Pulsed dye laser therapy for rosacea

S T Tan, A Bialostocki, J R Armstrong
British Journal of Plastic Surgery 2004, 57 (4): 303-10
Rosacea is a chronic and progressive inflammatory skin disorder affecting the facial convexities for which no curative measure is currently available. Forty consecutive patients with rosacea were treated with the Cynosure PhotoGenica V pulsed dye laser. The improvement following laser therapy was assessed according to a sliding scale: 1 (worse after treatment), 2 (no improvement), 3 (slight improvement), 4 (moderate improvement), 5 (marked improvement). Following an average of 2.4 (range 1-10) laser treatments, a mean score of 4.4 and 4.3 for overall improvement was achieved as judged by the patients and independently assessed by a family member or a close friend of the patients, respectively. The response of erythema and telangiectasia to laser therapy, evaluated by an independent panel of 10 members, showed a mean score of 3.7. Three patients experienced an exacerbation of rosacea during the treatment period requiring antibiotic therapy. During the follow-up period of 6.0-55.5 (mean, 23.3) months after completion of laser therapy, no patient (including 13 patients in whom papulation and pustulation which were amongst the presenting symptoms) required medical treatment. Six patients developed post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation necessitating skin bleach but no other complication such as scarring was observed. Three patients reported that the residual erythema had progressed after an initial improvement during follow-up periods of 52.4, 15.8 and 6.0 months. All patients felt that laser therapy was worthwhile. We conclude that pulsed dye laser therapy is a useful treatment for rosacea.

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