LASER TREATMENT of Rosacea, Facial Redness, Nasal/Facial Red Veins, Hemangionas (Red Moles), Scars and Stretch Marks
These are lesions that are sometimes present at birth and sometimes as a result of abuse we have caused ourselves with excessive exposure to the elements, poor skin care, poor hydration, and excessive ingestion of alcohol. Sometimes these lesions are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and sometimes we are unsure of what has caused them. Most of us who have unwanted red "veins" , "spots" , "patches", red noses or excessively red cheeks really don't care what has caused these lesions. We are tired of seeing them in the mirror or in family photographs. We just want to get rid of them. Below are listed some of the conditions, (with accompanying photographs) that we can treat. Of course we do not expect you to be a physician and diagnose your condition. That is why everyone is asked to come for a consultation with a Doctor. This helps us understand you problem and you to understand your treatment options, (in easy to understand English).
What lesions can we treat?
Rosacea is a chronic condition that affects facial skin. It is characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. Overtime the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent and visible blood vessels may appear (telangiectasia). If left untreated, bumps and pimples (acne rosacea) often develop and in severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy (rhinophyma-think W. C. Fields).
This condition affects women and men, but men sometimes leave it untreated longer therefore it appears more severe.
Treatment involves a gentle skin care routine, sunscreen and some topical medications may temporize the condition.
Laser therapy with a highly specific vascular laser is the best treatment option for reserving the condition of rosacea. Redness in reduced or eliminated, the small blood vessels can be eliminated and even prominent nasal veins can be eliminated. If your condition has progressed to Acne Rosacea additional therapies will be added to correct this condition. Click here to view therapies for Acne Rosacea
At Laser Health Works we specialize in the treatment of Rosacea. Let the our Medical Team at Laser Health Works help you decide what treatment is best for your facial redness.
- Facial Veins
- Leg Veins
- Red Birth Marks (such as Hemangiomas, Spiders, and Port Wine Stains)
- Angiomas (these are often referred to as cherry red spots or "red moles"
- Scars( treatment will help reduce redness and the heaped up nature of scars. See before and after pictures )
- Stretch Marks (treatment will help reduce redness and prominence of stretch marks)
- Periorbital Wrinkles ( wrinkles and crow's feet around the eyes)
- Venous Lakes
How do we treat these lesions?
These lesions are best treated with a pulsed dye laser which is a laser specifically designed to treat abnormal or unwanted blood vessels.
What is a Laser?
- Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
- Each laser produces at least one distinctive wavelength of light
- The Pulse Dye laser produces a wavelength of 595nm
How does a pulsed dye laser work?
A laser is simply described as a computerized machine which converts electrical energy into light energy. A pulsed dye laser delivers an intense burst of yellow light to the skin. The light is specifically absorbed by blood vessels in the second layer of the skin (the dermis). These unwanted blood vessels are coagulated and then reabsorbed by the body during the natural healing process.
Are there other ways to treat my vascular lesions?
For some leg spider veins, some patients have received sclerotherapy or if they have blue spider veins, treatment with a diode laser. (See treatment of varicose veins on this site) For other types of vascular lesions, such as port wine stains, stretch marks, scars, facial spider veins or warts, some patients have tried surgery, electrocautery, cryotherapy (freezing the area) or tattooing. These procedures often result in scarring or may leave unsatisfactory results.
Other lasers such as the ruby laser, argon laser and CO2 laser have also been used to treat vascular lesions. These lasers are not as specific to the destruction of blood vessels in the vascular lesions and have resulted in scarring in many individuals. Because of the chance of scarring, the use of these lasers in infants and young children is not recommended.
If you have been treated by other modalities, which resulted in scarring or loss of pigment, the pulsed dye laser may enable a smoothing of the scars.
Does a pulsed dye laser treat anything else?
Yes. It can be used to provide a treatment called Facial Rejuvenation.
What is Facial Rejuvenation?
Facial rejuvenation is often referred to as a non surgical face lift. Using the pulsed dye laser over the entire surface of the face not only evens out the colour and texture of the skin but also alters the underlying matrix of the skin. This causes the skin to become tighter and removes fine wrinkles around the eyes and other locations. Its effect is less extreme than a surgical facelift and less startling to others. People often sense a freshening of their appearance, and their friends and coworkers note that people look 'better' or less 'tired' without realizing that they have had 'work done.' Treatments typically are performed every 6-8 weeks. Depending on the condition of the skin Facial Rejuvenation may take 3-6 treatments. This treatment requires no time to be taken off work or family obligations and is far less expensive than surgical face lifts.
Is the treatment with the pulsed dye laser safe?
Yes. In fact, pulsed dye laser treatment is so safe that it has been used successfully for the treatment of port wine stains in infants and young children. The outer layer of the skin, (the epidermis) is protected during the treatment by a cooling method which sprays a cooling mist onto the skin before each laser pulse thus increasing the patient's comfort.
Depth of Penetration
Greater Depth Of Penetration
595 nm - greater penetration into tissue and targeted vessels
What are the side effects?
- With any treatments there are always risks of side effects. With the Candela Perfecta laser for treatment of facial redness, rosacea and veins there are small risks. The most common side effect is facial redness for some people immediately after treatment and this lasts for a few minutes to few hours. More sensitive skin types will stay redder longer. There is a small risk of developing a small purple bruise called a purpura if people have a great deal of vascularity on their face or legs. These are transient and do not last more than a few days. Some people also have some swelling afterwards and this may make the face look 'puffy' for 2-3 days.
- There is a small risk of hyper pigmentation in an area that is bruised. Normal skin colour usually returns within 6 months after laser treatment.
- Permanent side effects such a scarring are rare, but this is a risk with any laser. If post treatment skin care instructions are not followed, this can increase the chance of scarring.
What will the treatment consist of?
The laser treatment will include the following:
Wearing of safety eye wear to protect your eyes from the laser light.
A small hand piece will be applied to the treatment area by the physician to deliver the laser energy.
- A spray of cooling mist will be felt prior to each laser pulse.
Dynamic Cooling Device
Cryogen sprayed onto skin milliseconds before laser pulse
Epidermis is optimally protected during laser pulse
Is the treatment painful?
Some patients may feel a slight discomfort associated with the laser pulse. This feeling has been described by patients as the snapping of a rubber band on the skin. This discomfort is minimized by the cooling device on the pulsed dye laser which sprays a fine mist of cryogen on the skin to cool it before each laser pulse. In addition, for some patients, a topical anesthetic may be used prior to treatment.
DYNAMIC COOLING DEVICE
- Patient comfort
- Ease of use
What precautions should be taken before and after pulsed dye laser treatment?
It is recommended to avoid sun exposure before and throughout the course of treatment. A sun block (SPF 30 or above) should be used. Darker pigment as a result of sun exposure may produce side effects or make the treatment less effective. Do not drink alcohol or take aspirin for three days prior to, and two weeks after your laser treatment. The post treatment care needed depends on what lesion was treated. Be sure to discuss this with our physician before treatment.
What care do I need to take of my treated area?
Care of the Treated Area
The treated area may show a reddish/bruised discoloration. This will last for 5-14 days, depending on what part of the body is treated. The treated area is very delicate and should be treated with care.
- Discomfort or stinging may be evident, but usually lasts no more than six hours. Tylenol (NOT ASPIRIN) may be taken or cool packs may be applied during this period.
- If swelling occurs, cool compresses may be applied. If there is facial swelling, sleep with your head elevated.
- Antibiotic ointment should be applied twice a day if any bruising is present, or if there is also crusting or scabbing (rare).
- If a crust or scab develops allow it to fall off on its own. Do not pick at the area. Keep the area moist with the ointment. There is very little risk of this happening.
- Do not scratch or rub the treated area until any bruising or crusting disappears.
- Showering is permitted. Do not soak in a hot tub until the area is healed. Do not rub the treated area with a face cloth or towel. Pat the area gently to dry so the skin is not disturbed.
- Avoid swimming and sports if any bruising is present to reduce skin irritation and infection.
- Do not apply make up for 2-3 days, or as long as crusting is present. Using new make up will cause less irritation.
If you are like the majority of clients that do not have crusting after treatment with the vascular laser then we recommend a treatment program to soothe the skin and assist in the post treatment regime.
For a period of six weeks Peau Vive Soothing Concentrate 403 should be used routinely in the morning and evening. The soothing concentrate is specifically indicated to treat sensitive or stressed skin. It incorporates ingredients such as Escin, which has a vasoconstrictive and decongestive effect. This will reduce the redness and puffiness of the skin. Also a part of the ingredients is extract of passionflower which is rich in flavonoids. This has a vasoconstrictive and anti-inflammatory effect on the capillaries.
Using the Soothing Concentrate 403 along with the correct moisturizer can assist in the progress of treatment as well as leaving your skin feeling comfortable and hydrated between treatments. We will assist you in choosing the Peau Vive products which are best for your skin type and the type of treatment that you have had.
IMPROVEMENT WILL TAKE PLACE SLOWLY OVER A PERIOD OF SEVERAL WEEKS. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS REGARDING YOUR LASER TREATMENT, PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE.
How many treatments will I need?
This depends on what lesion you are having treated. Treatment may consist of multiple treatments. For facial veins, one treatment may be sufficient for clearance but a second visit is recommended for best results. Someone who has moderate rosacea may need anywhere from 3-5 treatments. Solitary lesions like spider hemangiomas may resolve in 1-2 treatments. The precise number of treatments is unknown in advance. As physicians, our first concern is your safety. The type of vascular lesion to be treated is but one factor that will determine the number of treatments needed. There are many other factors which influence how quickly lesions resolve successfully with a laser treatment. With our clinical judgment we try to deliver the optimum laser energy to your lesions without causing you undue side effects.
Can I read more about the type of laser you use to treat vascular lesions?
The pulsed dye laser is manufactured by the Candela Corporation in the United States, and is called the Candela V Beam. Click on their icon to read more.
Are these procedures covered by insurance?
Most private insurance companies do not offer reimbursement for cosmetic procedures. Government Health plans generally cover very little if any of these procedures as they are deemed cosmetic and elective. Some private and public carriers will however, cover the treatment of disfiguring birthmarks such as hemangiomas or port wine stains. In addition the treatment of psoriasis and rosacea may be covered by some insurance companies. Please consult your insurance carrier.