Rosacea Lasers

  • Best ResultsVariable
  • Treatment Recovery1-10 days
  • Procedure Time5 to 60 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistDermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsCan be permanent
  • AnaestheticBlocks
  • Back to Work0-6 days
  • Cost$-$$

Rosacea Lasers

Lasers remain a useful modality for treating rosacea. They can reduce background redness, broken capillaries, inflammation & treat skin thickening of rosacea, including rhinophyma. My team and I use vascular lasers in different wavelengths to target both superficial and deep vessels. 

FactsFacts on lasers for rosacea

  • Lasers target redness & can help reduce skin inflammation
  • The most common type of laser employed to treat rosacea are vascular lasers
  • Vascular lasers in the 500 nm wavelength range treat superficial vessels
  • Vascular lasers in longer wavelengths including 755, 810 & 1064 target deeper blood vessels
  • IPL or intense pulse light can be useful to treat diffuse redness
  • Lasers are best used with anti-inflammatory medications as this gives the fastest improvement

What is the most common laser I use to treat rosacea?

The vascular pulse dye laser is the Gold Standard for rosacea. I use the V Beam Prima & Perfecta. It has a wavelength of 595m, with a specific cooling system known as DCD. The cooling protects the skin & reduces discomfort. Vascular lasers treat redness, inflammation & broken blood vessels.

Other lasers include the KTP at 532, the Alex at 755, diode at 810 & the long pulse NdYag laser at 1064.

How long does it take to perform laser therapy & what is the downtime?

Treatments take 8 to 14 minutes to perform. This includes calibration of the laser. I normally deliver between 50 to 300 pulses in one session. Discomfort is minimal due to the cooling system of the laser.

Recovery depends on the settings I use; typically, 24 to 72 hours. I will tell you of the expected recovery time before I laser. In some cases, I use a bruising setting to treat tiny vessels (in flushing rosacea). I will forewarn you of this treatment.

How effective are lasers for rosacea?

Lasers are best for treating redness & inflammation in rosacea patients. This includes broken capillaries as well as papules, pustules (acne like lesions) & background redness. In inflammatory rosacea, lasers work in synergy with anti-inflammatory topicals & oral agents.

Lasers are not great if you have flushing- especially if your redness is intermittent. For these cases you are better off seeing a medical dermatologist for tablets & a psychologist to manage any anxiety related issues.

What is the difference between getting lasers by a dermatologist compared to a cosmetic clinic?

Specialists use different lasers & settings compared to cosmetic clinics. Our team of dermatologists & nurses view rosacea as a medical problem. Our point of difference includes-

  1. State of the art equipment, with no compromise on costs.
  2. Specific settings based upon our experience.
  3. Medical or prescription based adjunctive therapy.
  4. Medicare rebates apply, if performed by a dermatologist.

My team is experienced in treating all types of rosacea including papular-pustular, erythothelengectaic rosacea, granulomatous, fixed type, steroid induced, ocular, otophyma, metro phymatous, rhinophymatous, flushing, neurogenic, & rebound rosacea. Each subtype will have a specific treatment algorithm. 

Davin’s viewpoint on lasers & rosacea

Lasers and energy devices can be useful adjunctive therapy for inflammatory as well as phymatous & erythrotelangiectatic rosacea. My job as a laser operator plays a small part in the overall management of this condition. Other factors including lifestyle modifications are super important & contribute markedly to the control of this disease. I try to encourage patients to manage rosacea holistically, namely lifestyle, diet, topical skin care, medical treatment (if appropriate) & laser therapy.

My most frequently used laser is the pulse dye laser, either V Beam Prima or V Beam Perfecta. I tend to use higher settings early, as my mode of practice is to sort out problems in the shortest possible time, bearing in mind safety of course. Hint, if you are seeing me for laser treatment, try to book a time whereby a wee bit of swelling is expected for 1-2 days post treatment. Providing patients with insight, most will benefit from synergistic treatment. For example, lasers coupled with anti-inflammatory medications. The latter allows me to use a higher setting, hence in many cases will provide better results.

IPL or BBL, stands for intense pulse light & broad band light respectively. This consists of filtered light with vascular cut off filters. 10-20% of laser resistant patients respond to IPL, including management of ocular rosacea. The biggest downside of this treatment is that it is not recognised by Medicare for the management of rosacea.

Other lasers I use include the long pulse NdYag laser at 1064. This can be employed as a tracing laser for more persistent & resistant vessels on the nose, or as a field treatment in Laser Genesis mode. This stimulates dermal collagen, improving wrinkles & pore sizing as well as reducing background redness.

I use thermomechanofaractional services like Tixel or fractional CO2 lasers, occasionally thulium or erbium to treat resistant cases of rosacea, failing both medical & conventional vascular layers. These devices are useful in transepidermal – dermal drug delivery. The drug of choice is Botox as this can modulate smooth muscle within the vessels. Botox can also reduce demodex mite counts for up to 4 to 6 months. This treatment is useful in cases of recalcitrant flushing blushing rosacea whereby vasospasm is encountered.

Lastly, I employ an array of CO2 lasers to manage rhinophyma rosacea. This is an ablative laser used to reshape the nose. Downtime varies between 2 to 5 weeks. This treatment is partially covered by Medicare.  

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