Expert Doctor

IPL Laser Treatments for Rosacea

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments for rosacea is a non-invasive procedure for removing dilated vessels in the face which cause redness, inflammation, acne and other facial imperfections. IPL uses different wavelengths of visible light to target the red, oxygenated blood cells in the vein without harming the surrounding tissue. The heat from the laser damages the vessel and causes it to close and eventually become absorbed by the body. Without the blood supply, the symptoms of rosacea and other skin imperfections are improved or eliminated.

Am I a Good Candidate for IPL Laser Treatments for Rosacea?

GOOD CANDIDATES for IPL laser treatments include:

  • Any patient with redness or inflammation in the face caused by rosacea
  • Patients who wish to erase the appearance of broken capillaries
  • Blushed patients with, or without, acne or sebaceous hyperplasia (enlargement of the sebaceous glands of the nose)
  • Patients with thick skin or a buildup of tissue
  • Patients with telangiectasias or spider veins
  • Male or female patients who wish to rejuvenate aged or damaged skin
  • Patients who want to minimize pore size

The following patients are NOT GOOD CANDIDATES for IPL laser treatments for rosacea:

  • Patients with larger vessels on the face that may not respond to IPL
  • A patient who is prone to scarring
  • Patients with diabetes or serious health issues

How is IPL Laser Treatments for Rosacea Performed?

IPL treatments can be performed in a doctor’s office or skin clinic and only takes about 30 to 40 minutes for the treatment. The patient will be given protective eyewear before the treatment begins. The doctor may apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment area and then a cooling gel. A cold air cooling device may also be used, during the treatment, to keep the skin cool. A glass prism is placed over the area and short pulses of intense light will flash through the prism from the hand-held laser device. The doctor will move the device over the treatment area using brief, and even, passes. The heat from the laser will target the blood vessel and heat it up to destroy it. The initial treatment is often not as aggressive as the following treatments but patients may experience a stinging sensation during the procedure. IPL laser treatments for rosacea are generally performed in a series of 2 to 6 sessions every three to four weeks.

What is the Cost of IPL Laser Treatments for Rosacea?

The cost of IPL laser treatments for rosacea is between $300 and $700 per treatment. The number of treatments needed depends on the degree of rosacea per patient. However, many doctors offer a discount when a package of several treatments is purchased at once.

Recovery and Downtime

There is little to no RECOVERY or DOWNTIME after IPL treatments for rosacea. Patients can immediately return to all activities including their work. The patient may experience some slight pinkness or redness in the treatment area but this usually resolves in about an hour. For some patients, the redness may last up to 2 days. Mild swelling is also common after IPL laser treatments for rosacea but this will subside over a few days to a week. Age spots may temporarily darken just after treatment but these will slough off within a few days to reveal a smoother, more even skin tone. The skin will be susceptible to sunburn so patients are advised to follow the doctor’s recommendations for applying sunscreen whenever going outside.  


The results for rosacea treatments can take some time since the blood vessel must collapse and fade away for the symptoms to improve. Patients may notice a small degree of improvement after the swelling and redness has completely subsided. However, more improvements can be seen in the following weeks as the reduction in inflammation helps to clear the skin. The redness, flushing and visible blood vessels linked with rosacea will gradually vanish after continued treatments. The results from IPL treatments are permanent as the destroyed blood vessels can never come back. However, new blood vessels can form so maintenance treatments every 1-2 years can help sustain healthy looking skin.

Limitations of IPL Laser Treatments for Rosacea

The limitations involved with IPL treatments include:

  • They improve the symptoms of rosacea but they cannot cure it
  • Larger vessels on the face may be limited from IPL treatments due to its ineffective response to this type of laser
  • Patients with active cold sores or herpes may be limited until the symptoms are under control
  • Congenital issues such as port wine stains and salmon patches require a different type of laser
  • Changes in environment, sun exposure and stress can spark rosacea flares so patients need to limit these influences for IPL treatments to be more successful

Risks of IPL Laser Treatments for Rosacea

The risks of IPL laser treatments for rosacea include:

  • Skin lesions
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Acne, cold sore or herpes outbreak
  • Changes in skin pigmentation
  • Superficial skin burn
  • Scarring

IPL Laser Treatments Create Smooth, Clear Skin

IPL laser treatments for rosacea create a controlled injury to the blood vessels which cause the symptoms. In turn, this initiates the body’s natural response to break down and remove the damaged tissue. As this happens, new cells replace the problematic areas with smooth, clearer skin. IPL laser therapy is not just for treating rosacea. This type of light energy can treat countless skin imperfections caused by genetics, lifestyle habits and aging. Patients who are considering IPL laser treatments for rosacea or other skin issues should consult with a board-certified doctor who performs IPL laser treatments regularly.

Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA

Based on an exclusive interview with Victor Rueckl, MD in Las Vegas, NV