Rosacea Laser Acne Treatment
Acne and rosacea are two different skin conditions. Acne generally affects teenagers, while rosacea strikes in young and middle adulthood. However, both cause pimple-like eruptions, flushed skin and swelling, and both can prove challenging for self-esteem. Laser treatments, while generally not considered a cure for either skin disease, can cut down on blemishes and reduce reddening for sufferers.
Dermatologists aren't sure what causes acne or rosacea, although in both cases heredity likely plays a role. In acne, bacteria multiply and pimples erupt when the skin produces too much oil. In rosacea, meanwhile, triggers such as hot beverages or foods, intense sunlight and even stress can trigger an attack. Acne might resolve at any time, but rosacea tends to be a progressive condition, although sufferers might see their symptoms subside at times.
Over the past two decades, dermatologists have developed several different types of laser and light treatments that can work in both acne and rosacea, but many physicians highly recommend the pulsed dye laser. Pulsed-dye lasers use laser light at a particular narrow wavelength. In acne, the laser beams penetrate the skin's surface to shrink the glands producing too much oil, while in rosacea, the laser light reduces swelling and shrinks the tiny blood vessels that contribute to rosacea's flushed appearance.
Whether you're an acne patient or someone with rosacea, you'll likely need several treatments with a pulsed dye laser to notice a major difference. Dermatologists generally recommend a series of up to six treatments, with two weeks between treatments, for acne patients. Rosacea patients may see their facial redness decrease up to 60 percent after two treatments, spaced several weeks apart.
Medical studies back the use of pulsed-dye lasers in both rosacea and acne. In one study, conducted in Egypt and published in the Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy in 2009, patients with mild or moderate acne received six pulsed-dye laser treatments each, and reported significant improvement in acne after three months. Another study, conducted in Indiana and Minnesota and published in 2004, looked at pulsed-dye laser use in rosacea and concluded two laser treatments significantly reduced symptoms for rosacea patients.
Pulsed-dye laser treatments do have some side effects. Most commonly, the treatments can cause facial swelling and bruising, although the American Academy of Dermatology notes that rosacea patients who experience bruising with pulsed-dye laser treatment have better outcomes after the bruising heals. In addition, laser treatments can cause temporary redness and scaling in both acne and rosacea patients. However, dermatologists say patients tolerate the treatments well in most cases.
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