Increased facial redness can be a significant cosmetic concern for many people. The unwanted redness is the result of increased numbers of blood vessels in the superficial layers of the skin. The redness can range from a generalised pinkness or redness because of increased blood flow into tiny microscopic blood vessels, to discrete prominent blood vessels that can appear as red lines on the surface of the skin.
We use specialised Vascular lasers such as the EXCEL V, VARILITE and V-BEAM and light sources such as the BBL to treat unwanted facial redness. The common vascular conditions that we treat are Rosacea, Broken capillaries, Spider veins, Spider angioma, General redness, and Birthmarks.
Reducing redness improves skin complexion and helps with any flushing or burning sensation. Removing prominent blood vessels means it doesn’t look like you have had too much sun or been drinking heavily. Treating Rosacea helps improve your skin health and control the condition.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that typically involves the central face area and is most common in 30-60 year-olds with fair skin. It can be associated with adult acne (Acne Rosacea), and there are often aggravating factors that cause exacerbations.
Treatment of the redness can respond well to vascular laser treatment. Maintenance treatments are usually required, and prescription medications may also be needed.
Blood vessels that appear as fine red lines are commonly called Broken Capillaries (and medically we call them Telangiectasia). The vessels are not actually ‘broken’ but simply we see the blood vessels as they loop up to the skin’s surface then back down into the deeper skin layers. Vascular lasers are very beneficial in tracing and removing these unsightly red capillaries.
Spider veins are larger blue or even purple coloured blood vessels that get their name from the spider web-like pattern that these vessels can form.
On the face they typically occur around the nose and this is a very common concern that fortunately responds well to laser treatment. Spider veins around the nose have a tendency to recur, especially if you have any hay fever or sinus issues, and follow up treatments are usually necessary.
Spider Veins are also prevalent on the legs. On the legs, the spider veins can have a larger feeding vein and injections (called Sclerotherapy) are the usual treatment of choice. For very tiny leg veins long wavelength lasers such as the NdYAG or the VEINGOGH radiofrequency device are often used in combination with sclerotherapy.
A Spider angioma is a cluster of small red blood vessels, usually on the face. They are also called Spider Naevi and typically start off as flat red marks that over time become raised and then resemble a large pimple. When these lesions are flat, they usually respond very quickly to a single laser treatment, but when raised, several laser treatments may be required to shut down the feeder blood vessel completely.
Many patients are troubled by increasing skin redness on the face, neck, and chest as they get older. This occurs more commonly with certain skin types and then worsens from the cumulative effects of years of sun damage on susceptible skin. General redness can occur in combination with Broken Capillaries and other features of sun damage such as uneven pigmentation, skin thickening, and pre-cancers (Solar Keratosis). Vascular Laser, Laser Genesis and BBL treatments can significantly improve these issues. A particular redness on the sun exposed areas of the neck called Poikiloderma, that is very difficult to otherwise treat, can be improved with Vascular Laser or Laser Genesis.
Vascular birthmarks can be red to purple in colour and the Port Wine Stain is the commonest birthmark causing redness in adults. Port Wine Stains were one of the first conditions that we used medical lasers to treat in our clinic more than 20 years ago. Extraordinary results can be achieved, but a series of treatments are required that take many months. We treat much fewer of these birthmarks than we did in the past as most are now treated at a very early age at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Avoid excess sun exposure before treatment. On the day of treatment we recommend deferring treatment if the temperature is over 34 degrees and you need to be outside (this is to reduce the chance of excess swelling and reaction).
Immediately after treatment a cold pack is applied and then a soothing cream. If you are going outside a sunscreen is highly recommended. Normal activities can be resumed but you need to treat the area like an area of sunburn and avoid direct sun exposure whilst any skin reaction is settling. Make up can be used but needs to be put on and taken off gently (pad rather than rub). Avoid a strenuous gym session for the next couple of days.
Sleeping with an extra pillow on the night after treatment can be of benefit to reduce swelling especially if there has been any treatment under the eye area. If any small crusts (like a cat scratches) develop it is important not to pick or scratch these. Moisturiser, Aloe Vera or Vitamin E can be used twice a day for a few days whilst the skin settles.
Before and after images are presented purely as a reference point of the results that can be achieved. Everyone is unique and outcomes will vary and realistic expectations need to be discussed on a case by case basis.
Got questions? Or ready to book in? Contact our experienced and friendly team to start your journey to healthy skin with us.