Facial Veins/Broken Capillaries & Rosacea
If you are used to looking in the mirror and seeing visible veins and capillaries - you're not alone. Facial and nasal capillaries are common conditions experienced by many people. They tend to make us look and feel much older than we should and are often mistaken by others as sunburn or the result of drinking too much alcohol. Often they are inherited, and they are certainly more common in lighter skin types, and with long-term sun exposure. They are very treatable with modern laser and IPL technologies.
How does treatment work?
For vascular blemishes, including rosacea, a choice of treatment modalities is available - the Cynosure Cynergy Pulsed Dye and YAG laser and the Ellipse+ Intense Pulsed Light system.
The high intensity light beam passes through the skin and is absorbed in the red pigment (haemoglobin) of the blood vessel. This results in selective heating and destruction of the vessel which then gradually fades. Vessel disappearance occurs over a period of 4 – 6 weeks.
It is usually necessary to repeat the treatment after six weeks to obtain a good final result.
What does the treatment involve?
Using either Cynergy Laser or the third generation IPL, treatment is quick and easy.
- The skin is protected by using a specialised cooling tip on the hand piece. A water based gel is sometimes used.
- Discomfort is similar to the sensation of being flicked by a rubber band.
- Areas treated are blotchy for several hours afterwards, but unlike some of the older lasers, in general treatment is very easy to conceal. The exception may be with use of the pulsed dye laser where bruising may occur - this will then take between 5 -10 days to resolve.
- Swelling is generally a minor issue except where large areas on the face are treated, as in rosacea. Here there may be significant swelling, especially under the eyes.
- It is essential to use a good quality sunscreen after treatment, as any laser or light treatment leaves the skin temporarily more sensitive to the sun.
How many treatments will be necessary?
Most vascular conditions require more than one treatment to achieve a good end result. Small ‘spider naevi’ and venous lakes of the lip often respond well to a single treatment. Rosacea and nasal telangiectasia always require a course of two to three initial treatments, with occasional ‘top-up’ treatments to maintain good results.
What are the risks?
Risks are very infrequent with these devices, but include the development of small pitted or linear scars and temporary skin discolouration.
Which is better - Laser or Intense Pulsed Light?
The best way of answering this question is by saying "what works best for one person isn't necessarily what works best for the next." It is important to have a variety of options available when treating vascular problems. Laser Skin Care has the Cynergy Pulsed Dye and YAG laser as well as the third generation Ellipse+ IPL system from Denmark.
A choice of modalities greatly increases our chances of a successful outcome.
Another point worth being aware of is that IPL systems come in different "strengths". That means, they vary in how high the energies can be set to. Many of the IPLs in the non medical marketplace are not capable of reaching energies necessary to treat certain conditions adequately. However, they are certainly capable of causing scars and burns in untrained hands.