Aesthetics Doctor Discusses 4 Laser Treatments for Your Rosacea Woes

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

What is rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is still not well understood [4]. Although it does not pose any danger to your health, you may find its symptoms extremely bothersome. Thus, your quality of life can often be negatively affected.

Though rosacea affects Caucasian skin primarily [5], Asians are increasingly getting affected as well [6]. As seen in my aesthetic practice, Asian women in their 30s and 40s are more prone to rosacea.

There are various treatments available, but that's because there is more than one type of rosacea. Below, I will discuss more on:

Symptoms of rosacea

When you have rosacea, you will experience the following symptoms:

  • excessive facial redness
  • easy flushing
  • pimple-like bumps
  • fine blood vessels that are visible on your face

When rosacea is active, you may experience an unbearably hot and burning sensation on the face [1], with your nose and cheeks being more commonly affected [2]. Rosacea may also cause your eyelids to become inflamed, as well as being irritable [3].

The 4 types of rosacea

types-of-rosacea

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea

This is the most common type seen in Singapore [7], characterised by persistent facial redness that worsens with:

  • sun exposure
  • heat
  • emotional stress

Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea becomes more noticeable when the small blood vessels under the skin surface enlarge, becoming what we call spider telangiectases [8].

Often, facial redness is linked to the uncomfortable sensation of facial burning. The persistent redness of your face also often draws unwanted attention.

Papulopustular rosacea

With this type of rosacea, pimple-like bumps appear on the [9]:

  • forehead
  • cheeks
  • chin

The bumps do not have the usual blackheads that typify common acne. Thus, I have seen many patients wrongly identify it as banal acne [10].

Therefore, it is important that you consult a doctor as this will help ensure a correct diagnosis. 

Phymatous rosacea

This causes the skin of the nose to thicken, become lumpy and misshapen [11]. Dilated blood vessels tend to be present as well.

Thankfully, this type of rosacea is rather rare [12]. It affects male patients more than female patients [13].

Ocular rosacea

This type of rosacea may affect the eyes and the eyelids [14]. It tends to cause inflammation, leading to eye discomfort and irritability.

To more accurately find out which type of rosacea you have, it is best to visit your doctor.

There is no specific test to diagnose rosacea [15]. Your doctor will have to rely on the history of the symptoms faced, and examination of your skin.

You may also have to go through a few other tests to rule out conditions such as [16]:

  • eczema
  • lupus
  • psoriasis

4 laser treatments for rosacea (and a bonus!)

laser-treatment-for-rosacea

Different components of rosacea are tackled or treated differently.

To treat the inflammatory components such as pimple-like lesions, we will prescribe medicated creams and oral antibiotics. 

The vascular component and tissue overgrowth of phymatous rosacea lend themselves well to laser and light treatments. Examples of the vascular component include redness and prominent blood vessels. Laser and medical treatments work hand in hand to give you the best treatment results [17].

There are different types of laser and light treatments that are effective in treating the symptoms of rosacea. They include:

Pulsed-dye lasers

They have been considered the gold standard in the treatment of the vascular component of rosacea for years [18].

A beam of yellow light, at a wavelength of 595nm, is emitted. The oxyhaemoglobin in the blood vessels will absorb the laser light emitted. The laser helps by sealing off the blood vessels as well as reducing overall redness.

As the treatments are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart, it helps to achieve the best results by giving the skin some time for recovery.

KTP lasers

A KTP laser produces light at a wavelength of 532nm. Similar to pulsed-dye lasers, the oxyhaemoglobin in the superficial blood vessels absorbs the light. This type of laser is effective in treating prominent dilated or enlarged blood vessels [19].

Long-pulsed Nd: YAG laser

The long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser operates in the domain of milliseconds. It is different from the Qs Nd:YAG pigment laser, which operates in nanoseconds.

As the long-pulsed Nd:YAG is able to penetrate deeper into the skin, it is useful in treating larger dilated blood vessels on areas such as the nose [20].

CO2 lasers

Also known as ablative lasers, they are able to treat issues pertaining to wrinkles and acne scars. When it comes to rosacea, they are able to remove overgrown glandular tissue seen in phymatous rosacea affecting the nose [21].


BONUS: Intense pulsed light therapy

Widely known as IPL, it uses controlled light in a restricted band. It does not emit light in the specific wavelength of a laser.

This band of IPL can target several skin problems at the same time. Hence, it is used to [22]:

  • treat redness of rosacea
  • remove superficial pigmentation
  • rejuvenate the skin

The multiple benefits of IPL include [23]:

  • reduction in facial redness
  • removal of facial pigmentation
  • improved skin clarity
  • improved skin texture

The use of different IPL filters allows us to tailor treatment based on your needs and problems.

IPL treatments have little to no downtime as compared with laser treatments. For that reason, IPL is a preferred option for many patients, for example, those who are unable to take too much time off from work to recover.


Consulting a doctor is crucial for effective rosacea treatment

With so many types of treatments that are specific for certain types of conditions, you should always consult your doctor. He/she can precribe an effective treatment for your specific type of rosacea and its severity. You will be able better advised on the suitability, effects, and the process of the treatment.

Possible side effects of laser treatments for rosacea

side-effects

It is possible to experience side effects after going for laser treatments. They include, but are not limited to:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • mild bruising

Do not worry -- these side effects fade away after a few days and you will recover. However, if the side effects persist, visit your doctor who will advise you on how you can manage and reduce the side effects.

Do not live with rosacea; get it treated

Do not give up on it just yet. There are effective treatment options for the inflammation and vascular problems caused by rosacea. Laser treatments complement medical treatments in reducing:

  • redness
  • cosmetically displeasing dilated blood vessels
  • the glandular overgrowth that typifies rosacea

So do not let rosacea shackle you! You can tame the angry red beast, regain your skin's complexion and face the world with confidence again.

As mentioned earlier, when you are in doubt, I urge you to consult your doctor. He/she will be able to better advise you on which treatment is more suitable for your condition.


%treatmentquote title=Get quote for Aesthetic Treatments%

Dr Chin Yee Choong is a medical director at DermClear Aesthetic & Laser Clinic. His area of practice is in the beauty aesthetics fields of dermatology and aesthetic medicine. In addition, he has had more than 12 years of experience in thread lifts and fillers. Besides that, he also regularly travels to keep himself well-informed of the newest treatments available.

Would you like to ask any related health questions?

Read more from Dr Chin Yee Choong in his Q&A here.

References:

1. Harvard Health Publishing. Rosacea - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. Published December 5, 2018. Accessed January 20, 2020.

2. Rosacea - Health Encyclopedia - University of Rochester Medical Center. Rochester.edu. Published 2020. Accessed January 20, 2020.

  • Written
  • Updated
  • Viewed446 times
Medically reviewed by Dr Yee Choong Chin on 16/01/2020.
Read This Next
An Aesthetic Doctor Reviews Acne Scar Removal Treatments in Singapore (2020)

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Dealing with acne in your youth is bad enough, but the scars left behind can be a real nightmare.

New patients often ask me 2 common questions:

  • “I’ve tried one laser session before. Why don’t I see results yet?”
  • “I still have acne scars and uneven skin texture despite 10 sessions of chemical peels. Why?”

This is why I have decided to write this article to help those of you who are struggling with acne scars. The best outcomes usually result from a combination of different methods, individualised to your skin type and scar! Here's what you need to know. 

The Ultimate Guide to Dark Eye Circle Treatments in Singapore (2020)

Dark eye circles are a huge concern to a lot of people. That is true for both students and working professionals. They are not much of a health problem but its appearance can be quite bothersome.

Dark eye circles can make you look tired and unmotivated. On top of that, they do not go away easily. That can be a huge problem if your job requires you to meet with clients.

Although most people think that lack of sleep is the main cause of dark circles, there are actually many more determining factors. Those factors are important in determining the most effective way to treat them.

I wrote this article to help you with your research. Read on to find out more!

All You Need To Know About Hormonal Acne: A Singaporean Aesthetic Doctor Explains

Acne… oh, acne… It can be super frustrating as it really affects our appearance.

Hormonal acne can affect anyone at any age. It is named as such because changes in our hormone levels can cause it. You may be wondering how hormonal acne can be treated. For instance, you may be considering:

  • home remedies,
  • OTC creams or 
  • medical treatments.

Read on to find out in more detail how you can get hormonal acne treated!

All the Essentials about Rosacea with Dr. Stephanie Ho

"Skin specialist with over 20 years of experience"

Your face may turn red if you get embarrassed but for some people, a red face may never seem to disappear. This redness may come with symptoms like itchiness or increased sensitiveness. If you have experienced these and other symptoms, you may be suffering from rosacea. Let me tell you what you need so you are better informed about this condition.

A guest post by Dr. Stephanie Ho from Stephanie Ho Dermatology.

The Ultimate Guide to Rosacea in Singapore (2020)

If you have prominent blood vessels in the forehead, cheeks or chin that flares up every now and then - you might have rosacea. As a chronic, incurable skin condition, it can be frustrating to live with.  Read on to find out more about rosacea and things you should do to keep things under control.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other answers tagged Aesthetic Medicine, Skin, Hair & Nails, Laser Treatment or ask your own question now FOR FREE.

Request Quotes From Doctors

Based on your requirements, we will recommend up to 5 expert medical doctors.

Get Treatment Quotes
Related Questions
Thanks for question. It does sound like you are having some jawline acne.  I do see this very often in women and this is usually related to hormonal factors.  The acne breakout commonly occurs around the mouth and on the jawline areas. ... Read Full Answer
I had asked about accutane but my doctor was hesitant in prescribing to me due to my history with depression. Accutane is usually reserved for severe, recalcitrant, cystic acne or as a last resort.  Additionally, Accutane can also affect ... Read Full Answer
I agree that you can still consider laser treatment in the presence of eczema prone skin. There is certainly a higher risk that the eczema can be aggravated by the laser treatments. For acne scar laser treatments, there are various treatment ... Read Full Answer
Hi S – 6 years is a long time to be on a course of isotretinoin, unless you were specifically prescribed a low dose, long term “maintenance” isotretinoin regime by your doctor. If you’ve been compliant to the dosage ... Read Full Answer
Looking at the pictures, I do think that this may go more for a prurigo papule or a viral wart than a pimple. It is difficult to tell with certainty from the picture what this lesion is. I  would suggest visiting your dermatologist to get ... Read Full Answer
These bumps are quite common. The photo is not very clear but they appear to be flat warts. These may spread if you scratch or pick at them. Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. These are usually spread by direct contact. There are many ... Read Full Answer
Hello Renee,  There are many treatment options available for comedonal acne. Topicals: Retinoids Benzoyl Peroxide  Glycolic acid Salicylic acid  Orals:  Oral Contraceptive Pills Antibiotics Isotretinoin  ... Read Full Answer
Fungal acne is also known as pityrosporom folliculitis. It tends to affect areas like the neck, and trunk and limbs and present with a sudden eruption of red bumps, which can look like acne. The forehead and hairline though are not common areas ... Read Full Answer
Thanks for the question.Both acnevulgaris and acne rosacea can present with pimple like bumps on the face.Acne rosacea often occus in the middle age adults. There is often associated symptoms of facial redness and flushing. This is often ... Read Full Answer
Fractional ablative lasers are traditionally considered the "gold standard treatment" for atrophic acne scars. Of these, fractional CO2 lasers have deeper reach than fractional erbium yag lasers. Intense beams of laser ablate or vaporise ... Read Full Answer