Background. To date, a variety of lasers have been used for treating vascular skin lesions. Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a proven technology for vascular lesion management, such as rosacea.
Objectives. The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of IPL in treating vascular facial lesions in rosacea patients.
Methods. Sixty patients presenting with telangiectasia owing to facial rosacea were selected randomly from the patient population in the Department of Laser Therapy at the Medical Centre Maastricht, the Netherlands. Patients of various skin types (Fitzpatrick I–IV) were selected with an average age of 44.2 years. Five hundred eight sites were treated, with a mean of 4.1 treatments per site and an IPL spectrum ranging from 515 to 1,200 nm with different pulse durations between 4.3 and 6.5 milliseconds. The energy density varied from 25 to 35 J/cm2.
Results. Patients were assessed clinically and photographically. A mean clearance of 77.8% was achieved and was maintained for a follow-up period averaging 51.6 months (range 12–99 months). No correlation was found between the clearance of rosacea and patient-related or technical data. For approximately 3 years post-treatment, lesion recurrence was noted in 4 of the 508 treated facial sites.
Discussion. This study demonstrated that IPL treatment of facial rosacea is effective in obtaining clearance of 77.8%, with minimal side effects, and that treatment effects are maintained.
Conclusion. The IPL system, with its broad range of technical variables, is an effective tool in achieving meaningful and lasting rosacea clearance.