What is a vascular laser and how does it work?
A vascular laser delivers a brief burst of light which targets blood vessels in the skin. When this light is absorbed, it causes the blood inside the vessels to solidify (coagulate). Over the next few weeks, the vessel is slowly absorbed by the body.
What conditions can be treated with a vascular laser?
- Telangiectasias (tiny superficial red blood vessels) most noticeable in rosacea, sun damaged skin and around the nose
- Redness in scars (pink acne scars, stretch marks (striae distensae), and surgical scars, for example)
- Venous lakes (small dark blue spots commonly seen on the lips and face, for example)
- Angiomas (small cherry-red spots or harmless growths composed of blood vessels which can and very often do occur anywhere on the body)
- Red birthmarks
How many treatment sessions are necessary?
Generally speaking, most patients will require up to 3 treatment sessions spaced ~1 month apart for optimal results, however, this is dependent on the extent and type of vascular lesions being treated and individual response to treatment.
What can I expect during treatment?
The size of the area being treated determines how long the procedure takes. During the procedure, you may feel the mild sensation of tiny, hot rubber bands snapping against the skin, however, vascular laser treatment is generally well tolerated due to the soothing effect of the contact cooling handpiece. Prescription strength numbing cream is also available, especially for treatment of sensitive areas.
What can I expect post-treatment?
Temporary bruising of the skin is often seen after a vascular laser treatment. Visible bruising can easily be covered up with makeup and usually resolves within a week. Proper UV protection and a gentle skin care regimen (see treatment tips) is encouraged.