Comparative Efficacy of Radiofrequency and Pulsed Dye Laser in the Treatment of Rosacea

Sue-Jeong Kim, Young Lee, Young-Joon Seo, Jeung-Hoon Lee, Myung Im
Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et Al.] 2017, 43 (2): 204-209

BACKGROUND: Laser and light-based therapies have been used successfully in the treatment of rosacea; however, evidence is lacking regarding the efficacy of radiofrequency (RF).

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the efficacy of RF in the treatment of rosacea compared with pulsed dye laser (PDL).

METHODS: Thirty patients with rosacea (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea [ETR], n = 20; papulopustular rosacea [PPR], n = 10) were enrolled in a randomized, controlled, split-face study. The patients were treated with RF on one side and PDL on the other side. Each treatment consisted of 3 sessions at 4-week intervals and followed up until 4 weeks after the last treatment. Efficacy was assessed by rosacea severity score, erythema index, lesion counts, physician's subjective evaluation, and patient's satisfaction.

RESULTS: Radiofrequency and PDL resulted in significant improvement in severity scores and erythema and 70% of the patients receiving RF treatment showed a clinical improvement of >50%. No significant difference was noted between RF and PDL treatment in ETR. However, RF treatment led to a significantly greater decrease in papulopustular lesion count and rosacea severity score in PPR compared with PDL treatment.

CONCLUSION: RF therapy was effective in the treatment of rosacea. It should be considered an alternative therapeutic option, especially in PPR.

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