Thread veins on the face are usually due to sun-damage or rosacea. Thread veins/spider veins on the legs arise in association with varicose veins. Both thread veins on the face and legs respond well to laser treatment, although thread veins/spider veins on the legs also respond very well to sclerotherapy.
At Dermatology Consulting we have probably the UK’s widest range of the most advanced lasers and light devices for treating thread veins and facial redness. We have the powerful Cynergy laser by Cynosure which has both the pulse dye 585nm wavelength and the long pulse Nd:YAG 1064nm wavelength and the elegant Excel V laser which has the KTP 523nm and the long pulse Nd:YAG 1064nm wavelength. We also have the powerful intense pulsed light (IPL) called Lumecca by Inmode. By having such a wide range of powerful lasers and IPL we are able to treat successfully all forms of redness and dilated blood vessels.
Excel V including Lasergenesis
How do they work and what lasers are used?
The laser energy is selectively absorbed and heats up the blood vessel and the body then naturally removes it. Our dermatologist uses the Cynergy laser which combines two separate lasers a pulse dye laser (585nm wavelength) and Nd:YAG laser (1064nm wavelength). The pulse dye laser is very good for red, superficial vessels, while the Nd:YAG is very good for deeper bluer vessels. Either laser can be used alone, but the Cynergy laser combines the effects of the two lasers so that clearance of both superficial and deep vessels is achieved in fewer treatment sessions, and because the two lasers work together, a lower power of each laser is needed which reduces the risk of side effects. The KTP is particularly good for tracing small threadveins. The IPL is good for treating widespread redness and also helps pigmentation.
What does the Treatment involve?
When treatment is occurring near your face black-out goggles need to be worn to protect your eyes from the laser light. For treatment away from the face, see-through goggles can be worn.
If you have not previously had laser treatment for thread veins, a test treatment on a small area will be performed first to determine the best dose for treating your skin. If you only have a few thread veins this initial test dose may be enough to remove them all, but usually the full treatment sessions can start one to two weeks later, by which time there will be sufficient time to see how the test area responds. Treatment duration depends on the size of the area treated and usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
During the laser treatment, the skin is cooled with cold air or a sapphire tip with cooling gel which reduces the discomfort and slight bruising that can sometimes occur. Following the treatment the skin may be cooled with ice packs and aloe vera gel.
What preparation is involved?
For one month before treatment you should avoid excessive sun exposure and tanning beds and if you are obviously tanned it is best to postpone the treatment. This is because the laser light may alter the tan. If you have a tendency to cold-sores and are having laser treatment on the face, anti-cold sore tablets may be prescribed to prevent the laser light triggering a cold-sore.
Will it hurt?
The laser pulse is very short (less than one tenth of a second) and the sensation is likened to the snap of an elastic band against the skin. Any discomfort is reduced by the skin being cooled with cold air or the cool sapphire tip and cool gel.
What will I look like afterwards?
There may be redness, faint bruising, and swelling of the treated sites. This settles within a couple of days and in the meantime, if wished, can be covered with make-up. Sometimes the blood vessels disappear immediately, but usually, particularly when leg veins are treated, blood clots form within the blood vessels, so the vessel is still visible immediately after treatment, but clears away after a few weeks.
How many sessions will I need?
Sometimes, if there are only a few blood vessels, one treatment may be sufficient to clear them, but for more numerous vessels, particularly if due to rosacea, and on the legs, several sessions may be required.
How do I arrange treatment?
At Dermatology Consulting we have probably the UK’s widest range of powerful lasers and IPL for treating blood vessels. Dr Farrell will discuss the best laser or IPL to successfully deal with your individual problem.