Botulinum Toxin With Broadband Light Improves Rosacea-Related Erythema, Flushing

Researchers assess the safety and efficacy of botulinum toxin combined with broadband light in treating rosacea-related erythema and flushing.

Botulinum toxin (BTX) combined with broadband light (BBL) is safe and effective for improving rosacea-related erythema and flushing, according to study findings published in Dermatologic Therapy.

The single-blind randomized, half-face controlled study included 22 women (age range, 20 to30 years) with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR). Researchers randomly divided both cheeks into experimental group and control group. Patients were treated 3 times with an interval of 1 month. In the first treatment, the experimental group underwent BBL treatment and intradermal injection of BTX, and the control group underwent BBL treatment and intradermal injection of the same amount of normal saline. In the second and third treatments, both groups underwent the same BBL treatment. The patients were examined before the first treatment and 1, 2, 3, and 6 months following the treatment.

Compared with the control group, researchers found that the hydration in the experimental group increased and the global flushing symptom score (GFSS), VISIA red value, erythema index, transepidermal water loss, and sebum secretion decreased. They noted that the differences were statistically significant (P <.05). Compared with before treatment, at 3 months following the first treatment, the GFSS, VISIA red value, erythema index, transepidermal water loss, and sebum secretion in the experimental group decreased and the hydration increased. The sebum secretion returned to the pretreatment level at 6 months after treatment, and the other indexes maintained the level at 3 months after treatment, according to the study authors.

Among the cohort, 1 patient experienced a slight lifting limitation of the corners of his mouth 10 days after BTX injection, without special treatment, and recovered after 1 month. No patients reported serious life-threatening adverse reactions such as allergic reaction and systemic myasthenia.  

Limitations of the study included a small sample size, the relatively short follow-up time, and further study is needed to determine the optimal dose, type, BTX concentration, and interval of combined treatment.

“BTX intradermal injection combined with BBL has a definite therapeutic effect on the improvement of rosacea related erythema and flushing, which is better than simple BBL, and has high safety,” according to the researchers. “It is worthy of clinical promotion.”


Tong Y, Luo W, Gao Y, Liu L, Tang Q, Wa Q. A randomized, controlled, split-face study of botulinum toxin and broadband light for the treatment of erythematotelangiectatic rosacea. Dermatol Ther. Published online February 20, 2022. doi:10.1111/dth.15395