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FAQ – Rosacea Treatments

Treatment of Rosacea

You will be asked to keep your face as pale as possible by avoiding sun exposure before and during your course of treatment. At your first visit you can discuss the pros and cons of treatment and a patch test can be performed to check the reaction of your skin.

On the first treatment the whole of the affected area will be treated, except in men where the beard area is avoided. There is a feeling of heat during the treatment and your face will be redder for a short while afterwards. Cooling packs can be applied afterwards.

We will give you some goggles to protect your eyes from the intense light during the treatment. A course of 4-6 treatments at 4 week intervals produces the best benefit. Improvement may continue for many weeks after the course has finished.

Rosacea is a relapsing condition and this treatment improves the appearance but does not cure the rosacea.

Laser is not thought to be cancer forming as it is outside the ultraviolet range. Goggles have to be worn to protect the eyes from the bright light. The treatment is generally well tolerated but some patients can find it unpleasant.

Exposure is limited to an extremely short flash that feels like the snap of a rubber band. A mild burning sensation can be felt for a while afterwards. Occasionally there is some swelling that will subside in a day or two.

Bruising is unlikely but if it occurs will settle in a few days. There is a chance that pigment changes may occur in the skin dark marks, hyperpigmentation or pale marks hypopigmentation. These are usually temporary.

To help reduce the risk of this it is very important to start the treatment without a suntan or having used fake tan. Sun exposure and use of fake tans must be avoided throughout the course of the treatment.

Patients with light sensitivity should not have laser treatment. Its effects during pregnancy is unknown and is safer to avoid the treatment if pregnant. You should not have laser treatment if you have a suntan however mild. You should not have laser treatment whilst taking Roaccutane (Isotretinoin) or for several months afterwards.

How does it work

It is believed that laser has two actions that help in rosacea. Firstly, red thread veins absorb the light energy, this makes them hot. This damage encourages the body to reabsorb them, improving appearance.

Secondly, the light energy warms the collagen fibres in the skin, this stimulates new collagen and collagen remodelling, and this improves the support of the small blood vessels which helps to delay the development of more thread veins.

Flare ups can be reduces by avoidance of ‘triggers’ eg. Sunlight, alcoholic drinks, extremes of temperature, spicy food or hot drinks. The inflammatory part of rosacea causes spots, these should be treated with antibiotic tablets or lotion. If the inflammatory type of rosacea is left untreated it will cause more thread veins.

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