Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Rosacea treatment: Can light therapy reduce symptoms?

My facial redness doesn't seem to improve with rosacea medications. Is light therapy a better rosacea treatment?

Updated: 11-08-2012

Answer

Intense pulsed light therapy, which uses high-intensity pulses of light to reach the deeper layers of skin, may help treat symptoms of rosacea. Studies show that light therapy may reduce the appearance of:

  • Facial redness
  • Flushing
  • Telangiectasia — visible small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks

Light therapy, which involves multiple sessions over the course of several weeks, may be most beneficial if your symptoms don't improve with traditional rosacea treatment, such as prescription medications. Side effects are usually minimal, but they can include temporary redness and bruising.

Though early studies show benefits, more research is needed to determine how long the light therapy treatments are effective for rosacea and what the long-term risks might be. If you experience persistent rosacea, talk to your doctor to see if light therapy is a rosacea treatment option for you.

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