Vascular Laser Treatment of Facial Redness, Birthmarks and Unwanted Blood Vessels

Lasers and other technology-based devices such as intense pulsed light (IPL) can also be used to treat unwanted blood vessels on the face and body. Examples of the types of unwanted vessels we commonly treat include “broken capillaries’, diffuse red discoloration due to sun damage or rosacea, birthmarks, blue veins on the eyelids, unwanted leg veins, and others. Due to variations in technology and the diverse nature of the size, color, and the depth of unwanted blood vessels, many different devices are required to help patients achieve best outcomes with the lowest possible risk. Dr. Biesman is pleased to offer treatment with a full spectrum of available vascular laser technology. While IPL treatments are highly effective for improving the appearance of diffuse red discoloration, lasers must be used if larger, discrete blood vessels such as “broken capillaries” and leg veins are to be eliminated.

Red colored vessels are typically safest and easiest to eliminate. This is particularly true of vessels located on the face but also those found on the legs. Larger blue vessels also respond favorably to laser therapy but carry a somewhat higher risk than smaller vessels due to the amount of energy required. Small red leg veins and any vessels that are resistant to therapy with other methods are excellent candidates for laser treatment.

“Broken capillaries” are one of the most common conditions treated with a vascular laser. Broken capillaries refer to the small, discrete blood vessels that appear commonly on the nose, cheeks, and chin. They are not really capillaries and are not broken, but we all are familiar with this term so we use it. The typical outcome when treating broken capillaries or blue veins on the face is immediate disappearance without bruising or crusting. One to three treatments are usually required with 2-4 weeks recommended between treatments. Most treatments are performed in the office. Anesthesia and special skin preparation are not necessary prior to laser treatment of facial or leg veins but tanned patients should wait until their skin returns to its normal color. After the treatment, most patients experience only mild redness that lasts for 1-2 days. Depending on the skin type, size, and location of the vessels being treated, crusting may occur in the treated area. If this happens, the crusts can last from a few days to 2 weeks. Scarring after laser treatment of facial or leg veins is very uncommon but can occur. Should you experience this, additional laser treatments using other devices may be recommended.

Red colored birthmarks can also be treated with vascular lasers. The size, location, and nature of the birthmark all contribute to the relative responsiveness of the area to laser treatment. As a general rule, multiple treatments are required to obtain the best outcomes. Treatment of birthmarks in adults is not covered by insurance.

With regard to leg vein management, injection (sclerotherapy) and surgical removal of veins via ambulatory phlebectomy are the first line of approach for treating larger veins. That is to say, laser, injection and surgery are complementary as opposed to mutually exclusive treatments. Many patients require a combination of these treatments to achieve the best results. Dr. Biesman does not perform non-laser services for leg vein treatment but will be happy to make a referral to a physician qualified to do so. Dr. Biesman typically recommends that patients with varicose veins or larger, blue colored leg veins seek treatment of these prior to undergoing laser therapy. It is important to be aware that following laser treatment of leg veins the vessels may appear darker for a few weeks before improving. Depending on the number of vessels treated, laser treatment of facial or leg veins typically takes 15-30 minutes.

Dr. Biesman is pleased to offer another advanced, state-of-the-art treatment for unwanted blood vessels, birthmarks, and diffuse redness of the skin as commonly occurs in patients affected by a condition known as rosacea. This device is known as the V-Beam laser and is widely recognized by industry leaders to represent the best available solution for certain conditions related to unwanted blood vessels and scars.

The V-Beam laser is both efficient and effective at improving redness of the face, neck and chest as well as improving the appearance of red colored scars and red or purple birth defects. V-Beam laser treatments are performed in the office and require no downtime or recovery. Depending on the nature of the condition being treated, 3-5 V-Beam sessions may be required. Each session typically takes only 15-20 minutes with treatments typically spaced 2-3 weeks apart. It is important to note that patients who have a sun tan need to wait until their skin has returned to its natural color before undergoing V-Beam laser treatment. The only aftercare instructions following V-Beam laser therapy are to apply moisturizer and sunblock to the treated skin.

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