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Keywords:

  • rosacea;
  • red nose;
  • telangiectasia;
  • rhinophyma;
  • laser treatment;
  • management of rosacea

Summary  Rosacea is a common condition often resulting in persistent erythema and telangiectasia as well as rhinophyma in a number of patients. Over the last two decades lasers have been increasingly used in the treatment of these permanent changes. The literature is reviewed in terms of the different laser systems, side-effects and comparison with other surgical techniques.

Laser studies on rosacea-associated telangiectasia and erythema are limited. Copper-bromide, krypton and KTP lasers have been used with good to excellent results. However, the most commonly applied system is the flash lamp-pumped pulsed dye laser.

Rhinophyma can be treated with a variety of different surgical methods, including laser resurfacing. CO2 lasers are the most widely used lasers, others are the Er:YAG and Nd:YAG lasers. Cosmetic end results are comparable to partial excision with a scalpel or electrosurgery. There does not appear to be an increased risk of infection or scarring, but the conventional surgical methods are quicker to perform and more cost effective.