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Comparative Effectiveness Review of Laser and Light Therapies for Rosacea

January 25, 2018

Health Problem: Rosacea is a chronic cutaneous disorder primarily affecting the central face, including the cheeks, chin, nose, and central forehead; it is characterized by remissions and exacerbations. Patients with rosacea exhibit various combinations of cutaneous signs such as flushing, erythema, telangiectasia, edema, papules, pustules, ocular lesions, and rhinophyma.

Technology Description: Monochromatic (i.e., laser) and polychromatic (i.e., light) therapies are increasingly considered for treating the signs and symptoms associated with medically refractory rosacea. Laser and light therapies target and eliminate specific dermal structures and chromophores by means of selective thermolysis.

Controversy: A recent Rosacea Consensus panel acknowledged that the current patient management of rosacea, determined by subtype, is inadequate.

Key Questions:

  • Are laser and light therapies effective in reducing the severity of rosacea and how do these therapies compare with other rosacea treatment methods?
  • Are laser and light therapies safe when used for patients with rosacea?
  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been established for the use of laser and light therapies for the treatment of rosacea?