Lasers that are used to treat blood vessel problems, what we collectively call Vascular Lasers, were the first type of lasers used to treat skin conditions when they were developed to treat Port Wine Stain birthmarks. There have been many improvements in Vascular Lasers over time and they still remain one of the main lasers used in cosmetic medical practices because patients have many different vascular concerns. Radiofrequency (RF) devices and Broadband Light (BBL) are other methods that can also be effective in removing blood vessels.
With over 20 years of experience in treating blood vessel problems we have used many different Vascular Lasers including the Copper Vapour, V Beam, Diode and Excel V. We continue to research and upgrade our equipment to provide our patients with the latest medical advances.
We realise that no one machine or technology effectively treats everyone and every condition, so in addition to Vascular Lasers, we have invested in other options as well with Broadband light and Radiofrequency to treat blood vessels.
Lasers produce light of a certain colour (wavelength) and Vascular Lasers produce a wavelength of light that is strongly attracted to the red pigment in blood cells (oxyhaemoglobin). If enough light is concentrated in a blood vessel then heat is generated and if enough heat is produced then the blood vessel can be sealed off, what we call photocoagulation.
Broadband light consists of a band of wavelengths (rather than the single wavelength of lasers) and with the right choice of filters the BBL can also be used to heat up and remove unwanted blood vessels.
Radiofrequency uses electrical energy to produce heat (rather than concentrated light as in lasers) and this heat can be applied to the surface of the skin through a pencil like probe to also target and shut down unwanted superficial blood vessels.
Vascular lasers directly heat the blood vessels located just below the surface of the skin, rather than simply burning through from the top of the skin’s surface. This not only makes the treatment very effective but it also means heating on the surface of the skin is minimal which reduces the risk of skin damage.
Modern Lasers and BBL devices have integrated cooling that not only reduces any discomfort from the treatment but also protects the skin during treatment and this reduces skin reaction and downtime.
A variety of settings and wavelengths means great results can be achieved with a large number of blood vessel conditions ranging from common skin disorders to challenging vascular problems.
A typical treatment costs $350 + GST. Smaller localised vascular areas can be less expensive. Medicare will not provide any rebate for laser treatment of vascular conditions, apart from Port Wine Birthmarks and rarely for severe vascular conditions.
This varies with the nature of the condition, severity and level of improvement desired. Vascular problems do tend to recur and maintenance treatments are often needed.
Our emphasis in treating chronic conditions, such as Rosacea, is to get the condition under control with as few treatments as possible (usually 3-4) and then periodic maintenance (every 6-12 months).
Broken capillaries from sun damage often take 2-3 treatments to clear and then it might be every 1-2 years that further new capillaries might need to be treated with a maintenance treatment. Daily use of sunscreen can help slow the rate of new vessels forming.
Blood vessels around the nose respond well to treatment but nearly always slowly come back, especially if there are any other conditions, such as hay fever or sinus issues, that create congestion in the nasal area.
We like to wait about 4-6 weeks between most vascular laser treatments. With birthmarks we often space treatments every 8 weeks. If the time between treatments is longer, that is fine, it will just take longer to get your best result.
Excess sun exposure needs to be avoided before vascular laser treatment and if there is any sunburn, laser treatment will need to be deferred.
Any makeup or sunscreen will need to be removed before treatment.
Immediately after treatment a cold pack and a special soothing cream are applied. A cold pack can be reapplied every 2 hours on the day of treatment but is usually not necessary.
Direct sun exposure should be avoided where possible until any skin sensitivity or reaction has resolved. Makeup and sunscreen can be used but needs to be applied and removed carefully to avoid any trauma to the treated area.
When facial areas are treated, especially high up on the cheekbones and under the eyes, it is advisable to sleep with an extra pillow for the first 2 nights after treatment to reduce the risk of swelling. Some areas, especially blood vessels around the nose, can darken slightly and resemble a cat scratch and it is important not to pick or scratch these areas.
The use of a topical cream such as Centella, Vitamin E or Aloe Vera applied twice a day until the skin has cleared is recommended.
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.