At the time of this writing, light therapy has not been FDA approved for rosacea treatment specifically. For that reason, you’re not going to find any lights out there being marketed for “rosacea treatment.” At this point, you are going to have to figure out what light is best for you based on the things you have learned about light therapy, and the information that follows.
Buying light therapy for rosacea can be complicated, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Just follow these steps:
- Decide what colors you want to try first.
- Decide what kind of device would suit you best.
- Pay attention to the return policy.
- Do not consider devices like these.
- Buy the light you can comfortably afford.
Step #1 – What colors do you want to try first?
You want to try red, that’s a given. So really this question is, do you want to add amber to it right off the bat? Here’s how to decide that.
Do you have persistent or permanent redness? Do you have broken capillaries? If you answered yes to either of those, then start with a combination of red and amber.
You can play with green and blue if your symptoms persist or as your budget allows.
Step #2 – What kind of device suits you best?
Light therapy devices come in various types. In order to make your daily treatments fit into your lifestyle as best as possible, give some thought to device type before you buy. Here are your options. These images are just for reference, not specific product recommendations.
These are good if your rosacea is isolated to one or two small spots, and you don’t mind holding the light. Most hand-held devices direct you to hold the device against your skin, but you could always hold it a tiny bit off the skin if you’d like. These are best for taking with you on the go.
Table top devices
These are good if your rosacea is covering your whole face, because they can usually treat the whole face in a single session. This saves time. With a table top or panel device, the device does not touch your skin. One drawback is the possibility of sitting in a not-so-comfortable position for awhile – sometimes 20 minutes per day. Another is the space the unit will take up. Also, you can’t really take it with you. Table top devices usually combine different colors into the single device. In some cases you must use them simultaneoulsy, but sometimes they can be used individually.
Domes have similar benefits to table top devices except they are designed to be placed over your face while you are laying down. This seems more comfortable than the table-top version. Most domes include red, amber, green and blue.
A light therapy mask will cover your whole face in one shot, and at an ideal angle all around. There are lots of masks that emit red light, and a few that emit amber, green and blue as well. A mask is nice because you can just lie down, put it on and forget about it for the allotted time. They are not very durable, but they are small enough to travel with. One drawback of a mask – it usually touches your skin, unless you purposefully hold it off, which detracts a bit from the relaxation factor.
Bulbs & Powerheads
Light therapy bulbs and powerheads offer the most versatility of any device type because you can use them with any fixture you like. They can be hand-held or hands free. They can be used on any part of your body. You can also find the lowest price points in this category.
Step #3 – Pay attention to the return policy.
Return policies for light therapy products range from zero (because it’s a personal thing) to lifetime.
Most of them will be 30 days. Good ones will be 60 or 90 days. I do not want to be discouraging at all, but you might need the return policy. Be sure to find out what it is and read the fine print before you buy. The longer you have to try out the device the better, because that persistent redness can take several months to recede.
Step #4 – Do not consider products like these:
- Disposable products – light therapy devices are something that you should only ever have to buy once. They should not have to be regularly replaced.
- Products requiring replacement parts – when you buy a high quality red light therapy product for rosacea treatment, the heads should rarely, if ever, need to be replaced.
- Battery operated products – batteries cause power strength to gradually decrease. It is also a completely unnecessary recurring expense.
- Products requiring topical substance application – red light therapy works as a rosacea treatment all on its own. There is no need for anything else to make it work. In fact, the best way to use it is with a clean face, with no additional substances in the way at all.
Step #5 – Buy the light you can comfortably afford.
While light therapy for rosacea specifically is hardly even on the radar yet, the light therapy market itself is exploding. There are literally hundreds of products to choose from. Each is using any form of marketing technique to make themselves look better and get you to click that buy button. You can safely ignore any hype you encounter. Light is light. Color is color. Power needs to be sufficient, but a lower power will just mean a longer treatment time. So after you decide on color and device type, buy the light you can comfortably afford, and be confident in the healing power of the light itself.