Laser Treatment of Redness
Facial spider veins, or telangiectasia, as well as facial redness and flushing commonly occur as we age. They can also develop as a result of sun damage, rosacea, pregnancy or inherited factors. At Charlotte Skin & Laser, we have vast experience helping patients achieve better looking and more comfortable skin by treating unsightly veins, redness, and flushing on the face.
We use a variety of different lasers to achieve the best reduction of redness and veins. The Vbeam pulsed dye laser is best for reduction in overall redness, flushing and very small veins. We often combine this treatment with the GentleYag laser for treatment of larger facial veins. The dual use of these lasers allows the staff at Charlotte Skin & Laser to get the best clearance possible with minimal downtime. The IPL or intense pulsed light is a gentle way to treat redness as well as brown pigmentation that can occur from sun damage. All of these of these treatments have the additional advantage of rejuvenating the skin for a fresher and smoother appearance.
Multiple treatments are usually needed in order to achieve optimal results. Treatments can be performed at intervals of four to six weeks, and your doctor will discuss with you how many sessions you will need.
Vbeam is a pulse dye laser used to minimize or remove benign vascular lesions. This laser is commonly used to treat scars and keloids, facial redness and veins – as seen with rosacea, sundamage, and aging – poikiloderma or redness that can occur with sundamage to the skin on the chest and neck, warts, psoriasis, and other benign vascular growths including angiomas (benign red moles), venous lakes, infantile hemangiomas and port wine stains (PWS).
The pulse dye laser has a long history of safety and efficacy having been used for over 25 years. It is safe for most skin types and all ages, including infants and children with vascular birthmarks. The Vbeam is the latest pulsed dye laser technology that combines longer pulse durations and cryogen cooling for treatments that are safer, less painful, and more effective and that can be done without the side effect of bruising.
The Vbeam laser is also frequently used to improve the tone and texture of the skin leading to a more refreshed and rejuvenated appearance – the Vbeam Facial. This rejuvenation effect is due to heat from the laser being absorbed by the skin thus stimulating collagen production and mild skin renewal.
How does it work?
The laser will emit a cool spray of mist to the skin, which is called dynamic cooling, before each laser pulse to protect the upper layer of skin, the epidermis, and improve comfort. The laser will then deliver a burst of light to the skin that will be absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the dermis. These blood vessels will coagulate and be reabsorbed by the body over the course of a few weeks during the healing process.
Patients typically need 3 to 5 treatments with no or minimal bruising (typically less than five small bruises) or fewer but with more aggressive treatments more bruising will occur. Bruising from laser treatments may last from 7-14 days. Treatments should be spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart for optimal results. In order to maximize results, the procedure the GentleYag: 1064 laser is often used in combination with the Vbeam in the same session to help treat larger, deeper veins. Typically, Vbeam results can last anywhere from six months to greater than two years. To help maintain results it is important to avoid the sun and use a UVA blocking sunscreen with at least an SPF 15. Additional Vbeam treatments may be necessary to maintain the results – especially with the Vbeam facial (one to two treatments a year needed).
Is the treatment safe?
The Vbeam treatment is very safe for patients of all ages. The patient and laser operators will wear safety eyewear to protect the eyes from laser light. As mentioned above, the unique dynamic cooling device (DCD™) will help keep the epidermis safe and intact. You should avoid a tan or sunburn on the skin prior to treatment as it may cause blistering or a scab/crust. Strict sun avoidance is also recommended immediately after the procedure to minimize any risk of pigmentary changes. Sunscreen should be worn daily during the healing period and beyond to maintain the best results.
What can I expect with treatment?
Most patients will feel a slight to moderate discomfort during the treatment, however, no topical anesthetics are needed (except when treating PWS). Patients have described the feeling as the snapping of a rubber band and heat or sting to the skin. Varying degrees of redness, swelling and possible bruising are expected following the treatment. The redness can last for a few hours after the treatment. Typically, swelling of the area will last 24 to 72 hours, and any bruising will darken within the first 24 hours and resolve over seven to ten days. When treating small areas or scars these effects of the laser are very minimal or nonexistent.
Is there anything I need to do before the procedure?
It is highly recommended to avoid sun exposure several weeks before the procedure and throughout the course of the treatment. A sunblock of SPF 30 or above that contains zinc oxide is suggested. If you have any questions about what products to use please discuss this with the physician prior to the treatment.