Letters: Everything’s coming up roses for rosacea

Everything’s coming up roses for rosacea

“I have rosacea which has plagued me for years. The doctors have tried everything with not much result. Since you are always on the ‘cutting edge,’ and knowing of your pioneer work on light, I wondered if there may be something in that area which might help.”
-B.P., Minnesota

Rosacea is a skin disease characterized by redness of the face, tiny but easily visible blood vessels, and superficial zits. The flushing can be brought about by emotion, heat, spicy foods, hot drinks, or alcohol and tends to get worse rather than better with time. It may even become permanent. It is much more common in women, but, paradoxically, when men do get it, the condition is usually worse than the average female case.

Eye complications are a potential-and very important-concern in cases of rosacea. Cornea problems, eyelid inflammation, iritis (inflammation of the colored portion of the eyeball), and swollen and infected eyelids may occur.

Conventional treatment has not always been successful, but a new procedure, called “Intense Pulsed Light” therapy (IPL), also known as PhotoFacial, shows great promise. The treatment is relatively painless, requires no hospitalization, and has no significant side effects. In Chapter 41 of the textbook Lasers in Aesthetic Surgery, the doctors conclude: “PhotoFacial provides superior cosmetic results. Specifically, the treatment offers relief from the redness and flushing of rosacea...”

This treatment, I am convinced, is a winner. In addition to its effectiveness in treating rosacea, it also improves many other skin conditions, such as irregular pigmentation caused by the sun, fine lines and wrinkles brought on by aging, and dark circles under the eyes.

I suggest you contact the Institute for Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in Los Gatos, California at (408)356-2154. They can refer you to a qualified doctor in your area.

Lasers in Aesthetic Surgery. New York, Thieme Medical Publishers, 2001