Face and Body Vein Removal
With a simple laser procedure, you can diminish the appearance of veins and other vascular lesions without the pain of surgical treatments and lengthy downtimes. Laser light targets the blood vessels in the body that cause the vascular lesions, without harming the surrounding tissue.
Most patients find significant improvement within the treated area, two to six weeks after the procedure. However, your final results may not be apparent for several months. Over time, it is possible for new veins to appear. These new veins can be treated as needed.
How Does It Work?
The laser light is absorbed by hemoglobin, a substance in the blood that gives it a red or purple color. This heats up the blood vessel enough for the vessel to be heat sealed or damaged. Over time the body reabsorbs these damaged vessels.
Types of Veins Treated
- Telangiectasia: Telangiectasia is defined as a dilated blood vessel near the surface of the skin. They usually present themselves in a; linear, arborizing, or spider-like appearance. They are characteristically 0.1- 1.0 mm in diameter and red to cyanotic in color. Telangiectasia is one of the most common vascular lesions seen by physicians with a reported incidence of 45% in the general population. They can develop anywhere on the body, but most often are found on; the upper thigh, below the knee joint, around the ankles, on or around the nose, cheeks, and chin. It is generally progressive, however, certain patients may experience spontaneous stabilization of the condition in early stages. Treatment of early stage disease may prevent the progression and cause regression of the underlying disease progress.
- Sinus or simple (linear): A red linear telangiectasia that occurs on the face, especially the nose or legs.
- Arborizing: A tree-like appearance of capillary vessels.
- Spider or Star: A red, superficial telangiectasia arising from a central filling vessel. It is a focal network of dilated capillaries seen chiefly in pregnancy but can present itself for a number of reasons.
- Reticular Veins: a reticular or feeder vein is a bluish dilated intradermal vein, usually ranging from 1 mm in diameter to less than 3 mm in diameter. Reticular veins can exist independently, but can also be the underlying problem that gives rise to telangiectasia and other vascular lesions.
Causes of Veins
- Sun Exposure
- Increasing Age
- Standing or Sitting for Extended Periods of Time
- Pregnancy or Sudden Weight Gain
- Leg Injuries
- Hormone Changes
The condition is more common in pregnant women, older patients, overweight people and those who stand for long periods. It is also more prevalent in people who have a family history of varicose veins.
What Results Can I Expect?
You can expect to see improvement in the appearance of your veins immediately following the first procedure*, however, more than one procedure is often needed to fully clear blood vessels and
reduce the appearance of the veins completely.
- Flexible treatment times
- 1-3+ Sessions
- Low discomfort
- No downtime
Laser vein removal is a medical procedure. As with preparation for any medical procedure, the patient undergoes a physical examination and is questioned regarding medical history and medications currently being taken.
Expectations Following The Procedure
- Short-Term Side Effects
- The veins treated will usually look darker and slightly swollen after the procedure. There may be small pink bumps that resemble mosquito bites that can last a day or two.
- Bruises or discoloration of the skin are temporary and resolve in 1-2 weeks. The risk increases if you take aspirin products or are on blood thinners.
Rare Risks (some of which are permanent):
- Permanent pigment changes
- Skin wound such as superficial blisters and scabs can occur, which heal within 2 days to 14 days
Each procedure conducted is influenced by characteristics of the individual patient: for example; hair pigmentation, skin color, skin thickness, and any previous skin conditions. The number of laser pulses delivered, the number of sites treated during the procedure, and the duration of a procedure can also all be influenced by patient characteristics. Changes in skin color may occur, although this is very rare. Skin that is tanned or has high levels of pigment have a higher risk of side effects. That’s why it’s important to allow your sun tan or artificial tan to fade before treatment. If your skin is naturally more pigmented, you may need additional treatments. This is due to the fact that pigmented skin is treated more conservatively to minimize side effects.
Pre and Post Care Instructions
Pre-procedure preparation is a key component in achieving successful results. Prepping the skin before a laser procedure can; improve healing time, shorten the recovery period, make the procedure safer and more tolerable, and deliver more effective results overall. Enhanced, more consistent and even penetration can be achieved with these regimens, thereby maximizing the efficacy of any laser treatment. The pre-procedure phase occurs days to weeks prior to the actual procedure itself.
Pre-procedure protocols will be set up during the initial consultation
- To obtain maximum results: Prior to actual treatment, wash and clean skin to remove all; makeup, lotions, deodorant, and oil from the area to be treated. Clean area thoroughly using a facial cleanser or mild soap and water, and then 70% isopropyl alcohol to remove the oils.
- Discontinue the use of Accutane (6 months before the procedure).
- No sun exposure, tanning beds, sunless lotions, and tanning creams 2 weeks prior to the procedure.
- Avoid use of systemic steroids (prednisone, dexamethasone) 2 weeks before and throughout the course of your Laser Vein Therapy.
- 3 days before the procedure, discontinue use of all retinoids, Retin-A, Tazorac®, Differin®, and “anti-aging” products containing glycolic, alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids.
- Cleaned shaved the night before or the morning of procedure.
- History of cold sores or herpes virus needs to be pre-treated for facial veins.
- Hydrate: Remember to drink plenty of water as it assists the healing process and penetration of the laser energy.
- Apply ice packs or a cold compress to the area: five to ten minutes at a time, every one to two hours post treatment to help reduce swelling and redness. Do not put ice directly on the skin.
- Over the counter medication such as Benadryl® may also decrease some of the swelling and itching.
- Hydrate: Remember to drink plenty of water post procedure as it assists the healing process.
- If you are experiencing “hive-like” symptoms, a mild-potency topical corticosteroid may be applied.
- If crusting or blistering occurs, a restorative skin cream such as Cicalfate may be applied.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a common response (especially with darker skin types) and tends to resolve over time.
- Avoid direct sunlight and sun exposure for at least three months after the procedure. If unable to, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours during sun exposure.
- Avoid strenuous exercise and sports, which can cause vasodilation, for 7-10 days following a vein treatment. Walking is encouraged.
- Do not shave or scrub the area if swelling, crusting, or scabbing is present.
- Do not use any products or topical medications that have not been recommended. In doing so you increase the risk of complications. Some of these include; AHA’s, BHA’s, Vitamin C, Retinoids, or other exfoliates.
7-14 Days Post
- Restart at-home regimen or body care once normalization of the cutaneous area or tissue occurs, or according to professional recommendations.
Post-procedure skin care instructions must be followed to prevent any complications. Please contact the office with questions or concerns regarding your procedure.
Protocols are adjusted to fit everyone’s lifestyle. Speak to your provider regarding desired downtime, comfort, and results. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.
* Nayomi E. Omura, MDa,, Jeffrey S. Dover, MD, FRCPCa, Kenneth A. Arndt, MDa,b, Arielle N.B. Kauvar, MDc. Treatment of reticular leg veins with a 1064 nm long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. January 2003; Volume 48, Issue 1: Pages 76–81, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190962203500147. 9/13/2016.