Couperose is a form of rosacea that presents itself through skin redness, particularly on the face. It can have psycho-social consequences for the patients affected by it. Fortunately, there are certain methods to eliminate it, including, presumably, vascular laser treatment. Let's look together in more detail at the effects of this aesthetic method on vascular redness.
Eliminating rosacea with vascular laser treatment?
- Rosacea: What should you know?
- Using vascular laser for rosacea?
- Precautions to take before a vascular laser session
- Contraindications to a vascular laser session
Rosacea: What should you know?
Rosacea is the most common form of couperose. This is a condition that primarily affects the central part of the face such as the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. In some cases, it can affect the eyes. An abnormal and permanent dilation of small blood vessels leads to the appearance of occasional redness (erythema) or persistent redness (erythrosis) as well as the appearance of small, fine, red or purple blood vessels that become visible to the naked eye (telangiectasias). Sometimes, it is accompanied by various skin lesions such as pustules or papules. These have a psychological impact on patients, even though the disease is generally harmless.
Dietary or climatic factors that promote rosacea have already been identified to date. These cause hot flushes or outbreaks of redness (flushes). Among them are:
Intense emotions: in this case the flush appears when we are emotionally overwhelmed and completely disappears as soon as the cause of the stress has vanished. ;
The consumption of hot beverages, spicy foods or alcohol;
The climate (sudden changes in temperature, wind, exposure to the sun's UV rays);
Hot (scalding) baths tend to disrupt the skin's hydrolipidic film, leading to redness and tightness ;
Some medications (vasodilators, photosensitisers, dermocorticoids);
Intense physical efforts causing a warming of the body;
A skin sensitivity generated by a high number of nerve endings in the deeper part of the skin and the presence of a " substance P" found locally and in the blood. This substance is secreted by nerve cells and is the cause of local inflammation.
Using vascular laser for rosacea?
There are three different types of vascular lasers: the pulsed dye laser, the KTP laser, and the Nd-Yag laser. The aim is to destroy the blood vessels responsible for skin defects.
The Pulsed Dye Laser: This laser targets red vessels due to its wavelength around 595 nm, which allows for good absorption of oxyhaemoglobin, a combination of haemoglobin with oxygen. The laser light is absorbed by the oxyhaemoglobin contained in the blood of the vessels to treat effectively all the blood vessels involved in the concerned lesions. The energy of the light radiation will transform into heat with the aim of breaking down the walls of the capillaries. Thus, it will be possible to select the vessels that one wishes to destroy.
An epidermal cooling stage is necessary to prevent skin burns. Often, the laser is coupled with a cooling system. The size of the impacts and the pulse durations are variable. Generally, the shorter the pulse duration, the more it will act on fine blood vessels. The longer the pulse duration, the more effective it can be on telangiectasias. One or more sessions may be necessary depending on the lesions. Sometimes, bruises or purpuras may appear after this type of treatment but they eventually disappear on their own.
The KTP Laser: This laser has a beam with a wavelength of 532 nm. The duration of the pulses is rather long, which allows it to be effective on significant telangiectasias. The size of the impacts varies from 1.2 mm to 10 mm, allowing for quicker treatment of larger areas. The application of a gel is necessary to protect and cool the epidermis. Two to six sessions are required to observe an improvement of 60 to 80% in rosacea.Some redness and slight swelling may persist for up to 6 days after the session.
The Nd-Yag Laser: This is a solid-state laser composed of a yttrium aluminium garnet (YAG) crystal doped with a neodymium ion. This laser, with a beam wavelength of 1,064 nm, has good skin penetration. It is used at long pulse durations and is effective for the treatment of violet or bluish telangiectasias. Two to three sessions are typically required for this type of laser. Short-term redness (erythema), itching, and swelling (oedema) are common side effects.
Thanks to the immediate effects of laser treatment, unsightly dilated vessels fade instantly, offering long-lasting results. It can reduce redness by several degrees. Moreover, it does not require anaesthesia. However, it is important to note that rosacea is often a chronic condition, so new dilated blood vessels may form over time. Therefore, although vascular laser treatment can offer durable results, it may be necessary to schedule follow-up sessions to treat any new blood vessels that appear.
Precautions to take before a vascular laser session.
There are precautions to be taken during the treatment period. Generally, the session proceeds in the following manner:
Prior to the session, the patient should not consume photosensitising medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. This type of medication makes the skin more sensitive and it may overreact to light, which can increase the risk of burns, hyperpigmentation or other complications during a vascular laser treatment. The patient should also avoid sun exposure for 2 weeks before the session.
The patient should not be wearing makeup at the time of treatment to avoid reducing its effectiveness.
Protective pads or goggles will be applied for each session, which lasts approximately a quarter of an hour. These goggles serve to shield the eyes from the laser's radiation which can cause severe and irreversible damage to ocular tissues, including the cornea, retina, and lens.
It is necessary to avoid sun exposure for a month after a laser session and to regularly protect your skin with a sunscreen of SPF 50 during sunny periods. Indeed, after a laser session, the skin tends to be more sensitive and vulnerable. Therefore, it is important to protect it to prevent the appearance of redness, sunburns...
Contraindications to a vascular laser session.
The contraindications for laser treatment of rosacea also include pregnancy, untreated skin tumours, recent exposure to the sun, and a herpes outbreak in the area to be treated.
pregnancy is a period during which the body undergoes numerous hormonal and physiological changes that can affect skin reactivity and tolerance to treatments. Furthermore, data on the effects of vascular laser on the foetus are limited, and as a precaution, it is preferable to avoid any non-essential laser treatment during pregnancy. Additionally, this treatment is not recommended after recent sun exposure and particularly on tanned skin as melanin quickly absorbs the laser which can cause burns and spots.
DAHAN S. Prise en charge par laser et lampes pulsées de la couperose et de la rosacée. Annales de Dermatologie (2011).