IPL Treatments Effective at Treating Rosacea

Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments have become popular for treating many conditions. While many men and women go for treatments to reduce the appearance of age spots, it's become a popular choice for people with rosacea. Treatments take as little as half an hour, and after a few treatments (the actual number depends on the severity of the skin's redness), the results can last a year or more.

How IPL Works

Intense pulsed light is a non-invasive skin treatment that uses flashes of high-powered light to get deep within the skin cells and damage cells in the area the light is targeting. As it targets the exact area, the upper layers of skin are not effected or damaged. The cells that have been targeted are replaced by healthy skin cells and collagen production increases to further help the skin look refreshed and radiant.

This technology differs from laser treatments were the upper layers of skin are burned (similar to a sunburn) and shed away. With IPL, there are also numerous light forms sent into the skin cells, while lasers usually are focused on one specific type.

Specific to rosacea, the light destroys the tiny blood vessels within the skin that cause the redness. It also reduces pigment in the skin, and the destroyed cells are then reabsorbed by the body. New skin cells grow in their place and leave you with clearer, radiant skin.

What a Treatment is Like

It's very rare for an IPL to cause intense pain. You may feel some warmth and a snapping sensation with the light flash, but many skin care professionals use cooling agents or topical anesthetics to eliminate the potential for any discomfort.

Treatments last anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on the size and severity of the problem area. After you're done, your skin may look pink, like a sunburn. Some people find their skin peels, again like a sunburn, but not everyone does.

Post-IPL Care

Following an IPL treatment, the technician or nurse will apply a moisturizer and sunscreen to your treated skin. It is advisable to stay out of the sun. When you are outside, a wide brimmed hat and broad spectrum, sensitive-skin sunscreen is essential.

Cost of an IPL Treatment for Rosacea

The one problem with IPL treatments for rosacea is the cost. The actual price depends on the cosmetic surgery or dermatology office you choose, but in 2015, the average prices ranged from $300 to $600 per session.

These treatments are not cheap, and most people need multiple treatments over a span of months. It is highly unlikely your medical insurance will cover the cost as most IPL treatments as it is considered a cosmetic procedure.