You’ve got rosacea. You’re tired of having red cheeks that make you look like you’ve just been out in the cold. Those spidery red veins on your face are unsightly. Some common facial treatments like microdermabrasion and chemical peels that can improve other skin conditions are contraindicated for you. So, what works to combat rosacea?
Our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Mathieson with Sterling Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery helps many patients with rosacea using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, a type of laser treatment that calms your chronic skin condition.
How does IPL improve my rosacea?
IPL is a laser treatment that uses quick pulses of light energy to heat your skin. The wavelength of light from the laser targets and destroys the integrity of the skin cells causing the red color on your face. The process also makes the blood in the affected blood vessels constrict and coagulate. Your body then rids itself of the dead cells.
IPL also stimulates your skin to produce new collagen. This helps protect against future inflammation.
What happens during an IPL treatment for rosacea?
First, our staff ensures your face is very clean. We can apply a numbing cream to ease any discomfort from the laser procedure. Then, we smooth a cold gel to your face to allow the device to move easily on your skin. You put on dark goggles to protect your eyes from the laser’s light.
The laser’s light energy is emitted from a handheld device we pass over the affected areas of your skin. Patients say that it feels like the snap of a rubber band. IPL lasers work fast. The process takes less than five minutes.
You’ll see results after the first session, but many patients want three to five sessions for optimal results. The sessions are spaced four weeks apart.
What can I expect after IPL treatment?
Use a cleanser for sensitive skin and feel free to use a good moisturizer in the days after the treatment. Avoid tanning in the days immediately following your IPL treatment, and always apply sunscreen when you’re going to be outside of the house. We let you know when you can apply your normal makeup routine; usually it’s within a week.
Results after IPL treatment for rosacea
IPL treatment can remove half to three-quarters of visible broken blood vessels after up to three treatments for the majority of patients. You may even see all of them disappear. Those broken veins are gone forever (though you could develop new ones).
In one study published in the National Library of Medicine, 80% of patients had reduced redness. They also reported smoother skin texture and significantly fewer red bumps. No one had complications from the treatment.
You may be tempted to get this treatment at a spa. However, untrained technicians can burn your skin. It’s always best to have a board-certified physician perform a medical procedure.
Call Sterling Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery today if you have troublesome rosacea. You’ll see a significant difference in your face after IPL treatment.