Are you embarrassed by broken capillaries on your face, or nose veins, or red blemishes? Then learn how non-invasive light based treatments (Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and vascular lasers) use beams of light to erase unwanted capillaries and red blemishes in just few minutes and without damaging surrounding skin.
How do these treatments work?
Lasers and IPLs emit a specific wavelength of light that is selectively absorbed by the haemoglobin in blood vessels. Once absorbed, this light is converted to heat that heats up the vessel walls, injuring them and causing them eventually to collapse and fade. This is a highly effective treatment for damage close to the surface of the skin, particularly on the face, neck and chest.
What conditions can be treated?
IPL / laser is the gold standard for the treatment of most red skin blemishes such as nose veins, broken capillaries, rosacea, port wine birth marks, red necks, red chests, spider angiomas and red scarring including acne scars and keloid scars, as well as for reducing red flushing and burning.
What causes broken capillaries and red blemishes?
The most common causes are:
- Environmental – sun exposure and weather extremes
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Medical conditions such as high blood pressure
- Pressure e.g. squeezing acne or glasses pressing on the face
What’s the difference between IPL and laser?
Vascular lasers produce light energy of one wavelength that is only absorbed by blood. These lasers therefore treat only red blemishes in the skin, but do so very precisely and efficiently. IPL on the other hand produces light that contains a band of different wavelengths which collectively target a variety of red as well as brown skin blemishes.
At Heber Davis, we use both IPL and laser, often in conjunction, to achieve the best outcomes. In our experience, lasers more effectively target larger, visible blood vessels, whilst IPL is often best for finer veins and diffuse redness. We match the most appropriate technology to each patient’s particular concerns to ensure we achieve the best results.
The “next generation” IPL installed at Heber Davis is called Broadband light (BBL.) BBL spans a broader spectrum of light than traditional IPLs which allows for more precise treatment and greater flexibility in the range of conditions treated.
How many treatments will I need?
One to two treatments usually eliminate the majority of red blemishes, though certain conditions may require a course of treatments.
What happens during an IPL / laser treatment?
- Your doctor will review your medial history, discuss your concerns, photograph the area to be treated and decide on the best treatment plan for you.
- You may view before and after photos of other patients’ outcomes to give you a realistic expectation of your own result. As well you can view photos of how you might look during your recovery.
- Protective eye shields are worn throughout your treatment.
- Treatment is non-invasive and feels like a series of quick stings, similar to a rubber band flicking on your skin.
- A sensation of heat that may persist for a few minutes after treatment. You will be provided with an ice pack that will calm the area almost immediately.
What should I expect after IPL / laser treatment?
Your treated skin will be flushed, similar to that produced by a vigorous workout, but will typically return to normal within a few hours. You may experience swelling under the eyes if the upper cheeks have been treated and bruising can sometimes occur. Makeup may be worn immediately.
Final results may take up to a month to become apparent. Once removed, capillaries usually do not recur though new vessels may develop naturally or as part of an underlying condition such as rosacea, for which occasional maintenance treatments may be required. Lifelong daily use of sun protection dramatically reduces the risk of further damage for most conditions.
How do I look after my skin?
Is treatment painful?
Treatments are quick, typically taking not more than a few minutes. Whilst you will experience a definite sensation, local anaesthesia is rarely needed. Laughing gas is available if required.
What are the side effects of IPL/ laser treatment?
Your may experience redness, swelling or bruising for a few minutes, hours or days, depending on the intensity of your treatment.
Contraindications to treatment:
- Pregnancy. Though no specific complications are anticipated, we prefer not to treat pregnancy women.
- Active cold sores or other infections in the areas to be treated
- Moles or suspicious lesions should be referred to a dermatologist.
- Use of Roaccutane (oral acne medication) in the last 12 months.
- Recent tanning, either natural or artificial, interferes with the absorption of light into pigment. Treatment should be delayed until your tan has faded.
Keloid scarring, connective tissue disease, immunosuppression or autoimmune disorders, vitiligo or uncontrolled diabetes may be contraindications for this treatment. Your suitability for treatment will be assessed at your initial consultation.