Current treatment options for rosacea include topical agents, oral therapies, phototherapy using lasers, or intense pulsed light (IPL). Combination therapy for rosacea often yields better results than monotherapy. The safety of laser/light treatments in combination with systemic doxycycline has been questioned because of the theoretical risk of photosensitivity.
The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence of phototoxicity or photosensitivity in rosacea patients receiving concomitant laser or light treatments and systemic doxycycline.
Treatment records of 36 patients receiving laser/light treatments while also being treated with standard dose or anti-inflammatory dose of doxycycline were retrospectively reviewed.
No adverse reactions related to doxycycline combined with laser/light therapy were reported. Specifically, no photosensitivity or sensitivity to wavelengths in the pulsed dye laser (PDL), or IPL range was observed in this cohort. All patients achieved some degree of clearance.
The results of this retrospective study demonstrate that doxycycline used in conjunction with laser or nonlaser light therapy is a valid combination therapy for improving signs and symptoms of rosacea. No photosensitivity reactions were observed to commonly used IPL or PDL devices.