Rosacea Laser Treatments
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you find a dermatologist who is skilled and well trained in the proper use of lasers to ensure the best results. Understand the limitations of the possible results with lasers and the possible negative effects. Be aware the lasers treatments may cause rosacea symptoms to worsen.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
The term "LASER" is an acronym for the cosmetic treatment known as "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation". Laser therapy is a procedure that incorporates the natural oscillations of atoms or molecules between specific energy levels to generate a consistent pattern of electromagnetic radiation to convert light energy into an intense directed beam of heat. This targeted heat beam burns off the surface layer of the skin. There are many types of lasers on the market but all consist of a pair of mirrors arranged parallel to one another in a lasing cavity. One mirror is slightly reflective and placed between the mirrors is a conductive material such as ruby, alexandrite, CO2 or Halide.
Laser resurfacing is not for everyone and certainly not for those with rosacea as their skin is already sensitive enough. For the person "without rosacea," who exhibits the rough, aged, or weathered skin, scar tissue from acne or injury, skin growths or tattoos, the removal of fine layers of the skin by burning of skin spots, wrinkles, etc. is fine as the purpose is to remove the aged worn skin that has been used for protection against the weathering of sun and wind as a callous on the hand is likewise protection from heavy friction of labor. So as the purpose is to remove skin the protection is lost with a more refined smooth skin which is more beautiful to the eye. However, limitations are 'not going too far' as to cause redness and irritation of the skin.
During the procedure the skin is often treated with a numbing agent and then very cold air is blown on the skin as the super-heated laser beam is directed over the area to be treated. This is done in short passes over the skin to burn off the desired amount. Usually more than one treatment is required with the first treatment not as deep or as intense and building up to a deeper treatment. Ice packs applied to the skin post treatment can help with the pain and discomfort.
Please remember that rosacea patients have skin that is at the limit of abused skin from various abuses of harsh medical treatments of retinoid, wrinkle removal systems, steroids, etc. that have resulted in skin that is already inflamed, thus laser resurfacing is not for rosacea patients as the objective is to let the skin heal and not to burn the top layer off. Even trying to remove skin is successful as it can be done, but the skin is programmed to grow back which it does with the same problems after healing from laser treatments. The ideal concept is to stop the irritation or causative irritation and let the skin heal.
Types of Lasers
There is a wide variety of lasers to treat a variety of skin conditions and many more new types of lasers coming out every day. Some of the more commonly used lasers are listed below.
Carbon Dioxide Laser
Carbon Dioxide Laser or CO2 is the most common type of laser. Using carbon dioxide gas it is marketed to reduce or eradicate irregular or excessive scar tissue. It can cause irregular skin pigmentation in darker skin toned people. Cost can vary depending on who and where the procedure is performed and the extent of the area to be treated.
Cool Touch 1320 Laser
The Cool Touch 1320 Laser is a type of NLite laser also known as the thermescent Nd: YAG 1320 LASER. This laser is considered a non-ablative and incorporates a selective dermal heating type of lasing procedure. It is marketed for use on all skin colors or types, and on any part of the body. It is reported to have a shorter healing tie than with more conventional laser devices. During this procedure, the skin is treated with a cooling spray and laser pulses are administered to stimulate fibroblast cells to produce more collagen to improve skin elasticity and skin tone.
Treatments consist of 3-4 treatments in one month although you will not see results until the 2nd or 3rd treatment. Also the improvement may appear immediate although this is due to edema (swelling), etc. Primarily addresses the issue of wrinkles, pore size and scars due to acne or surgery.
Er:YAG Laser (Erbium)
The yttrium aluminum garnet or YAG LASER addresses concerns in the superficial layers of the epidermis. The YAG laser emits pulses of heat which evaporate the unwanted or damaged tissue and blood vessels. The pulsing action reduces the heat on the skin emitted by the LASER resulting in less damage or bruising. Each is used to treat single, large, visible blood vessels.
NLite is a class IV medical LASER, designed specifically for the non-ablative collagen rejuvenation and reduction of wrinkles. The yellow light of NLiteis designed to pass through the upper layers of the epidermis without damage to the tissue, stimulating your own dermis to produce its own natural collagen to plump up reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The NLite laser has been approved by the FDA for treatment of peri-ocular wrinkles - the tiny lines that appear around the eye; although, NLite has also been used effectively elsewhere.
EpiStar Diode Laser System
The EpiStar Diode Laser System is used to treat birth marks and lesion of pigmented skin as well as removing excess or unwanted hair. The EpiStar system cools the skin to 5 degrees Celsius to help minimize discomfort and protect the skin from burning due to heat exposure.
Smooth Beam Laser
Smooth Beam Laser is similar to the CoolTouch laser incorporating miniburst of cryospray to reduce skin damage by cooling the epidermis and subcutaneous levels of skin.
SmoothBeam uses the cryospray burst to prevent the proteins from coagulating, reduce skin damage and help minimize pain. SmoothBeam is used to treat sun-damage induced wrinkles.
Dye Laser VStar
The Dye Laser VStar or Pulse Dye Laser is not a resurfacing laser but rather is designed to address the issues of broken capillaries, facial redness, spider veins, and other types of vascular lesions.
Genica V is a photo-flash lamp-pumped pulsed dye photo laser used to treat vascular lesion. This laser may require topical anesthesia for sometimes painful stinging accompanying treatment. This laser results in significant bruising that usually lasts for 7 to 10 days post treatment.
"Depilase YAGLASE" or Depilase YAG Laser
"Depilase YAGLASE" or Depilase YAG Laser is a High Power Long Pulse Nd:Yag laser used to remove vascular lesions, birthmarks and hair. The Depilase YAG Laser is designed to be used even on ethnic and darker skin tones.
Q-switched Nd:YAG laser
The Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is a updated version of the YAG laser used to remove darker pigmented lesions, birthmarks and tattoos done in black or blue ink. It can take up to twelve treatments to see results.