Facial capillaries, visible veins and rosacea can be treated safely and accurately by way of vascular laser treatment. In most cases, Medicare rebate maybe claimed for visible facial veins.
- ClearScan and VBeam lasers are types of vascular lasers used at Cutis Clinic
- Vascular lasers are suitable for the treatment of rosacea, broken capillaries and other vascular (red) lesions
- Laser type depends on the size of the blood vessels and their location
- Combining treatments offers the best results
Vascular lasers, including VBeam and ClearScan deliver a beam of light that is absorbed in the hemoglobin of blood. These lasers allow our dermatologists to accurately treat visible facial blood vessels, broken capillaries, spider veins, vascular lesions and red discoloration on our patients’ skin. This procedure is tailored to treat individual vascular conditions according to the desired result.
Lasers use a single wavelength of light to deliver energy to specific areas, while IPL-BBL uses a spectrum of light. Lasers are more accurate, especially in targeting larger, more tenacious capillaries and veins. BBL, on the other hand, is better suited for a combination of problems including fine blood vessels and hyperpigmentation. Many skin types present with a combination of red areas, blotchy areas and visible blood vessels. Vascular laser is often combined with BBL for the best results.
Light from the laser is absorbed in the haemoglobin proteins of the blood flowing through the targeted vessel. This light energy is converted to heat energy which raises the heat of the blood in a very localised environment. Throughout the procedure, heat generated by the vascular laser heats the blood inside the vessel and causes it to collapse and seal.
- Facial veins
- Spider veins
- Broken capillaries
- Birth marks (port wine stains)
Vascular conditions such as spider veins, broken capillaries and telangiectasia are usually found on the face, thighs, legs, calves and arms. Red birthmarks such as port wine stains can also be treated with this type of laser.
VBeam lasers are fitted with a unique cooling spray making treatments quick, comfortable and relatively painless. The majority of patients do not require any local anaesthetic, though we offer our patients this option.
Your eyes will be well protected with safety shields or glasses. Laser light energy is delivered accurately to the predetermined area. You may briefly feel a warm sensation as the laser pulses are absorbed by the undesired blood vessels. Your treatment may take a few minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of the treated area.
A common side effect from this treatment is discoloration of the vein and bruising that appears as faint, purplish tints around the treated area. This usually resolves within days. At first, you may have a “cat scratch” like appearance at the site of the treated vessels that lasts for 1 – 2 days and this area may be sensitive to the touch with a mild sunburn-like sensation. Most redness, swelling and sensitivity resolves within 2 – 3 days. Your treating specialist will be able to answer your questions about these temporary skin changes and how they can best be alleviated or hidden.
It is vital to follow your specialist’s instructions. The treated area of skin will be sensitive to light and direct sun exposure must be avoided. You need to protect your treated skin and use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 whenever exposed to the sun, and continue to do so for at least 2 weeks following your treatment.
Numerous vessels may immediately disappear, while other destroyed vessels may become less visible or lighter in colour. Laser vein procedures work by heating the blood in the unwanted vessel, causing it to collapse. Over a short period of time your body will slowly re-absorb the vessel, in the same way as a bruise is healed. This process takes place over a period of several weeks.
Depending on the depth of the vascular condition, numerous treatments may be needed. Changes generally last for a number of years but new veins will develop as time progresses that will require a touch-up at a much later date.
A Medicare rebate may be applicable for the treatment of capillaries by VBeam or ClearScan lasers. Certain criteria must be met to qualify for a rebate. One of these is that facial or neck capillaries should be visible from a distance of 3 metres. In this case, a Medicare rebate applies to each treatment and for up to 6 treatments per year.
Treatments eligible for a Medicare rebate also count towards your Medicare Safety Net. Once the threshold on your Medicare Safety Net has been passed, 80% of the fee will be refunded. Your dermatologist will inform you of your rebate eligibility prior to the commencement of treatment.
Another highly effective procedure commonly performed at Cutis Clinic is sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injections of salt water into the vein wall. This causes swelling of the vessel walls, eventually collapsing and ‘sealing’ visible vessels. Sclerotherapy can be an effective treatment for blood vessels resistant to laser and is ideal for leg veins (varicose veins).
BBL or broad band light can also be used to treat very fine facial veins, especially in areas associated with flushing. BBL uses a range of light wavelengths instead of the single wavelength of vascular lasers. For conditions such as rosacea, visible veins and flushing, the laser operator selects the appropriate filter for the target blood vessel.
For optimal results, numerous treatments should be utilised to treat facial redness, rosacea and visible facial veins. Correct management must identify, avoid and treat any underlying factors, especially in patients suffering from rosacea. The use of SPF 30+ sunscreen is crucial in all cases. For large diameter blood vessels, the combination of vascular laser and sclerotherapy is more effective than BBL/IPL. For more diffuse redness as well as flushing or blushing, BBL/ IPL treatment is the treatment of choice. Most patients exhibit both elements – visible and larger diameter blood vessels with flushing – where a combination of treatments is the most effective measure.