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Should I Consider Broadband Therapy for Rosacea?

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  • Root Admin

"Current studies have provided preliminary evidence that PDT is an efficient and safe therapy in treating rosacea. However, rigorous randomized control trials (RCTs) with a larger sample size and longer follow-up time are warranted to verify the certain curative effects of PDT in treating rosacea and explore the most appropriate treatment schedule." [1] Wouldn't it be incredible if a non profit for rosacea independent of the PDT industry sponsored a peer reviewed, double blinded, clinical study on this as recommended in the above paper. 

As with every treatment for rosacea there are risks and benefits, aka, the Risk-Benefit Ratio, taught to every medical student. You, the patient, have the right to know what the benefits of any treatment are, as well as the risks. When you agree to accept IPL/Laser/LED for your skin issues, you without a doubt sign a written agreement which mentions that you were informed of the risks. While the majority of reports of using any photo dynamic therapy [PDT], aka, broadband therapyfor rosacea are positive, since, IF PDT didn't work there wouldn't be doctors purchasing these expensive PDT equipment for their offices, and, most of these reports are from the doctors' patients which are posted on their websites and by the manufacturers of these devices. There are now a huge number of these devices that anyone can purchase, over the counter, ranging from under a hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. There are a minority of negative reports (tried to collect these in logical categories, i.e., IPL, LED, Laser, etc, mostly from RF which is as of this date more active than the RRDi forum). Of course, knowing how to operate these devices is a huge factor on the success of the treatment since you can obviously burn yourself or a technician can overcook you. While most of the reports in RF rave about PDL or broadband treatment, the facts are, (1) You have to go back for more treatment and usually this is expensive, (2) Repeated treatments may make your skin more sensitive, (3) Physicians who have purchased a certain broadband brand light device tend a bias toward the brand purchased, which is understandable, and mention its benefits for rosacea to their patients since they have an investment with the PDT device and this factors into the success of this device or its failure. (4) There are more positive than negative reports (you try to collect them as I have done and see what numbers you come up with; and while you are at it, try to get a number of rosaceans to come together and volunteer in a non profit organization that helps each other, and (5) Hair loss has been reported by some patients. (6) Just like the owner of an expensive race car that costs many thousands of dollars, it is the driver who really makes the difference in whether the race car is successful, it doesn't matter how expensive a PDT or broadband therapy device costs, it is the dermatologist or the operator of the device that really matters the most, not the cost of the equipment. You may have some argue that a Lotus 1 racing car is better but a less expensive race car has outrun the Lotus because the driver is what really counts, not the cost of the vehicle. Same goes with all these expensive photo dynamic therapy devices, no matter what anyone says to you about the 'superiority' of the PDL equipment.  



2011 Lotus Elise SC image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There are light devices available in the RRDi affiliate store

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End Notes 

[1] Photodynamic therapy in the treatment of rosacea: a systematic review

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  • 5 months later...
  • Root Admin

Laser and Light-based Therapies (LLBT)

"This work based on previously published literature demonstrates that the quality of evidence to support any recommendation on LLBT in rosacea is low-to-moderate. Among all the available devices, PDL holds the most robust evidence, although in the meta-analysis the effectiveness was comparable to other LLBT, such as neodymium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser (Nd-YAG) or IPL."

Light-based therapies in the management of rosacea: a systematic review with meta-analysis

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