The V Beam pulsed dye laser system is designed to safely treat a multitude of vascular skin conditions, including facial spider veins, Rosacea, Angiomas, Port Wine Stain Birthmarks and stretch marks. Certain forms of Psoriasis respond very well also.
The V Beam is a non-ablative laser treatment that produces an intense but gentle burst of light that selectively destroys the blood vessels of your vascular lesion(s), without damaging the surrounding skin and tissue.
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Telangiectasias: commonly known as facial spider veins or broken blood vessels.
Rosacea (red face): affecting the skin of the face around the nose, chin, and cheeks causing a blush or sunburned look.
Angiomas: small red spots which may be slightly raised or just beneath the surface of the skin.
Port Wine Stain Birthmarks: vascular lesions that grow rapidly after birth and may impair the function of another organ.
Scars: red raised scars that are often caused by surgery, trauma, or burns.
Stretch Marks: ‘new’ red stretch marks, frequently appearing after pregnancy over the stomach, thighs, buttocks, and lower back.
Skin Rejuvenation: the Vbeam can be used as part of a program for total skin Rejuvenation.
Psoriasis: certain forms of Psoriasis respond very well.
Poikiloderma of Civatte: a distinct patchy, uneven red/brown colouring of the neck. Sunspots and bruises.
Laser are energy devices which emit beams of light energy called laser beams. There are many different types of laser devices.
Most lasers are differentiated through the type of source they use as well as their wavelength. The wavelength of any medical laser determines its specific attraction to certain elements within the tissues.
Due to the specific wavelength of the Pulse Dye laser, it has a particular and specific attraction to seek out and target oxyhaemoglobin (found within the red blood cells in vessels of the skin), as well as melanin (a skin pigment). This means that the laser beam energy is able to penetrate through the surface of the skin, without disrupting the surface of the skin or affecting other elements, and is only ‘absorbed’ by these targets.
When the laser energy is ‘absorbed’ by these specific elements, it results in a localised profound heat build-up that, leads to the localised destruction of these elements within that point. The high attraction of the Pulse Dye laser to the above targets makes it therefore perfectly suited to the treatment of the various aforementioned skin conditions through a process which is medically termed selective ‘Photothermolysis’.
In general, treatments using the Pulse Dye lasers that we incorporate into our clinics are usually well tolerated. One of the main reasons’ is because of the inbuilt cooling devices within these machines.
These methods effectively cool the skin just before the laser pulse is delivered. This significantly increases comfort during treatment, as well as protects the skin to minimize side effects like redness, swelling or blister/scab formation. As a result, the feeling most patients report during any treatment is usually that of a slight flicking or mild stinging sensation.
Due to the use of the cooling methods, no anaesthetics are therefore usually required. Nonetheless, in some instances, a topical cream anaesthetic can be applied 30-45 minutes prior to treatment if requested. In some instances, we may also deliver a test laser pulse on a small area before the entire area is treated in order to evaluate your pain tolerance.
We will, of course, discuss all these options with you prior to treatment. Applying ice packs after treatment can help alleviate any discomfort experienced during the procedure.
Provided you suffer from one of the conditions that are listed in the “Commonly, what conditions can Pulse Dye Lasers treat?” then you are likely to be a suitable candidate.
However, it is important to know that the Pulse Dye laser is not recommended for patients who have darker skin as their higher skin pigment will act as a barrier and mean the laser will be less effective at targeting the desired deeper blood vessels of the lesion.
The Pulse Dye Laser in these cases may also increase unwanted darkening of the skin. You must be aware that the penetration depth of the Pulse Dye laser is limited to blood vessels which are situated up to 1.5 mm in depth. Any vessels deeper than this will probably not respond to therapy.
Moreover, ‘blue’ vessels may also not respond as well as red ones due to their deeper location. Larger blood vessels such as those found in leg veins also do not respond as well with the Pulse Dye laser.
We know that redness in any area is due to an increase in the flow of blood in the superficial portions of the skin. The V Beam reduces this redness by coagulating or sealing off blood vessels, close to the surface of the skin.
By targeting the oxyhaemoglobin in blood cells within the blood vessel, heat damage occurs from within the blood vessel, leading to the shrinkage or coagulation of the blood vessel and thereby stopping the blood flow at that point. The blood flow subsequently gets diverted harmlessly through to the deeper blood vessels thereby effectively reducing any excessive redness in the affected skin.
Multiple treatments with the V-Beam Pulse Dye laser are usually required. Much of this depends on the condition that is being treated. With respect to vascular lesions, red veins usually respond better and sooner than blue veins while the smaller, matted vessels will also respond quicker than larger vessels up to 1.5 mm in size. However even though one treatment can sometimes be sufficient to eliminate small red facial veins, additional treatments are not uncommon.
The treatments occur on an average of every four to six weeks depending on the area and type of treatment. For the treatment of scars and stretch marks, 5-8 treatments are usually needed. You will be informed of the estimated number of treatments for your specific area, or areas, of concern during your initial consultation.
As with any medical treatment there is always the possibility of adverse side effects with the use of lasers. Having a treatment with properly trained practitioners should help minimise any such side effects.
Nonetheless the following are possible adverse effects that may occur with the use of the V-Beam / Pulse Dye laser: The treated areas may hyper-pigment or appear darker after the bruising/red discolouration heals.
Alternatively, in rarer situations, the areas may become lighter in colour than the surrounding skin. In the case of darkening, this usually returns to a normal colour after a period of approximately 6-9 months after treatment. If lightening occurs however this may be permanent. Scarring is a risk with the use of any laser. This usually occurs in less than 1 percent with the use of the V-Beam Pulse Dye laser.
If post-treatment skin care instructions are not followed, the chances of scarring can be increased. Rarely, the treated area may show a slight depression after the laser treatments. This depression usually resolves within a few months.