Laser treatment of facial veins and pigmented lesions
What are lasers and how do they work?
Laser treatment is designed to emit a narrow, high intensity beam of light. There are many types of lasers used in Medicine-the laser we use at Odyssey is a Copper Bromide laser. Lasers can be designed to emit only one or several wavelengths (or colours) of light.
This means that the energy can be directed at something red in the skin (such as tiny blood vessels) that absorb yellow light, or something brown (age spots, sun spots, moles or pigmented warts) that absorb green light.
The unwanted cells can be damaged, but the normal skin cells are intact. This results in little discomfort and downtime plus rapid healing and minimal risk of scarring.
Veins on the face or chest
Many people, due to a combination of heredity, sun exposure, or medical conditions such as Rosacea have fine veins (also known as broken capillaries) or red marks (‘cherry’ spots) on their face, nose or chest.
The yellow light from the laser is absorbed by these veins damaging them whilst leaving surrounding skin cells intact. The veins then gradually fade as the body converts them to scar tissue.
The amount of treatment required to manage your condition will be discussed prior to the procedure. Most facial veins can be treated in 1 session of 20-30 minutes. A second treatment, 6-8 weeks later, may be required if they are large or extensive. This treatment is tolerated well without the need for anaesthetic. Some temporary redness of the skin may follow, but normal activities can be resumed immediately.
Age spots are flat brown marks that most commonly appear on areas of maximal sun exposure, especially hands and faces. The laser is a highly effective way of removing these lesions as the energy damages only the pigmented cells and leaves normal skin intact. There is a mild stinging sensation during treatment-the lesions subsequently darken and flake off about 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
Pigmented/senile warts (seborrhoeic keratoses)
Pigmented or senile warts are raised, wart like growths with a rough, irregular surface, that can occur anywhere on the body. They are most commonly seen on the scalp or hairline, and on the upper chest and neck. These lesions are non cancerous but can grow to be large and unsightly.