Once a debilitating disorder, rosacea has become a manageable condition with many treatment options. The key to success starts with identifying an experienced board-certified aesthetic dermatologist who is skilled in identifying the specific subtype and severity of the condition. The next step is tailoring treatment to best suit your expectations.
Today, dermatologists recognize that certain types of lasers offer important options for managing more difficult-to-treat rosacea. In fact, according to the textbook, Update on the Management of Rosacea, “Lasers have created a paradigm shift in the treatment of the redness and telangiectasia [threadlike red lines or patterns on the skin] associated with rosacea.”
Excel V Laser
One option is the Excel V laser, which emits two wavelengths: KTP (potassium titanyl phosphate at 532 nm and Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet at 1064 nm). KTP targets redness, hyperpigmentation, and damaged capillaries at the surface of the skin. Nd:YAG is designed to treat deeper, larger purple blood vessels. Following absorption of energy, abnormal blood vessels are sealed off, while hyperpigmented lesions are fragmented, resulting in an overall improved appearance. The results from two studies show how each wavelength contributes to a better outcome in selected patients with rosacea.
KTP targets melanin and oxyhemoglobin, which is present in oxygenated blood. Based on its short wavelength, the KTP laser treats superficial telangiectasia and redness. In one study, there was 62% clearance after the first treatment and 85% clearance three weeks after the third treatment. Patients experienced some swelling and redness following treatment. Because KTP targets melanin, it is reserved for people with lighter skin.
The Nd:YAG laser reaches deeper layers of skin tissue, targeting the lower absorption peak of oxyhemoglobin. In patients with purple facial telangiectasia treated twice, 30 days apart, 73% (11/15) showed moderate-to-significant improvement after the first treatment and at Day 30. At the 3-month follow up evaluation, 80% continued to show improved appearance.
The bottom line.
To achieve the best results, studies are always designed to ensure that patients are best matched to the treatment received. The same is true in a dermatology practice—recommendations are matched to your condition and your desired response. For a consultation and more information about treating rosacea, contact Aesthetic Dermatology and Skin Cancer: Jeffrey H. Binstock, M.D. Drs. Binstock, Layton, and Physician Assistant Cullinane will answer your questions. Call our San Francisco office at (415) 956-8686, or in Mill Valley call (415) 383-5475.