Rosacea is a skin condition that affects countless adults. It’s more common among women, but anyone can be diagnosed with rosacea. There’s no cure, and in fact, it isn’t even a disease. There are various rosacea treatment options that help reduce the appearance of reddened skin associated with rosacea, and among the most effective of these treatments is IPL therapy, also called an IPL photofacial.
Why Do I Have Rosacea?
Rosacea causes are primarily genetic. Over time, environmental factors such as overexposure to the sun and working in areas where the skin is exposed to high heat can cause the capillaries near the skin surface to swell and even multiply. This is what causes the redness and blotchy patches to become more prominent. The idea behind IPL treatment is to reduce the size and number of capillaries.
Using Light Energy
Almost everyone is familiar with lasers and what they can do. The light beam is very powerful and concentrated. Intense pulsed light, or IPL, works a bit differently. Instead of focusing a single frequency of light, a frequency that’s in the heat wave segment of the spectrum, IPL devices mix a combination of frequencies that interact with each other and produce a pixelated beam of light energy. This frequency mix, when properly chosen by the professional, produces a multitude of light energy shafts that penetrate right through the epidermal layer without harming it.
Instead, this energy is absorbed by darker tissues that lie beneath. Capillaries are, of course, darker than the epidermal layer. The components in the cells that contain pigment are called chromophores. These cells absorb the energy emitted by the IPL device and are damaged.
We consult with you and perform an examination to determine whether this rosacea treatment is suitable. We will also look at your medical history to see if there’s another skin condition that would cause problems if light therapy is performed.
The treatment itself is performed in the comfort of our office. The energy, when absorbed by the capillary walls, causes the walls to constrict. After a number of pulses, we move the device slightly and repeat the pulse emissions. After multiple treatment sessions, the skin should become visibly lighter and more even in tone.
The actual discarding of tissue and the constriction of the affected capillaries continues for some time following the final treatment. This isn’t a cure for rosacea, but it’s the next best thing, and it’s considered an effective rosacea treatment. Flare-ups become less common, and subjecting the skin to high heat is now far less likely to cause the skin to redden once more.