My facial redness doesn't seem to improve with rosacea medications. Is light therapy a better rosacea treatment?
Answers from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Light therapy may be a better choice if you have tiny visible blood vessels (telangiectasia) on your face. Two options are pulsed dye laser and intense pulsed light therapy. Studies show that light therapy may reduce the appearance of:
- Facial redness
- Telangiectasia on the nose and cheeks
Light therapy involves repeat treatments to maintain improved skin appearance. Side effects are usually minimal. They can include temporary redness, loss of skin color and bruising in the treated area. More research is needed to determine how long the light therapy treatments are effective for rosacea and what the long-term risks might be.
If you experience persistent rosacea, talk with your doctor to see if light therapy is an option for you.
Oct. 29, 2015
See more Expert Answers
- Van Zuuren EJ, et al. Interventions for rosacea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003262.pub5/abstract. Accessed Sept. 11, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Rosacea. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Nelson AA, et al. Principles and practice of cutaneous laser and light therapy. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2011;38:427.
- Avram MR, et al., eds. Facial rejuvenation. In: Procedural Dermatology. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015.
- Maier LE. Management of rosacea. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 11, 2015.
- Dahl MV. Rosacea: Pathogenesis, clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 11, 2015.