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My Rosacea and IPL

My Rosacea and IPL

Feel free to skip this. In this video I am discussing my rosacea, my medications that I’m currently on, and how I’m investigating IPL as a treatment option for my rosacea. In this video, my rosacea is flaring particularly bad, so you can see how it makes me looks sunburnt. This is why I match my foundation to my neck and chest and NEVER my face.


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If you need tips on how to handle rosacea, check out my Best Ways to Survive Rosacea. If you want to learn how I was initially diagnosed with rosacea, see this post.

Right now I’m using my Metrogel Cream in the morning and in the evening. I’m taking my Oracea in the morning. Next week I can try the Mirvaso.

If I decide to do IPL, I’m going to see if I can vlog the experience to share with you. Since it’s a medical procedure, I’ll likely have Ray or Dave with me, as I don’t deal well with procedures.

Have any of you tried IPL – for any reason? What did you think of the experience? Everything I’ve read about IPL says that it’s not painful, just mildly uncomfortable. Some people say to take Xanax beforehand, and others say to make sure to get a numbing gel.

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    • DaisyoftheValley

      I haven’t tried IPL, but I have Rosacea and some broken capillaries, both of which are supposed to benefit from IPL, so I should look into it. Should I start at the dermatologist?
      Thank you for your post on Rosacea, btw. Very helpful.

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        Yes, definitely go see the dermatologist! Some derms have lasers, others don’t. I’m not sure why mine doesn’t.

        • DaisyoftheValley

          Thank you so much. I will. I’ve had rosacea since high school, and it would be awesome to be able to clear it up at least somewhat.

    • Ann Clothier

      I did IPL for my rosacea about six years ago. I had two treatments and I think it cost me about 600 back then. It does work! However, in the past year it has started to come back a little. It isn’t nearly as bad as it was, but it didn’t last forever. I’ve thought about redoing it. In case your articles didn’t mention it, the one thing to be aware of is that it causes large bruises all over your face where the capillaries break. It took about two weeks for that to heal. I would not get it done right before a big event! I feel it was worth every penny. BTW…the metrogel didn’t work for me either. Good luck.

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        Yeah I had read that it can come back even after IPL and that IPL isn’t a cure, but it does help. Good to know about the bruising!

    • http://www.foxyvoxy.com Voxy

      I have done a series of IPL treatments for dark spots and overall skin tone. They work amazingly well. The process is not fun — what people usually say is that it is like snapping a hot rubber band against your skin, which is absolutely true. And that doesn’t seem too bad, right? But when you think about snapping a hot rubber band against your skin, you usually only think about doing it once. During your session you will get snapped over a hundred times, so even something that is not that painful once will become tortuous when done a hundred times. It’s not so much the pain itself as the unrelenting whipping of your startle reflex, so that is why I ALWAYS take a Xanax ahead of time. That makes a huge difference.

      They’re totally worth it, IMHO.

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        Yeah that sounds frightening! Xanax + facial numbing cream is probably what I need.

    • Kate

      I’d be really interested in seeing pictures of your process! I was diagnosed with rosacea this winter (it was misidentified as acne for ages due to the papules). I tried mirvaso and did not react well to it, so in terms of redness reduction, IPL is my “last chance”. I do find the combination of metro gel (am) and finacea (pm) really controls the majority of my symptoms but I can definitely tell if I miss a day of either…

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        You can see in my diagnosis post what my skin looks like and the areas of damage that I have from rosacea, which are pretty tiny. I will definitely take pictures / video if I do IPL.

    • Rebecca Wright

      I so understand. I have rosacea and it is so frustrating. IPL sounds very promising.

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        Thank you, it helps knowing I’m not alone though I wish not so many of us had to deal with it!

    • http://www.bethandbeauty.com/ Beth and Beauty

      I so hope the IPL can give you some relief! I know even though it may not be an life threatening illness that it is still real and has to hard to deal with at times.

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        It’s definitely frustrating.

    • Follower

      I am 34 and have had rosacea since I was forced on birth control by ignorant doctors (due to PCOS) in my early 20s. My rosacea was never cute like yours, but has always been awkwardly blotchy and not suited for public viewing. I have also had quite a bit of damage from the flushing since an early age.
      When I took Doxy/Oracea I had a bad reaction to it and it actually made my rosacea permanently worse, as it spread to my neck and chest. I’ve been on Finacea for a long time, but take long breaks from it here and there because it thins my skin to the point that my blue veins show through too much and dries my skin into wrinkles. It is effective for some acne, flushing, and clogged pores, however.
      Looking for a permanent “fix” that would give me my old skin back, I decided to go for laser as well about 7 or so years ago. I went to the best and most well-regarded doctors in the area to learn about it, and finally decided on a practice run by an ivy league educated, progressive derm. Although I feel she is both competent and responsible, I do believe that the laser companies were not completely honest with her (and other doctors) about the side effects of these new machines. Although they were touted as giving you better results without risk and with no downtime as compared to older generation lasers, these brand spanking new lasers are indeed dangerous. I myself was scarred on my 5th treatment of low energy, non-purpuric “lasering” about 4 years ago. My first four (spaced out over many months) treatments went ok…Although I had a lot of swelling and marks that lasted for half the year (and which seemed worse than the original DARK broken capillaries/angiomas), the major marks did go away after being treated several times. Still, I was left with light, “Swiss cheese” type flushing that really didn’t look good. Worst of all, I had a couple of deep indentations in my face about the size of a thumbpad (and irregularly shaped) that turned very brown and appeared months after treatment. This is where the laser had melted the underlying fat in my face, and the scarring is permanent. One spot has gotten worse with age. If I look more closely, I can see that there are more spots like this that are not as deep. Overall, I am not sure that I should have done this. Except for the removal of some MAJOR red mars here and there, my skin is still not presentable and the scarring I received in return is worse. My doctor didn’t even want to acknowledge that I had been scarred and pretended she didn’t see it…
      I know you don’t want to hear this, and you want to believe that the people on the internet who say that this type of scarring is a farce, from older lasers, from high energy treatment, etc…But that is not true. Since you admit you have no damage from the rosacea, you should really work more on the root causes of your flushing first. Don’t get caught up in the promise of having your old skin and life back only to end up worse off than before…especially since your case isn’t that bad yet…

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through. I have 2 small spots of damage from Rosacea, which isn’t bad (you can see this in my rosacea diagnosis post).

        This is why I didn’t just jump in and get it, but instead I’m researching it. I don’t feel like my rosacea is cute. I feel like it looks awful.

        • Follower

          Looking at the diagnosis post, I find it interesting that your trouble spot is in the same place as my worst spot of rosacea. That spot on me has always been bad (worse than yours…with oddly stretched pores, skin crinkling, and weird bumps), but luckily it hasn’t progressed. The lasering made it look worse, but the damage is the same as it was when it just “appeared”. I thought I might have a bad spot there due to my hair (and thus, hair products…) constantly touching my face in that area. Now that I look at you and your short hair, I think it might be the side we both sleep on…Who knows?
          Next time I visit the derm (it has been a couple of years) I am going to ask if they have received any new information regarding the type of scarring I have and if it can be prevented somehow. I would love to be like these people with their wonderful success stories and I don’t understand why I wasn’t one of them…

          • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

            I roll in my sleep, sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, sometimes on my stomach or on my back. i try to sleep on my back but it’s difficult.

            Yeah the trouble spot on my cheek, that skin feels a different texture and makeup applies weirdly over it.

    • Susan

      I have had several different lasers. All for rosacea and broken capillaries. The first one I had was really the most effective but it really hurt and left severe bruising such that I could not leave the house for a week and had to wear heavy foundation for the next month.I think it was called pulsed dye. I had IPL and it gave me hives. I tried it again but took antihistimines before and after but still got hives all over my face. I have found out that it is not a typical reaction but not unheard of either. They tell you that the lasers feel like a rubber band snapping and that is true. It is just the snapping over and over and over that is hard to take. I think the idea of a friend, a valium and a numbing cream is a real good idea. Good luck.

      P.S. I have grown out of rosacea. Mine is so mild now it is almost non-existent. There is hope.

      • http://www.phyrra.net/ Phyrra

        Thank you for letting me know your experiences. I really appreciate it. Numbing cream is a must.

    • Deanna

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. My Rosacea looks a lot like yours, and I feel the same way that you do about it. It’s actually one of the main reasons I started wearing makeup. I am SO self-conscious about how I look without it. My friends always say, “Oh, it’s not that bad. You just look sunburned.” Hello! Sunburns are NOT cute!
      I am trying to make peace with my skin, but it’s tough. I really hate leaving the house without at least a tinted moisturizer on my face.

      I currently use Metrogel gel, and it seems to make it less noticeable, but I definitely still get flareups. Whenever I go running, my face turns bright red. At the gym, people have approached me while I was running on the treadmill to make sure I was okay–that’s how red my face gets. Ugh. Okay…enough ranting. Sorry about that.

      I am really curious to see how Mirvaso works for you. As for the IPL, I’ve read that it’s good for people who have broken capillaries. I didn’t know that it was also a treatment for those of us with the sunburn look. For now, I’m afraid to try it, but I hope that it works well for you if you decide to try it. :)