What to Expect with Laser Rosacea Treatments

Flushing of the skin and dilated blood vessels are some of the most common side effects of rosacea, but many rosacea sufferers can achieve noticeably clearer and smoother skin with laser rosacea treatments. Doctors around the United States offer a number of rosacea treatment options, including the ND:YAG laser, the KTP laser and the pulsed-dye laser to not only reduce redness, but to also help remove the thickening of the skin that occurs on the nose and cheeks.

Get in touch with a cosmetic dermatologist in your area to find out if you may be a good candidate for laser rosacea treatments.

If you are thinking about undergoing laser rosacea treatments, here’s what you need to know:

How Laser Rosacea Treatments Work

Cosmetic dermatologists and dermatology professionals have been using lasers to treat rosacea since the mid-1980s, and now a number of technological advances allow for a combination of laser therapy and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments. The pulsed dye laser (PDL) is particularly effective for treating flushing of the skin and reducing visible blood vessels. These lasers penetrate the skin tissues at a deep level, and may be combined with other dermatologic procedures such as dermabrasion and excision with a scalpel.

Most people need to undergo a series of laser sessions in order to achieve desired results. During and after the treatment, the patient needs to make an effort to avoid direct sun exposure, because sunlight can aggravate the skin and cause additional dilation of the blood vessels.

Effects of Laser Rosacea Treatments

Laser rosacea treatments can be slightly uncomfortable, but discomfort can be managed with topical anesthetics and numbing cream. Some people can tolerate the pain and discomfort from the laser, but others may have a lower threshold for pain. There is no downtime involved with the procedure, and most people can return to regular activities shortly after their treatment.

Some redness and swelling can be expected, but these side effects typically subside about two to six hours after the procedure. More intensive lasers may cause light bruising or burns, but these subside within four days to a week.

Some people are not good candidates for the laser rosacea procedure. Individuals with a clotting disorder, insulin-dependent diabetes and a tendency to develop keloids cannot receive laser or light treatments. Individuals with a suntan should also avoid laser rosacea treatments, as they are at risk for burning, infection and problems with wound healing. Women who are pregnant are not good candidates for any type of laser or light therapy.

Laser rosacea treatments and IPL procedures are not a cure for rosacea, but they can reduce symptoms. A qualified dermatologist will need to determine what type of laser is most appropriate based on the individual’s skin condition and the number of years they have suffered from rosacea. In order to maintain results, additional laser or light treatments may be needed. Most laser and light therapies for treating rosacea are not covered by medical insurance, and typically cost beteen $300 to $600 per session, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Learn more about rosacea treatments in our information guide, or consult with a cosmetic dermatologist in your area to find out if you may be a good candidate for a laser rosacea treatment.