Tag Archives: telangiectasia

Treating Rosacea with IPL

Intense pulsed light (IPL), or photofacial therapy, uses high intensity pulses of visible light to improve the appearance of people with rosacea.

Figure. Illustration of the skin showing the upper epidermis and lower dermis layers.

Figure. Illustration of the skin showing the upper epidermis and lower dermis layers.

IPL systems work on the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers (epidermis) as identified in the illustration. During treatment, light energy is absorbed into colored target cells and converted to heat energy. This heat energy is what treats the targeted area, leaving surrounding areas damage free.

IPL systems differ from lasers in that they deliver 500 wavelengths of light in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength as a laser does. Filters refine the energy output and enhance penetration. A qualified aesthetic dermatologist will know the correct energy and filters for the patient.

An advantage of IPL therapy is its minimal downtime. Patients can often have the procedure done during their lunch break and then return to work.

As an example of the benefits of IPL in selected patients with rosacea, here is a summary of a study where IPL significantly reduced erythema (facial redness) and telangiectasia (threadlike red lines or patterns on the skin caused by tiny blood vessels).

Here’s what was done.

Changes in erythema of cheeks and chin were measured before and at the end of 4 treatments given at 3-week intervals.

Using a 10-point scale, a consultant dermatologists evaluated the response based on digital photographs. Patients also recorded their own assessments. Outcomes measures were repeated 6 months after treatment.

Here’s what they found.

After four treatments, the consultant dermatologist determined that changes in the photographs revealed that erythema improved 46%, while telangiectasia improved 55%. The severity of rosacea was reduced on average 3.5 points on the 10-point scale.

Patients and physicians agreed there was overall improvement of rosacea. More than 50% improvement was reported by 73% of patients and 83% of physicians. Importantly, the results were sustained at 6 months after the last treatment; and side-effects were minimal and self-limiting.

The bottom line.

The benefits experienced by these patients was due to the ability of an experienced aesthetic dermatologist who could identify the best treatment administered at the most effective dose to meet each patient’s special needs. Remember, there are many treatments for rosacea. However, success with IPL (or any treatment) is maximized when patients consult a experienced board-certified aesthetic dermatologist.

For a consultation and more information about treating rosacea, contact Aesthetic Dermatology and Skin Cancer: Jeffrey H. Binstock, M.D. Drs. BinstockLayton, 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.

Using the Excel V Laser in People with Rosacea

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

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.

Nd:YAG

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. BinstockLayton, 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.