IPL & Dermapen

Summary: Beautiful clearing of rosacea flushing, papules and pustules, improved texture and tone
Client: early 60s, non-smoker, ten year history of intermittent rosacea, flaring and worsening

The issue:
Rosacea is a chronic relapsing and remitting skin issue which is often seen here on the west coast of Scotland. While it can happen to any skin, it most commonly affects women from their forties, with celtic fair complexions. It starts as temporary flushing of the cheeks and nose in response to triggers such as heat, certain foods, or stress. Rosacea can become difficult to manage, with constant redness, broken capillaries and breakouts which are often mistaken for ‘adult acne’. (Rosacea papules and pustules tend to be more uniform, without blackheads, making them more easily distinguished from acne). Rosacea currently has no cure, but there are plenty of effective ways of managing and controlling the symptoms for clear healthy skin.



Most important is the consultation, to work with you to understand your specific skin issue – every skin is different, and rosacea, as a mix of genetic, environmental and hormonal factors, can have very different pathway and challenges for each individual. It is important to work out the triggers – these can be internal (hormonal, stress, diet, wine, spicy foods) or external (sun, heat, hot showers, air-conditioning) for example. It is much better to avoid the symptoms of rosacea than to try to treat the effects.

Together we work on a step-by-step approach, starting with basic skin health – improving skin barrier, restoring the skin to a healthy state with normal functionality. We work on the visible symptoms, combining prescription medications where needed with high tech skin treatments in clinic and an appropriate (basic!) skin care regime for home use. Diet and supplements are also considered.



My treatment of choice used in this case study is to combine IPL (laser device emitting Intense Pulsed Light) and Dermapen (medical microneedling). The thinking behind this is to work on the visible symptoms of rosacea; the sensitive compromised skin, the visible capillaries and the flushing particularly evident around the nose and cheeks,

The journey combined in-clinic treatments with improved skincare regime and use of selected topical vitamins and acids, as well as a prescription topical antibiotic cream for a papular pustular flare.



Managing rosacea takes time and patience. The result here is a beautiful healthy skin which is more stable and resistant to the relapsing-remitting cycle of chronic rosacea.
There is a year between the before and after photographs



Both IPL and Dermapen boost collagen and refine pores; the result is a glowing skin tone and finer texture



IPL works by targeting the visible pigment in the surface blood vessels with a selected wavelength of light. The light heats the vessel, instantly cauterising it. The result is the removal of the target vein, and the reduction of overall redness and flushing. What does it feel like? Some describe it as the ‘pinging of an elastic band’ against the skin. It is hot and feels sharp, but its over instantly.  There is little down-time, treatment redness subsides within a couple of hours.
A course of 3-4 treatments is usually needed, 4-6 weeks apart. In this case, 3 treatments.

Dermapen works by creating multiple controlled micro injuries to the skin surface. The advanced technology of the pen allows for 1300 microchannels per second to be made in the skin surface, to elegantly adjusted depths from 0.1mm to 1mm (for the face). These injuries stimulate a wound healing response in the skin – natural growth factors are released, intense healing repair results in skin that has more collagen, the dermis is thicker and more elastic. Vascular flushing is reduced, the thicker skin is more resistant to the triggers of rosacea. What does it feel like? It can be nippy, but if preferred (and appropriate to you), the skin can be easily numbed with a local anaesthetic. Downtime varies depending on your sensitivity, with intense redness (like sunburn) that day, tapering off over the following days.
A course of 3-4 treatments is usually needed, 6-8 weeks apart. In this case 2 treatments.


IPL face and neck per session £125
Dermapen per session £200

Treatment packages can be arranged to combine these into courses for your specific needs, which offer a considerable saving on the one-off cost. Payment plans are also available.



“I think its time to love the skin you are in”