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Rosacea

Laser Treatment for Rosacea

close-up of a patient's cheek with papulopustular rosacea

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that develops mainly on the face. Symptoms of rosacea include frequent blushing or flushing, persistent redness of the skin on the face or elsewhere on the body, pus-filled pimples, small blood vessels appearing just beneath the skin, and thick, bumpy skin on the nose. Small, red, solid bumps may appear, especially on sun-damaged skin.

Certain situations and circumstances that increase body temperature, stress, or blood pressure, can cause rosacea symptoms to flare up. Factors that can contribute to rosacea flare-ups include:

  • Stressful or emotional situations
  • Exposure to extreme heat or wind
  • Medications that increase blood pressure or widen blood vessels
  • Hot drinks, spicy foods, or alcohol
  • Physical exertion or exercise

Treating Rosacea with Laser Treatment

Many patients who are frustrated with persistent redness and visible veins are finding excellent results by treating rosacea with laser treatments. While laser treatments will not replace standard treatment plans for rosacea, it can make a significant difference in the appearance of the signs of this skin condition.

Rosacea Light Therapy

Rosacea light therapy harnesses the powerful therapeutic powers of light. The light therapy devices emit specific wavelengths of light to target and destroy the abnormal blood vessels that cause rosacea. The heat produced by the light irritates and seals the walls of the targeted blood vessels while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The treated blood vessels break up and are absorbed by nearby tissue.

Rosacea light therapy treatments typically take 20 minutes or less to complete. Two to four treatments, spaced about 4 weeks apart, may be necessary for optimal results.

While results may vary between patients, most patients notice a 50 to 70 percent reduction in blood vessels after three treatments. Some patients experience a 100 percent reduction. The effects of laser surgery for rosacea can last for up to 3 to 5 years, and treated blood vessels usually do not reappear.

Rosacea Laser Treatment Side Effects

Laser treatment for rosacea may cause temporary side effects. Redness is common, for example, but usually disappears within two weeks. Other side effects of rosacea laser treatments include:

  • Rash of red or purple spots; this usually fades in a week or two
  • Skin tightening, itch, or pain
  • Scarring, which is rare

Rosacea Laser Therapy Aftercare

Rosacea laser treatment recovery is fairly quick and easy. Immediately after the treatment, patients can expect to recover in the office for about 30 minutes. During this time, a dermatologist or other medical professional will place a cold compress on the patient’s face to lessen swelling. Patients can resume their normal activities the same day.

To prevent discomfort that may follow rosacea laser therapy, reduce swelling and to optimize healing, patients should take all medications as directed by their dermatologist. Patients should cover the treated skin to reduce possible irritation or sun damage.

For more information about the laser procedure for rosacea, contact the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery. Our highly skilled and experienced dermatologists provide the laser therapy rosacea patients rely on for clear skin.

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