Is IPL a Good Treatment for Rosacea?
The colder months are generally harsh on the skin for everyone, but this is especially true for those who have a sensitive skin type or chronic inflammatory conditions that tend to flare up in certain weather conditions. People who suffer from rosacea often have a challenging time dealing with intense rashes on the face and neck that occur during the winter due to the low humidity, blustery winds, freezing temperatures, and constant exposure to dry air from central heating. If you’re bothered by uncomfortable rashes this winter, dermatological treatments from a professional may be the best way of calming your skin. Intense pulsed light (IPL) from our New Jersey-based team at South Jersey Skin Care & Laser Center can gradually improve various symptoms caused by moderate to severe rosacea, including redness, broken blood vessels, inflammation, pimples, and blotchy skin.
IPL is a light-based treatment that doesn’t use the single, focused wavelength of laser technology, but instead works by giving off multiple wavelengths of pulsating light. This light energy targets certain colors in the skin, such as the red in visible blood vessels. Once the tissue is raised to a certain temperature, the heat in pigmented cells causes damage to lesions and broken, dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin that cause the flushing associated with rosacea. In the following weeks, lesions break down and vessels collapse and are absorbed by the body, leading to clearer skin.
In addition to reducing rosacea symptoms, IPL is also highly effective on a variety of other common cosmetic skin conditions, such as liver spots, fine lines, brown spots caused by hormonal changes, freckles, scars, stretch marks, and sun damage. IPL improves all of these skin issues simultaneously, giving you a more even tone and texture all over while brightening up the complexion.
This procedure is gentler on the skin than laser resurfacing, and during the actual treatment session, you don’t feel much discomfort. Some patients describe the sensation as being similar to a rubber band snapping slightly, but this brief sting is generally easy to tolerate. Best of all, treatments take only a few minutes to complete, with no side effects other than mild redness and bruising for a few days. Patients should be sure, however, to protect IPL-treated skin from sun exposure.
Note that the best candidates for intense pulsed light are those with lighter skin, since they have the greatest contrast between the skin itself and the lesion or vessels they are seeking to treat. Anyone preparing for a session should avoid tanning or other activities that could darken their skin in the days and weeks prior.