Rosacea Treatment with Lasers

Austin dermatologist Steven Zimmet

By Steven Zimmet, MD

Austin, Texas 78703

Physician (MD, DO), Dermatology


While there is no known cure for rosacea, a combination of treatments can often be used to effectively diminish its appearance. Rosacea treatment options include individualized skin care, topical medications (such as azelaic acid, metronidazole), oral antibiotics (such as doxycycline, Oracea®), and laser light therapies.

Laser treatment is usually the most effective treatment option for reducing facial redness. flushing and broken capillaries (telangiectasias). The results of laser treatment for rosacea are long lasting, but periodic treatments are useful to maintain best results.

I have found that what I call Pulsed Light Rejuvenation is an effective treatment for rosacea.  I use a combination of intense pulsed light (IPL) and two additional laser wavelengths (532 nm, 940 nm) using the VariLite laser. It can reduce redness, flushing, facial veins and may help reduce rosacea flares. This treatment also reduces splotchy brown sun damage and stimulates some collage production, which improves skin texture.

During the procedure, the laser emits wavelengths of light that target tiny blood vessels just under the skin. Heat from the laser’s energy builds in the vessels, causing them to disintegrate.

When rhinophyma (rosacea subtype 3) occurs, the nose gets larger and bumpy. Rhinophyma can be treated with CO2 laser resurfacing and/or surgery to remove unwanted tissue and reshape the nose.