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VASCULAR CONDITIONS (FACE AND LEG VEINS)

Vascular laser treatments

Vascular conditions and leg veins 

Vascular conditions are likely to affect us all at some stage in our lives with many of us living with several vascular conditions at one time. Often these are small imperfections which don’t bother us at all, however they can change over time or be in an unwanted position on our face or body which might lead us to seek cosmetic treatment. Treatments are often very straight forward with minimal downtime, take a look at the different types of vascular conditions we frequently treat at Eternal Clinics.

Venous lake

A venous lake is a soft, blue or purple nodule commonly located on the lower lip of the mouth, on earlobe, face, neck and chest.  Treatment is done for cosmetic reasons and includes: electrocautery, cryotherapy, IPL and vascular laser (Pulse Dye laser, Nd:YAG)

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Hemangiomas

Hemangiomas are noncancerous, birthmarks of faint areas of pinkish-red-purple discoloration of the skin depending on its depth.

Superficial hemangiomas appear a bright red color and frequently grow outward on top of the skin surface whereas deeper lesions look more like a bruise on the skin with a soft tissue mass beneath it. Occasionally hemangiomas ulcerate which may cause scarring.

Many hemangiomas do not require treatment and can be removed for cosmetic reasons.  Extensive lesions, ulceration, bleeding should be checked by a specialist in this field.

Treatment of hemangiomas includes: laser treatments including Alexandrite, Nd:YAG, Pulse Dye Laser and IPL.  Over 75% of patients with deep hemangiomas that are treated with Nd:YAG lasers see a dramatic regression in the lesion.  Laser can be used to treat ulcerated lesions, as well as any residual blood vessels or discoloration that may remain after involution.

Cherry angioma –

(Campbell de Morgan spots, senile angiomas) are common red skin blemishes that can develop on most areas of your body as we age. There may be genetic tendencies. They have been linked to pregnancy, chemicals, certain medical conditions and climate.  They consist of a collection of small blood vessels giving them a reddish appearance.

Treatment options include: electrocautery, cryotherapy, shave excision or laser removal.

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Port wine stain

consists of irregular capillaries and small veins running through the deeper layers of the skin. They appear at birth as pink areas of skin discoloration and usually darken over time to become a deep purple color. They can eventually develop changes in skin texture with a cobble-stone effect and can also be associated with overgrowth of the underlying bone and soft tissues. Add image

Certain types of this congenital malformation may be associated with central nervous system abnormalities or glaucoma and require specialist care.  Multiple laser treatments are usually initiated in childhood. Early treatment can also help to prevent some of the skin texture changes by slowing the progression of the lesion. Rarely, bony and soft tissue asymmetries can develop due to tissue overgrowth which may be treated with surgery.

Treatment of choice is vascular laser such as Pulse Dye Laser and Nd:YAG which targets hemoglobin found in blood vessels and shuts down the vessels.

Leg veins, spider veins, thread veins, telangiectasia  

Dilated leg veins are abnormal, dilated blood vessels caused by a weakening in the vessel wall. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves fail, blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing towards your heart causing enlargement of the veins called varicose veins. Add image

Reticular veins are less dilated and visible than varicose veins but are bigger and more dilated compared with spider veins.  They may be associated with discomfort and burning sensation in the affected area. Add image

Spider veins are smaller and less dilated than reticular veins commonly look like clusters of blue, red or purple looking like cobwebs or bruises. Spider veins are in most cases harmless and are usually removed for cosmetic reasons.   Add image

Thread veins on the face called telangiectasia are commonly found on the cheeks of sun damaged, mature skin or rosacea.  Add image 

Contributing factors:

  • Hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause, 

  • Age over 50, 

  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time 

  • Obesity 

  • Family history of varicose veins

  • Rosacea

  • Sun exposure

Treatment 
Treatment depends on the severity of vascular lesions and underlying conditions and includes: 

1.  LIFESTYLE CHANGES 

  •     Avoidance of standing for long periods.

  •     Weight loss

  •     Exercise to improve circulation.

  •     Elevation of legs, 

  •     Avoidance of soaking in hot bath, 

  •     Sun protection with broad spectrum mineral sunscreen, 

  •     Compression socks help blood flow and diminish swelling in the legs

2.  SCLEROTHERAPY involves a chemical sclerosing agent being injected into the dilated veins causing irritation of the         vessel wall and its closure. Spider veins will disappear after 3 to 6 weeks. Varicose veins will disappear after 3 to 4                 months.

3.   LASER treatment 

4.  SURGERY when varicose veins cause pain and affect lifestyle.

Laser treatment of vascular lesions 

  • TIME 15 - 30 minutes  

  • PATCH TEST - required

  • ANAESTHESIA Cool Air

  • DOWNTIME - None

  • COURSE 1-3 Treatments

  • FREQUENCY - 6 – 8 weeks for leg veins and 2 - 4 weeks for the face.

FOTONA laser vascular treatments 

Laser treatments are now a routine procedure for the removal of many types of vascular lesions, including red and blue leg veins up to 4 mm in diameter, congenital hemangiomas, Port wine stains, telangiectasias, facial redness in rosacea prone skin, venous lakes and cherry angiomas.

How Does It work?

FOTONA state of art long-pulse Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm) penetrates 5-6 mm into the skin, allowing for effective treatments of vascular lesions.  The energy from the laser is absorbed by the oxyhemoglobin found in blood in the vein following which it is converted into heat selectively destroying the vein leaving surrounding tissues unaffected.  Nd:YAG laser light not only removes superficial blood vessels, it also targets underlying feeding system ensuring the long-term efficacy of the treatment. The body’s immune system clears away the dead tissue similarly to clearing the bruise making skin discoloration which may appear after laser treatment disappear over time.

PROCEDURE

Before the laser procedure your legs will be examined, and appropriate laser settings selected. You will be given specialist goggles to wear to protect your eyes. 

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER TREATMENT?

xpect some redness and swelling immediately after treatment which resolve within hours.   Some veins may disappear immediately others may take 8 to 12 weeks.  Facial veins disappear within 2 weeks. Some vessels show temporary swelling which resolves within hours.   You may develop discoloration around the treated veins which fades away with time like a bruise.  Although it is not the purpose of this treatment, hair growth may be impaired in the treated area.

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Vascular lesion Laser Treatment

FAQs

Contraindications to laser treatment:  

  •     Varicose veins and venous insufficiency associated with pain, swelling and ulcers. 

  •     Pregnancy, breastfeeding, 

  •     Tendency to keloid scarring,  

  •     Burns, skin lesions, open wounds in the area to be treated, 

  •     within one week of chemical peel, 

  •     within 6 months of Roaccutane, 

  •     within 2 weeks before and after topical retinol use or beauty treatment. 

CONSULTATION 

Prior to treatment you will need to have consultation to assess your condition, skin type and to discuss risks and benefits of laser treatment 

SKIN PREPARATION BEFORE TREATMENT 

  • Prepare the skin for laser treatment by moisturizing it to repair its barrier function and apply SPF30+ sunscreen treatment areas that are exposed to the sun.  

  • Discontinue oral Roaccutane 6 months and topical retinol 4 weeks before laser treatment.

ANAESTHESIA is generally not required. Vascular laser treatment can be uncomfortable.  Laser treatment is combined with very cold air which cools the skin down minimizing discomfort which varies between individuals and depends on laser parameters which may have to be modified depending on the color and size of the vascular condition being treated.  

 

COMPLICATIONS: Laser treatment is very safe.  Complications are rare and are usually due to human error.  To minimize the risk of such complications, we assure that our laser practitioners are trained and follow proven and safe protocols.  Skin blisters and scarring may occur with more aggressive laser settings used.  It is therefore important not to overtreat.  Veins differ in their size and depth in the skin hence the results of treatment vary between individuals.  To minimize the risk of such complications, we assure that our laser practitioners are trained and follow strict protocols. 

 

DOWNTIME: 

There is no downtime after laser veins treatment. 

DO NOT exercise for three days after treatment. 

DO NOT have hot showers, baths, use hot tubs or saunas for five days.  

DO NOT use alcohol, aspirin, avoid any blood thinners for five day

 

AFTERCARE:

Cold compresses may be applied to reduce redness and swelling immediately after treatment.

Hydrocortisone 1% cream can be applied thinly twice per day until symptoms settle then once a day for a week and every other day before it is discontinued.  

Avoid sun exposure and apply SPF 30+ sunblock on all treated areas that may be exposed to the sun.  

Use medium to strong support tights for 3 - 5 days after treatment. In case of any adverse reactions more than expected contact  the clinic.  

 

NUMBER OF TREATMENTS: 

Everyone responds differently to treatments, with some needing only one treatment and others requiring a third treatment. You can optimise your results by implementing lifestyle changes and closely following the post treatment instructions. The usual treatment interval is 6 – 8 weeks for leg veins and 2 - 4 weeks for the face. A personal plan will be discussed in your consultation.


MAINTENANCE:

Laser treatment does not cure the problem. New dilated veins may appear after treatment.   

Maintenance treatment once a year will keep the problem under control and will prevent it getting worse.

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