What is Rosacea and how do I treat it?

by valiant

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes reddened skin, usually on the nose, chin and cheeks. It affects the oil glands and also may cause eye problems including chronic dryness. The symptoms typically come and go, with many people reporting certain triggers, such as sun exposure, hormones, stress, and certain foods.


High quality or medicated skin creams, low-dose oral antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory therapies can help, but one of the most effective treatments for long term control is IPL (Intense pulsed light) therapy. This safe and effective treatment directly targets the small blood vessels at the source of the inflammation.

What is IPL?

IPL, otherwise known as Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, is a treatment that can be used to treat a multitude of different skin conditions but is especially effective for rosacea.


IPL treatment is performed by a skilled medical aesthetician using a handheld wand that emits pulses of high energy light. The wavelength of this light is specifically tuned to be absorbed by hemoglobin in the blood. The absorbed energy effectively coagulates the blood in the small abnormal superficial vessels of the skin. By removing these small vessels, the source of inflammation is removed, along with the facial redness. This results in cosmetic improvement along with a long-term reduction in inflammation. It also significantly improves dry eye symptoms.


The treatment takes approximately 30 minutes and is relatively painless, with a slight “snapping” sensation. After the treatment, you may notice slight redness and darkening of pigmentation, lasting up to 48 hours. Results of treatment will be seen within a few days, with long lasting results after 3 to 4 treatments spaced a few weeks apart. There is no downtime with treatment but in order to be effective, candidates for treatment should stay out of the sun and use high SPF sunscreen prior to treatment. The use of retinol and Vitamin A creams also should be discontinued prior to and during the course of treatment.


Anyone with lighter skin will benefit from the rejuvenating effect of IPL. As with any IPL treatment, this technology cannot safely be used on darker skin.


Single session maintenance treatments are generally scheduled every 6 to 12 months to maintain results.

Are there other treatments for Rosacea?

There are a number of other options to help with inflammation control:


  • avoiding foods that trigger inflammation
  • wearing high quality medical grade sunscreen
  • medical grade skin care products
  • prescription creams such as ivermectin and metronidazole
  • oral antibiotics (tetracyclines)

Unfortunately, oral antibiotics, even at low doses, can alter your gut bacteria. New research suggests that this alteration in gut flora can make inflammation worse, so we prefer other options first. 

To see if IPL might be the right option for you, book a free skin consultation to discuss!

Picture of Yvonne, Medical Aesthetician

Yvonne, Medical Aesthetician

Yvonne has special interest in dermatologic skin conditions such as Rosacea and Acne scarring. She has years of clinical experience and holds a Masters in Clinical Esthetics from Delmar College. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to medical grade skin care, and is certified in all forms of medical esthetics

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