Pulse Dye Laser vs Neodymium:Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet Laser to Treat Rosacea

YAG laser treatment
Beauty laser technician performing a cosmetic skin resurfacing session on a female patient, also called a laser peel or photofacial, with an Er:Yag laser (infrared wavelength).
Researchers sought to compare the outcomes of pulse dye laser (PDL) to neodymium:yttrium-asluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser for treating rosacea.

Treating rosacea with pulse dye laser (PDL) is as efficacious as neodymium:yttrium-asluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser treatment of rosacea, according to study results published in Frontiers in Medicine.

Although Nd:YAG laser is the accepted treatment for rosacea, any advantage of PDL treatment is unclear. Researchers sought to compare the outcomes of PDL to Nd:YAG laser for treating rosacea.

To accomplish this, they conducted a meta-analysis study of 10 randomized controlled trials or prospective cohort studies conducted in the US, Egypt, and South Korea in articles from PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases published from 2011 to 2020. Researchers evaluated data on clinical assessments, patient global assessment, the erythema index, and visual analog scale.

More than 68% of patients in the PDL cohort showed greater than 50% clearance of the disease vs 71.4% of patients in the control (Nd:YAG) cohort, with subjective satisfaction of the PDL cohort of 88.6% vs 91.4% in the control cohort. Statistically, these represent no significant difference between cohorts. For clinical improvement greater than 50% clearance (relative risk [RR] = 0.94; 95% CI, [0.75–1.17]; P =.578) and for subjective satisfaction of patients (RR = 0.96; 95% CI, [0.70–1.33]; P =.808) was noted between the PDL and Nd:YAG cohorts for treating rosacea. The pain scores also lacked significant difference (mean = 3.07; 95% CI, [1.82–4.32]; P =.115), the researchers noted.

Underpowered studies were those analyzed, analyzed; “the clinical and methodological heterogeneity of the included literature was relatively large;” and publication bias were study limitations cited by the investigative team.

Researchers concluded, “Two treatments all showed clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction for the treatment of rosacea, with no significant differences observed between treatments. The pain scores for PDL and Nd:YAG were not significant.”


Li Y, Wang R. Efficacy comparison of pulsed dye laser vs microsecond 1064-nm neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser in the treatment of rosacea: A meta-analysis. Front Med (Lausanne). Published online January 20, 2022. doi:10.3389/fmed.2021.798294