, an experienced family practitioner from Sydney. Frustrated with the current disjointed, expensive and confusing healthcare system, Dr Suzan Bekir established collective.care, a network of medical clinics that bring together experienced GPs, allied health professionals, specialists and nurses to treat patients collaboratively, through -case conferences'.
'Our collective.care case conferences allow patients to benefit from seeing as many inter-specialty health professionals as are required to accurately diagnose and treat their condition. Rather than trekking from a GP to a specialist, then another specialist and back to their GP, collective.care patients can access all required medical assessments at the one time, in the one room," explains Dr Bekir.
'And – most importantly - it's all bulk billed."
'Take Lucie's case for example. Rosacea is a complex condition, but we know we can control the symptoms effectively when we focus the right expertise on the individual patient. Our collective.care team consists of aestheticians, cosmetic nurses, GP skin doctors, and laser physicians who are able to offer the holistic advice and treatment that is so often lacking in the management of complex conditions. We also have on-site specialists who manage other symptoms of Rosacea, such as ophthalmologists to manage eye involvement (ocular Rosacea) and facial plastic specialists who manage the thickened skin of the nose (rhinophyma)."
At collective.care's network of medical clinics, patients have access to a range of specialists working together under one roof, offering their unique collaborative consultations or -case conferences' for skin, allergy, eyes, ears, nose, and throat issues – and it is all bulk billed. The collective.care approach results in a more holistic approach to testing, diagnosis and management, where a team of nurses, allied health professionals and specialists work together with highly trained general practitioners.
'To treat rosacea, our laser physicians use a proven treatment called Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) which uses controlled light in specific wavelengths to gradually and naturally alleviate the inflammation, redness, pimples and uneven skin tones caused by the condition," says Dr Bekir. 'We use the pioneering technology in this area produced by Lumenis, the international company that brought us laser eye treatment and keyhole surgery."
'I know this isn't a cure, but I have only had two treatments on my face and neck so far and it has already made a difference – the redness is visibly lighter," says Lucie. 'collective.care will assess how it is progressing after the third treatment."
'It is truly fantastic that I have access to a team of specialists, without requiring a referral, and that the treatment can be bulk billed. It is great that people have access to specialist treatments that they don't have to pay a fortune for," finished Lucie.
collective.care will operate from three locations in Bella Vista, Wollongong, and Edgecliff. You can visit the company's new website at www.collective.care