"Laser therapy is now widely considered the primary treatment for telangiectasia (visible blood vessels) and rhinophyma (enlarged nose), and may also be very effective for reducing extensive redness," said Dr. Philip Bailin, chairman of Dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. "At the same time, medications must continue to be used to manage the papules (bumps) and pustules (pimples) that often go along with rosacea, and to help maintain remission."
Vascular lasers emit wavelengths of light targeted for the tiny visible vessels just under the skin. Heat from the laser's energy builds in the vessels, causing them to disintegrate.
"Generally, at least three treatments are required at six-week intervals, depending on the severity of redness and telangiectasia," Dr. Bailin said. "Most patients will experience redness, swelling and soreness within the first 12 to 24 hours, but then they subside. Some patients also may have peeling, similar to that of a sunburn, and others may experience some bruising under the skin that lasts five to 10 days. Over two to three weeks, the visible blood vessels will disappear."
New laser technology has been developed to minimize bruising, and recently developed devices called intense pulsed light sources (IPL's) mimic lasers but generate multiple wavelengths of light to treat a broader spectrum of tissue.
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