V-Beam Laser Treatment
Laser Treatments for Capillaries, Scars, and Redness
For Face Veins, Rosacea and other Vascular Lesions
The Vbeam laser is a pulsed dye laser that can successfully treat:
- Face veins (telangiectasias)
- Facial, neck and chest redness
- Hemangiomas (large and small red bumps or growths)
- Red birthmarks (port wine stains)
- Other vascular lesions, including venous lakes (blue spots, usually found on lips)
The VBeam is a pulsed dye laser, which means that the laser energy is delivered in pulses and a dye is used to generate laser beams of different colors. Since the VBeam is used to treat dilated blood vessels, as in rosacea, it is often called a vascular laser. The target of the vascular laser is hemoglobin, the red protein in blood cells in the blood vessels. Skin cells that surround the dilated blood vessels are not damaged.
How do I know if I need the VBeam?
If you have too much redness due to dilated blood vessels in your nose, cheeks, chin, or other parts of your face, you may benefit from treatment with the VBeam. This includes, but is not limited to, the redness of rosacea. The VBeam is also good for removing angiomas, small red clumps of blood vessels. Red birthmarks, called port wine stains, can be treated with the VBeam, as can stubborn warts, scars, and bruises and sun damage on the neck and chest.
The VBeam laser is not appropriate for pregnant women or patients who have taken Accutane for the past six months. Persons with a history of cold sores or herpes simplex virus should not have this procedure until they are pre-treated for these conditions.
VBeam is not painful enough to require anesthesia. The short pulses feel like cold and hot snaps on the skin. A stream of cold air directed at the treated area helps to minimize discomfort. V-Beam produces an intense but gentle burst of light that selectively destroys the blood vessels within the treated area, without damaging the surrounding tissue. Red veins respond better than blue veins and smaller vessels respond sooner than larger ones. While one treatment will produce some improvement, two to four treatments will probably be needed to achieve the best results. Treatments are usually performed four weeks apart.
Do not apply any anesthetic (numbing) gels. Treatments are well tolerated without them. The feeling has been described as being snapped by a rubber band or as a slight stinging sensation. Following treatment the area may feel warm or sting slightly like a sunburn.
Improvement can usually be seen immediately. Immediately following the treatment however the area may appear red or bruised and possibly slightly swollen. Swelling usually resolves within 1 – 5 days while bruising or redness may last 7-14 days. Crusting can rarely develop when port wine stains (red birthmarks) are treated. As with many lasers, color changes (darkening or lightening of skin color) can occasionally occur in darker skin types as can scarring (in less than 1% of cases.)
For important social events, treatment should not be done within 14 days before the event.
What types of lesions can be treated with laser?
The V-Beam laser is the most advanced type of pulsed dye laser. It is the most effective instrument for removing spider veins (small dilated vessels usually on 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.
2. How does the laser work?
The V-Beam 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.
3. 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 LMX may further decrease discomfort. A 30 gram tube may be ordered from your pharmacy without a prescription. Apply a generous amount of LMX 1 hour before your appointment and rub into the skin. Repeat this application 15 minutes before the appointment.
4. What does the skin look like after treatment?
The intensity of the treatment can be adjusted to each patient's needs. Each pulse of light treats approximately the size of a pencil eraser. If done more conservatively, you may experience only redness and slight swelling. If the treatment is more aggressive, spots can sometimes turn a purple bruised color that can last for a week. You may want to schedule the treatment at a time when no major work or social events are planned so that we can most effectively treat the problem area.
5. 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. Swelling is common when large areas of the cheeks are treated, but generally resolves in a few days. 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.
Patient Instructions for Laser Vessel Treatment
1. Avoid sun exposure or tanning for one month prior to treatment. Tanned skin can shade blood vessels from the laser light, making treatment less effective and increasing the chance of discoloration and other side effects.
2. Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil or related products) or Vitamin E capsules for 10 days prior to the procedure, and avoid alcoholic beverages for 3 days prior. You may take Tylenol, which will not affect your laser results.
3. Do not scrub or traumatize the skin to be treated.
4. If desired, LMX cream (4 or 5%) can be ordered in advance from your pharmacy without a prescription. Apply generously to the area to be treated 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to your appointment to decrease any discomfort.
1. The treated area may be slightly red, with mild soreness like a sunburn for a few hours to a few days. Small areas of bruising may be visible. These symptoms, if they occur, can be improving using soft ice packs and Tylenol. If a large facial area has been treated, you may experience swelling. If this occurs, keep your head elevated, and prop it up on several pillows at night.
2. For a week or two after the treatment, the treated area may have a few red to dark purple spots. If there is no crusting, blistering or swelling of the area, make-up may be applied very gently starting 1-2 days after treatment. Makeup with a green or yellow tint can be especially helpful in neutralizing the discoloration.
3. Cleanse the treated area gently, and apply Vaseline jelly or Aquaphor ointment once or twice a day until the skin returns to its normal color. Take lukewarm, not hot, showers, and avoid strenuous exercise for two days.
4. Do not, under any circumstances, pick any crusts or scabs that may form. Scratching and picking of the skin is the leading cause of scarring after laser treatment.
5. Avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and avoid alcoholic beverages for 7 days after the procedure. You may take Tylenol, which will not affect your laser results.
6. Strictly avoid sun exposure for at least a month after treatment to minimize the risk of discoloration in the treated skin. Use sunscreen of spf 30 or higher, preferably containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and a hat or sunprotective clothing.
New York Dermatology by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Gary Rothfeld is a board certified NYC Dermatologist with a New York City office in Manhattan, New York providing expert skin care, dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology services. A Park Avenue practice with an international reputation in general, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology.
It is vital to undergo a full pre assessment to ensure that your skin type is fully assessed and to be accurate about your medical history. This particular procedure might not be the right treatment for you. It is crucial that the Doctor does a full History and Physical Examination and listens to your concerns. It very important to understand the individual needs of each patient because one procedure could work on one patient and then not another.
Each patient’s condition is carefully evaluated and the best treatment(s) are chosen to ensure an optimal outcome. Treatments are performed by Dr. Gary who has extensive cosmetic dermatology experience and training. This allows the Doctor to offer top-quality services in every area of the cosmetic dermatology field, while ensuring patients safety and satisfaction.
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Dr. Rothfeld, recognized by the by the entertainment industry of America as one of the best dermatologists in Manhattan, has organized a comprehensive skin care center offering personalized state of the art services including medical,pediatric, and cosmetic dermatology.
New York Dermatology serves the following neighborhoods within New York (NY), which are in close proximity to our office:
Upper East Side Dermatology, Fifth Avenue Dermatology, Park Avenue Dermatology, Madison Avenue Dermatology, Upper West Side Dermatology, Midtown Dermatology, Lower East Side Dermatology,Chelsea Dermatology, Gramercy Park Dermatology, Murray Hill Dermatology, Greenwich Village Dermatology, East Village Dermatology, West Village Dermatology, Soho Dermatology, Tribeca Dermatology, Meatpacking District Dermatology, Sutton Place Dermatology, Wall Street Dermatology, Hells Kitchen Dermatology, and the boroughs of Brooklyn Dermatology , Bronx Dermatology, Queens Dermatology and Staten Island Dermatology.Dr. Gary Rothfeld is recognized as one of the best Dermatologist in New York, NY, Manhattan, NYC, New York City and the nation by the entertainment industry in the United States of America. At New York Dermatology headed by board certified Dermatologist Dr. Rothfeld, sees patients 7 days a week including Saturday and Sunday.
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