BACKGROUND Erythematotelangiectatic (ET) rosacea is commonly treated with a variety of laser and light-based systems. Although many have been used successfully, there are a limited number of comparative efficacy studies.

OBJECTIVE To compare nonpurpuragenic pulsed dye laser (PDL) with intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment in the ability to reduce erythema, telangiectasia, and symptoms in patients with moderate facial ET rosacea.

METHODS Twenty-nine patients were enrolled in a randomized, controlled, single-blind, split-face trial with nonpurpuragenic treatment with PDL and IPL and untreated control. Three monthly treatment sessions were performed with initial PDL settings of 10-mm spot size, 7 J/cm2, 6-ms pulse duration and cryogen cooling, and initial IPL settings of 560-nm filter, a pulse train of 2.4 and 6.0 ms in duration separated by a 15-ms delay, and a starting fluence of 25 J/cm2. Evaluation measures included spectrophotometric erythema scores, blinded investigator grading, and patient assessment of severity and associated symptoms.

RESULTS PDL and IPL resulted in significant reduction in cutaneous erythema, telangiectasia, and patient-reported associated symptoms. No significant difference was noted between PDL and IPL treatment.

CONCLUSION A series of nonpurpuragenic PDL and IPL treatments in ET rosacea was performed with similar efficacy and safety, and both modalities seem to be reasonable choices for the treatment of ET rosacea.