FAQs VBeam® Vascular Laser
WHAT TYPES OF LESIONS CAN BE TREATED WITH THE VBEAM LASER?
The Pulsed Dye Laser is the most effective instrument for removing spider veins (small dilated vessels) from the face, and cherry angiomas (small red spots on the face and body). These lesions often clear with only one or two treatments. The Pulsed Dye Laser can also help fade, over the course of multiple treatments, red or raised scars, “port wine stain” birthmarks, and red discoloration of the face from rosacea. Although leg veins respond better to sclerotherapy, laser can be used to treat vessels that are too small for sclerotherapy. Unfortunately, all of these conditions, with the possible exception of some facial birthmarks, are considered cosmetic and are not covered by insurance.
HOW DOES THE LASER WORK?
The Pulsed Dye Laser emits a burst of light tuned precisely to target the red pigment in blood and blood vessels without harming other parts of the skin. Therefore, this laser can remove dilated blood vessels while leaving the surrounding skin intact. A brief pulse of a cold spray precedes the pulse of light, further protecting the skin from injury.
DOES TREATMENT HURT?
Each pulse of light feels like the snapping of a small rubber band, while the cool spray of the laser minimizes this brief discomfort. A topical numbing cream called Topicaine may be obtained from our office. Apply a layer of Topicaine to the area to be treated 1 hour before your appointment. Repeat this application after you check in for your appointment.
WHAT DOES THE SKIN LOOK LIKE AFTER TREATMENT?
Each pulse of light treats approximately the size of a pencil eraser. These spots often turn pink to slightly red. Occasionally, small areas may turn a purple or blue color that can last for about a week. You may want to schedule the treatment at a time when you don’t have major social or work commitments for 2-3 days until the redness, and occasionally swelling, go down. Cover makeup can generally be used after 24 hours.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Complications of treatment with the pulsed dye laser are uncommon. Dark discoloration (hyperpigmentation) of the treated area is unlikely to occur and would fade over months; however, it is important to avoid sun exposure after treatment to minimize this risk. Light discoloration (hypopigmentation) and scarring are extremely rare, unless you have recently taken a medication called Accutane for acne (within 6 months). Bruising can occur, but generally resolves in about a week. It is important to follow instructions regarding aspirin and ibuprofen in order to avoid bruising. Laser light cannot penetrate deeper than the skin and will not harm internal organs, but goggles must be worn to protect the eyes. Some lesions may not be completely cleared by the treatment, requiring more treatments at additional cost.