IPL for Rosacea: Everything You Should Know

If you’re living with rosacea, you know that it can lead to prominent and embarrassing flare-ups right when you need them the most. It’s a very common skin condition, and while anyone can get it, it’s typically experienced by women over the age of 30 who have fair skin. 

A great many of us experience bouts of rosacea. Even famous celebrities. Renee Zellweger, Brie Larsen, Cameron Diaz, Cynthia Nixon, and even Prince William have all been very vocal and honest about their experiences with rosacea. 

ipl for rosacea

In this post, we’re going to look at how one of the light therapy treatments we offer can be highly effective in treating this condition. 

What is IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy? And why is it so effective at rosacea treatment?

The use of IPL (intense pulsed light therapy) to treat rosacea is a form of photorejuvenation. Literally using light to rejuvenate the tissues of the face in a way that is more direct than topical treatments or oral medication. 

IPL treatments are used for a wide range of skin conditions outside of rosacea. We use it frequently in treating redness, irregular pigmentation, dark spots, freckles, sun damage, acne scars, visible capillaries, and a whole lot more.  

IPL uses pulses of light at specific wavelengths so that it penetrates the skin’s surface and targets the root of the problem beneath the skin. Intense pulsed light therapy targets the dermis— the lower layers of the skin, without affecting the visible layers (the epidermis). So while you may experience some redness immediately after intense light treatment, the downtime is minimal.

How does IPL work?

An IPL photofacial is a non-ablative technique, meaning that it doesn’t cut out tissues. Instead, the IPL device uses specific wavelengths to penetrate deep beneath the skin. The light energy in IPL affects the skin in different ways once it penetrates the outer layers of the skin and reaches the dermis. 

IPL treatments work by speeding up the healing process, breaking down excess pigmentation into smaller particles that can be flushed out naturally through your body’s lymphatic system, or pushing them to the surface of the skin (the epidermis), where they will be naturally exfoliated in time as part of the skin’s natural shedding process. It can even encourage the production of more collagen so that your skin looks healthier and more youthful than ever.

What to expect during and after IPL rosacea treatment

Before treatment, you’ll need to do a couple of things to prepare. You’ll need to ensure that your skin tone is as natural as possible and free of either real or fake tan. You should also stop using any medications or skin care products that make you more sensitive to light. 

We advise you to talk to your doctor before undergoing IPL treatment.  

On the day of your treatment, you will be taken to a treatment room where our specialists will give you some goggles and apply a cool gel to your face. Once you are ready the treatment proper will begin.  

You will be free to ask any questions about the treatment and reminded of your right to stop the treatment at any time if you wish.  

It’s common to experience some discomfort during this treatment. Patients sometimes describe the sensation as similar to being snapped with rubber bands.  

The IPL treatment may take up to 20 minutes as your specialist moves the light across the affected area inch by inch.   

After the treatment, the gel is removed and sunscreen will usually be applied during the healing process as this intense pulsed light treatment can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.  

After your IPL photofacial treatment

After treatment, it’s essential to keep your skin protected using sunscreen and shade. You may experience some redness and swelling straight away but this will quickly fade. If you choose to, you can safely apply makeup directly to the newly treated skin.   

How effective is IPL treatment for rosacea?

Numerous studies have shown IPL to have an excellent success rate for rosacea. On average skin is visibly improved and the effects of rosacea are reduced or completely eliminated in 75%-80% of patients.  Side effects are typically minimal and temporary with the most common being fleeting break-outs of acne-like spots. Other side effects include skin feeling tight and itchy. These also tend to fade over time. 

Is IPL Treatment for rosacea right for me?

While IPL can be highly effective in reducing the effects of rosacea, it’s not suitable for everyone. This is why it’s so important to consult with a certified doctor before committing to a treatment. For instance, those with darker skin tones may find that this treatment is less effective. 

Our expert team will be able to advise on whether this is the best treatment for you. And whether, in fact, the redness on your face is caused by rosacea or merely something that looks like it. 

How much does IPL treatment for rosacea cost? 

There’s huge variation throughout the United States when it comes to the price of IPL treatment for rosacea. However, patients can typically expect to pay between $450 and $600 per treatment. 

Pricing depends on how many treatments are necessary and the extent of the treatment plan, which is why we always price on a case-by-case basis. However, our location (in Mexico) means that we are able to offer rates that are far more competitive than other surgeries in places like Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, or La Jolla.

See some of the IPL pricing here at Vida Wellness & Beauty below.

ipl pricing mexico

Rosacea: what causes visible blood vessels and facial redness?

Rosacea is a very common skin condition that affects both men and women in adult life. However, women with a fair skin tone are most commonly affected. The condition causes facial redness and for the blood vessels to become highly visible. 

Other rosacea symptoms may include little red, pus-filled bumps in the skin of the face (usually on the cheeks). As a result, rosacea can often be mistaken for acne or simply a naturally ruddy complexion. Some people also experience dry, swollen, and irritated eyes and eyelids.

The signs and symptoms of rosacea can be unpredictable. They can flare up for weeks or even months before disappearing completely. 

Although rosacea is a very common condition, medical science knows surprisingly little about what causes it. It’s suspected that a number of hereditary and lifestyle factors can contribute to the appearance of rosacea. Stress, diet, cosmetics, extreme temperatures, and even exercise have been known to trigger outbreaks of rosacea.

Other different types of rosacea treatments

There are all kinds of treatments for recurrent rosacea symptoms from topical gels, creams, and ointments to oral medications to help get rid of the pustules that can form in some cases. 

There are also a number of laser and light therapies other than intense pulsed light (IPL) that have proven to be effective in helping to treat rosacea and other skin issues. These include:

Erbium YAG laser therapy

YAG lasers are the same type that is used for eye surgery and tattoo removal. In this instance, they are used to target visible blood vessels and can also correct tissues that have been made to look bulbous (usually the nose) by rosacea. 

Pulsed-dye lasers

This laser treatment uses pulses of light at a wavelength designed to penetrate visible blood vessels and lesions within them. A dye is used to change the color of the laser beam which can reduce redness and inflammation.

CO2 lasers

Finally, CO2 lasers (also known as ablative lasers) can be used to reshape parts of the face that have been enlarged or scarred by the inflammation caused by rosacea. If the topography of your face has been changed by thick skin and puffy shapes, this may be a viable option for you.  

However, in this post we’re going to focus on Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and why it can be highly effective in treating rosacea.

Why choose Vida Wellness & Beauty?

While beauty technicians can operate IPL machines in some countries, we do not recommend undertaking an IPL treatment unless it is at the hands of a registered doctor who has been trained in the safe and responsible use of these machines. 

Fortunately, Dr. Carlos Castañeda is a board-certified specialist. He is certified by the Mexican Council of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, an active member of the Mexican Association of Reconstructive Plastic & Aesthetic Surgery and a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

What’s more, because we are located in Mexico, we can offer the same quality of service as you would expect from a board-certified doctor, but at a much more budget-friendly price. This is because our operating costs are less extensive, and we think it’s only fair to pass that saving on to you, our valued client. 

Why pay more when you can get effective treatment from a board-certified doctor at a fraction of the price? 

Get in touch today!

Want to know more about IPL treatment for rosacea or any of our other treatments for skin issues? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us today to arrange a free and zero-obligation virtual consultation about your specific skin concerns. 

Dr. Carlos Castaneda

Dr. Carlos Castañeda is our board-certified body contouring specialist at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Body Contouring, Body Reshaping, Liposculpture, Breast Surgery, Gynecomastia & more. He is certified by the Mexican Council of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, an active member of the Mexican Association of Reconstructive Plastic & Aesthetic Surgery and a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.