Comparative Efficacy of Radiofrequency and Pulsed Dye Laser in the Treatment of Rosacea

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Laser and light-based therapies have been used successfully in the treatment of rosacea; however, evidence is lacking regarding the efficacy of radiofrequency (RF).


This study evaluated the efficacy of RF in the treatment of rosacea compared with pulsed dye laser (PDL).


Thirty patients with rosacea (erythematotelangiectatic rosacea [ETR], n = 20; papulopustular rosacea [PPR], n = 10) were enrolled in a randomized, controlled, split-face study. The patients were treated with RF on one side and PDL on the other side. Each treatment consisted of 3 sessions at 4-week intervals and followed up until 4 weeks after the last treatment. Efficacy was assessed by rosacea severity score, erythema index, lesion counts, physician's subjective evaluation, and patient's satisfaction.


Radiofrequency and PDL resulted in significant improvement in severity scores and erythema and 70% of the patients receiving RF treatment showed a clinical improvement of >50%. No significant difference was noted between RF and PDL treatment in ETR. However, RF treatment led to a significantly greater decrease in papulopustular lesion count and rosacea severity score in PPR compared with PDL treatment.


RF therapy was effective in the treatment of rosacea. It should be considered an alternative therapeutic option, especially in PPR.

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