IPL or Laser Treatments for Rosacea Treatment?

I have rosacea and my skin is very sensitive. Which would be better, IPL or laser treatments?

A bad experience with IPL on my chest left welts under the hands of an experienced nurse practitioner, with a good reputation, and who worked with a prominent dermatologist. The treatments did reduce the redness and brown spots without any any scarring, thankfully. I definitely want to improve the texture and eliminate the redness on my face but I'm very nervous after the bad experience, especially to have it on my face!

Doctor Answers 5

Rosacea laser treatments

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Both IPL and laser are good options for rosacea. IPL tends to require more treatments but be better tolerated (less down time), while laser tends to require fewer treatments but can be more painful and cause more bruising. 

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Either IPL or the Vbeam laser would be excellent choices

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Thank you for your question.

Both IPL and the Vbeam (Flash Lamp Pulsed Dye) laser are excellent choices for rosacea treatment and would work well for anyone with sensitive skin. I am sorry that you had experienced burning with the previous IPL treatment, but I am happy that you achieved good results. Getting burned with IPL is more a function of setting choices rather than sensitive skin. When you choice to do IPL again, simply ask your physician to use lower settings and then increase the settings in future treatments as you tolerate them better.

Hope this helps!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

Hexamidine Good To Accompany Rosacea Treatment

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IPL treatments can have negative side effects and some downtime. It is understandable that you are hesitant to have the same treatment on your face. Vivier has a great line of products containing hexamidine. This ingredient is excellent for Rosacea, Sensitive Skin and Reactive Skin. Combined with a moderate IPL treatment you will notice a decrease in your Rosacea and sensitive skin.

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IPL for redness

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In experienced hands, IPL is an excellent treatment for redness, spider veins and brown spots.  Chests are usually more sensitive than faces and require a lower setting than faces.  Asking the NP to do a small patch test before treating your full face would probably make you feel more comfortable having the treatment.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

IPL works well for Rosacea

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In our practice we prefer IPL for the treatment of rosacea, because there is less bruising. Usually, a treatment cycle of 4-6 sessions spaced 4 weeks apart works well for most patients.

Robert Kasten, MD
Mainz Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.