Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are lasers the best treatment for rosacea?"
Are lasers actually the best treatment for rosacea? I know that's the way they're marketed, but it seems like lasers are getting marketed for just about everything nowadays. I want to see the evidence. Are they really better than the drugs so many doctors are prescribing?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that is a common cause for concern in older adults. The doctors who are best able to discuss this issue with you in depth include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin that involves dilation of blood vessels and red patches of skin. The cause of rosacea is unclear, but there is some evidence that skin mites or other infections may play a role. Typically the treatment of rosacea involves a gradual scaling up of therapy. Usually first line therapies as recommended by your doctor will include topical antibiotic creams and benzoyl peroxide or another agent that removes skin debris. If this does not work, some doctors will add an agent to kill mites and if symptoms persist you may need to progress to oral medications. If these strategies do not work, then referral to a dermatologist is appropriate, where therapies such as laser therapy will be considered. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is recommended.
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