Light intensifier: LED combo treats rosacea erythema

December 1, 2008
Patty Reiman

Combining LED therapy with laser or intense pulsed light can effectively treat rosacea and subsequent erythema, an expert says.

Key Points

"LED has a direct effect on the inflammatory mediators of rosacea," he tells Dermatology Times.

"It provides an anti-inflammatory effect that may be beneficial in diminishing mild diffuse erythema associated with rosacea," he says.

The increasing popularity of LED therapy to treat - or to supplement primary treatments of - inflammatory conditions such as rosacea can be attributed to the desirable outcomes that have been documented by Dr. Geronemus and others.

"It is a very simple, painless, 35-second treatment, and no training is required," he says, adding that he has been incorporating LED therapy into the treatment of rosacea for four years.

Dr. Geronemus says that, in general, he is able to use LED as a standalone treatment for rosacea patients who have mild erythema.

But for rosacea patients who have telangiectasias and moderate- to-severe erythema, he finds that LED is a good complement to a primary treatment. The primary treatments he typically employs include lasers or intense pulsed light (IPL); then he follows up with LED treatments.

Depending upon the severity of the telangiectasias, Dr. Geronemus says he typically performs three laser treatments at six-week intervals. He supplements with LED if necessary.

"LEDs are used immediately, and then, if possible, we treat twice weekly until controlled," he says.

He cautions his rosacea patients that undergoing such an effective treatment with lasers - either alone or with supplemental LED therapy - does not cure rosacea.

"The underlying disease process will still be there, especially if the patient does not follow his or her prescribed medical therapy," he says.

Dr. Geronemus says rosacea patients still need to be reminded to avoid their individual rosacea triggers and sun exposure, in particular.

With LED performing so well with rosacea patients, Dr. Geronemus says about the only drawback to LED for rosacea treatment is that it is "not as effective as the standalone therapies are for significant cases."

Disclosure: Dr. Geronemus was a previous investigator for Light Biosciences.

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