Laser Treatment For Rosacea
Rosacea or “adult acne” is a chronic, progressive condition of the central face involving the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. Over 13 million Americans, including President Clinton, suffer from the condition. If left untreated, Rosacea tends to worsen over time.
For those who have been diagnosed with Rosacea there is treatment available to help reduce the redness and flushing that takes place on the cheeks and nose. Lasers today are capable of treating:
- Dilated blood vessels
- Persistent redness
- Thickening skin on nose and cheeks (also known as rhinophyma)
The pulsed dye laser (PDL) has been used for years to treat the flushing and visible blood vessels of rosacea. After just one treatment, most patients will find significant improvement. With two treatments, redness can be decreased by 50%. Patients also reported reductions in flushing, itching, dry skin, burning, swelling, and sensitivity. Patients state that they have significantly improved their quality of life.
The VBeam is a pulsed dye laser, which means that the laser energy is delivered in pulses and a dye is used to generate laser beams of different colors. Since the VBeam is used to treat dilated blood vessels, as in rosacea, it is often called a vascular laser. The target of the vascular laser is hemoglobin, the red protein in blood cells in the blood vessels. Skin cells that surround the dilated blood vessels are not damaged.
How many treatments are needed?
Most patients respond very well to 2-4 treatments. Each treatment is spaced by one month from the last. The procedure takes about 15-20 minutes and you can resume your daily activities immediately.
What is the treatment like? Is it painful?
A pulse of laser light may feel like a pinch similar to a snapping rubber band. The laser device preps the skin with a blast of chilled air just prior to the laser light. This reduces the discomfort to a very acceptable level.
What preparations must I take?
There are no changes in activities, or medications that need to be stopped, before or after treatment. Sun light should be minimized before and after the procedure. Laser treatments should not be performed on tanned skin.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects include temporary bruising, which may last for 1 week. While bruise-free treatments are possible with out new pulsed dye laser, small amount of bruising can be expected. Researchers have concluded however, that bruising leads to a consistent decrease in redness.