Treating Rosacea with Intense Pulsed Light
Intense pulsed light (a.k.a. IPL) is becoming more popular each year as new and improved techniques are being developed to maximize each patient's experience. IPL is what's commonly used in laser hair removal, but it has other wonderful benefits.
What many people don't realize is that intense pulsed light can also be utilized to treat skin conditions such as rosacea. Those who suffer from this condition now find relief through the techniques typically used in laser hair removal.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is an acne-like condition which causes extreme flushing of the face. The cheeks often become red or rosy and pimples may appear at times. Rosacea is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the face that are triggered by either internal or external sources such as exposure to heat or sunlight, certain types of foods, and caffeine.
Although the condition differs from one person to another, the general symptoms are a tendency to flush easily in the face, ears or even your chest and back. Burning and inflammation may occur as well. There are no blackheads with the pimple-like bumps that may appear even though rosacea is considered a type of acne.
Rosacea can often be treated with acne pills or creams, however, when the condition persists despite these types of treatment, intense pulsed light can be the next treatment step.
Who Suffers from Rosacea?
Rosacea most often occurs in fair-skinned Caucasians who have an ivory or porcelain skin color. Although the condition may not be identified during younger years, it can worsen as the individual becomes exposed to sun, heat and other triggering elements, thus, causing the condition to become more obvious as the person ages.
How does IPL Treat Rosacea?
Although not a complete cure, IPL has been clinically proven to reduce rosacea side effects. During the light therapy, multiple wavelengths of light are used to treat the dilated blood vessels of the face. The light penetrates the skin and blood absorbs the light within the vessels of the targeted area. The light's heat ultimately destroys the work of the blood vessel and the vessel eventually becomes nonexistent. The targeted area is reduced of flushing and redness once the blood vessels become inactive.
What to Expect During Your Treatment
Just like with typical laser hair removal procedures, you can expect your rosacea IPL treatment to last approximately fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on how large of an area is being treated. It is highly recommended that you repeat the therapy every six weeks for initial success, and then once per year for treatment of new blood vessels.
Tips for Reducing Rosacea Symptoms
1. Wear sunscreen if you're going to be exposed to sunlight any length of time. Exposure to sunlight and heat is a major trigger of rosacea and should be avoided if possible.
2. Cleanse your skin each day using a natural acne treatment cleanser.
3. Use clinically tested skin creams designed specifically to help the rosacea condition.
4. If the symptoms persist or worsen, see a specialist to determine if intense pulsed light is an option.
Each person is different and will require individual counseling with a laser hair removal specialist to determine the best avenue and frequency of treatments.
The good news is that IPL therapy opens wide the door of opportunity for treating difficult conditions such as rosacea.
Written by Candice Pardue