red face and photodynamic therapy (PDT)

Written by on February 8, 2007 in PDT, Red Face of Rosacea with 12 Comments

This study did not address rosacea, and PDT may not be suitable for all rosacea sufferers, so please do your research. Check out be careful with Levulan (aminolevulinic acid) for some group feedback.

Topical photodynamic therapy for treatment of facial erythema with acne
Eun Ju Hwang, MD, Modelo Clinic, Seoul, South Korea; Kyle Seo, MD, PhD, Modelo Clinic, Seoul, South Korea.

Background: PDT involves the application of a photosensitizing chemical which, when exposed to various lights, results in excitation of the photosensitizer and consequent production of a reactive oxygen species that leads to cytotoxicity. Although it is already being widely used for acne and epidermal cancers in practice, the treatment effects are not established for facial erythema including seboherric dermatitis, rosacea with acne vulgaris.

Objectives: Our study was designed to determine the effect for the treatment of facial erythema with seboherric dermatitis, rosacea.

Methods: Ten volunteers with moderate to severe facial erythema had been treated with the ALA (Levulan, DUSA, Wilmington, Mass) all over the face. An occlusive dressing followed all treatments. Two hours after ALA application, the face was irradiated for 40 ms with a fixed dose of 9 J/cm2 and 650-950 nm wavelength of IPL (Ellipse, DDD, Denmark). The effects were evaluated by clinical and chromometric examinations, H&E, Tunel staining.

Results: Rapid erythema improvements were seen in all facial erythema with variable causes including seboherric dermatitis, rosacea. In addition, acne counts were decreased significantly. More intense erythema was noted within 3 days especially in patients with erythema as opposed to those without it. In H&E and Tunel staining, there were epidermal necrosis and regeneration. Sebaceous gland were also degenerated after PDT.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that ALA-PDT showed an excellent efficacy for the treatment of facial erythema with variable causes. These data supported the hypothesis that destruction of vessels and anti-inflammatory actions in ALA-PDT seem to cause improvement of facial erythema.

Commercial support: None identified.

Poster Abstract P3113, American Academy of Dermatology, 65th Annual Meeting February 2-6, 2007, Washington, DC. Published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Volume 56, Number 2.

Further Reading:

Read more about: PDT, Red Face of Rosacea

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

Follow Rosacea Support

Subscribe via RSS Feed

12 Reader Comments

  1. sarah says:

    i want to tell you than i have a problem in my life my face make me not socaible & i dont like talking with other cause every thing however small it was make my face red make me uncomfortable in any meeting i want you to help me if you please

  2. andy says:

    i have no social life at all. I’m 33 years and the only time my face is not red is when i first get up in the morning, otherwise its red all the time. I think my life is over with because my red face is ruining my life. I have a great body and personality but I’m very lonely because nobody wants to be seen with a red faced freak. My life would be perfect if I could just get rid of this red face.

  3. Hi Sarah and Andy,

    A red face can really affect how you feel about yourself – that is completely normal. Hang in there and try not to look in the mirror too much. There are a few things you can try from lasers to topicals that cover up. I tried to collect together some ideas here ;

    I hope that this might help you both get some relief.


  4. david says:

    Im 20 years old and im from england, rosacea had ruined my life in every thing i do. I can’t have a hot bath bend down, get upset/angry or be in hot environments. The only iem my face is normal or slighly pale is in the morning first thing when i wake up, throughout the rest of the day it’s pinky and then goes to red for any slight trigger, it’s so confidence breaking, unless somebody has this illness they truely can’t understand how life destroying it is. I dont have burning pains, I can feel hot and flustered very easy which i no then i’ve had a flush, but i dont feel pains as such. Im only 20 and this disease gets worse as life goes on, im truely worried for my future, i offen think about ways of suicide, although i’ve never been close to doing it. This disease can truely ruin ones life in a instant. I used to be outgoing, friendly, confident, popular with girls, but now confidence isnt enough when you have a red face, i feel my life is finished at 20. as well with this disease my visible blue veins has appeared underneath my eyes and over my forehead, From being a good looking lad with loads of confidence, i can’t bare to look at myself in a mirror for what i see back, I’m truely heartbroken and will never accept this illness as im just unlucky, i am truely blaming myslef as im being punished for something. This is my life now. what a waist.

  5. dep says:

    i agree with david completely.I am 23 yr old from india ..imagine a red faced white guy living with rosacea in india with people staring at your face all the time..imagine how liconfidence breaking that is..Ihave already spent thousands of rupees in peels,laser,creams,antibiotics and alternative therapies like ayurved and homeopathy.I too feel like killing my self.Ihave gone from being a good-looking guy to a broken down guy with no enthusiasm in life.

  6. Sean says:

    Im a 25 yr old guy from england. Since i was about 18 or so i was teased about going red in certain situations. I do have a bit of a social anxiety problem. Over the years my face has got worse, and now im permenantly red. This really knocks my confidence, and makes me very self concious. I thought that it could be roscea, but i recently went to my gp and she said it wasnt. Can anyone suggest anything?.

  7. Hi Sean,

    A permanently red face from blushing can be helped by various forms of laser treatment such as IPL and according to this paper, PDT as well. The trick is to find a laser doctor who recognises your condition and has had some expertise in treating it. Can your GP suggest anyone for you to be referred to ?


  8. Cjal says:

    mine is ok in the morning too. I wonder why that is?

  9. Sara says:

    Dear David and Dep,
    First of all, even though living with rosacea can be difficult, there are things you can do about! First of all, you need to see a dermatologist who may or may not prescribe topical medication, antihistamines or antibiotics. Maybe laser treatments would be helpful?

    I, too have rosacea and it sucks majorly because not being able to leave the house with out makeup on is a pain, and it sure does something to your self-esteem…
    I’ve found some relief using natural skincare products to help keep the symptoms at a minimum, though. They are more costly than the stuff you buy at the drugstore, but worth it.

    Please look into seeing a dermatologist first though, thats the most important.


  10. vikram says:

    i am 30 years old from india & suffering from rosacea from last 10 years. Sometimes i feel very embarassed to go in public places with a red nose & i loose my confidence in public meetings. i am getting fed up with the daily applications of creams as nothing positive is coming out. Can u suggest some new forms of therapy

  11. fiona says:

    I have the same problem, i stop doing things because i know i will go red. or i will think, dont do that ill go red. I went to meet a friend i hadnt seen for ages, and i didnt go red. but if a teacher says my name,im gona bright red in the face. I HATE IT, i wish it didnt happen. Is there anyway i could stop it?

  12. Bren says:

    I have had it since I was 13. Really sucks but laser really helped a lot. Also staying away from spicy foods, booze ): (although sometimes I do enjoy getting smashed) tomatoes, hot drinks and hot food in general, never drinking tea & coffee has also helped a great deal. Don’t give in to it. Oh using an electric shaver instead of a wet shave makes a huge difference too. Hope that this has helped anybody suffering from this pain in the ass thing.

Leave your comment here


Subscribe to Rosacea News

Enter your email address to receive the latest news about rosacea in your inbox.