Lasers Improve Complexions – Treating Broken Blood Vessels and Redness
Article by Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
The face has an extensive network of fine red veins and tiny blood vessels called capillaries that are commonly located on the nose, cheeks or chin. By age 30, many people begin to notice that these capillaries can break and become unsightly tiny, spidery blood vessels, red streaks or blotches on the face. Laser therapy can eliminate damaged veins and capillaries by removing virtually all traces of these unsightly blood vessels.
“Laser treatment successfully treats and removes broken facial blood vessels safely, easily and effectively with excellent long term results,” says Joshua Fox, MD, founder of Advanced Dermatology and a spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology. “Millions of people are affected by facial capillaries that break and they want to get rid of these unattractive and embarrassing distractions to their natural beauty.” Many people consider red blotches on their face or nose to be suggestive use of alcohol intake. Thereby falsely labeling people who have these red lesions.
What causes broken facial blood vessels and redness?
Common causes for broken facial veins and redness include: aging, prolonged sun exposure, pregnancy, childbirth, oral contraceptives, estrogen replacement therapy and heredity. Diffuse redness is a result of dilated capillaries — the appearance is more general redness then well-defined blood vessels. Diffuse redness is often associated with rosacea — a treatable skin condition characterized by redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, or visible blood vessels, bumps or pimples on the face. More women have rosacea then men and it often affects fair-skinned people especially those from Celtic or Northern European extraction. The National Rosacea Society estimates that there are 14 million people with rosacea nationwide.
How lasers treat facial veins and redness
Dr. Fox notes that visible broken facial blood vessels are removed with a laser using light absorbed by the blood that destroys the vessel. After some time, the vessel disappears restoring the skin’s natural appearance. Lasers allow for quick treatment of broken blood vessels without any damage to the surrounding skin. The laser gently penetrates the skin without affecting the outer layers, meaning there’s a much shorter healing time or none at all.
Lasers are safe and effective — they can be tailored to an individual condition and skin type. Some patients say that the sensation of a laser treatment is akin to the snapping of a small rubber band against the skin. Some people choose to have a topical anesthesia or ice applied to the area of the face being treated.
Each treatment usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Small veins/capillaries may require a single treatment for repair. Veins that are larger or darker may require multiple treatments for improvement and not reach full repair. Treatments are spaced at 4-to-6 week intervals.
“Lasers offer natural looking improvement for successfully treating broken blood vessels and redness without injuring the surrounding healthy facial skin,” says Dr. Fox. “Patients can immediately return to normal activities but they must apply sunscreen on the treated area.” A side benefit of the laser is it seems to stimulate collagen and give the face more of a “glow” appearance.
What to Expect At The Consultation for Facial Vein Laser Treatment
The experts in skin care and related laser treatments are board-certified dermatologists — surgeons who have received extensive education, training and passed a certifying examination given by the American Board of Dermatology. Some are members of laser society like the American society of Laser Surgery. Dr. Fox says that using lasers to treat facial broken blood vessels and redness is a safe and fairly simple treatment. He advises that patients need to discuss with their dermatologist expectations and projected outcomes based on their specific skin problem. During the initial consultation, patients can ask the physician to share before and after photos of patients who had a similar condition and treatment.
The dermatologist will need to know how long a patient has had problems with facial veins and if they have had any prior skin treatments on their face. The physician will take a patient’s complete medical history — including asking about any medical problems or if they are taking any medications. Certain systematic diseases like Lupus Erythematosis need to be ruled out.
Tips For Protecting Your Skin
As most of us age, we begin to see signs of skin damage caused by the sun appearing in our complexion. The best way to protect your skin is by avoiding prolonged sun exposure and use sunscreen with an SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection or higher on a daily basis. “You are lowering your possibility of developing skin cancer and reducing the suns premature aging process by applying sunscreen protection daily and not just when you are at the beach or pool,” says Dr. Fox. Dr. Fox advises that there is not such thing as a healthy tan — a tan is the skin’s response to the sun’s damaging rays. Also, the UV radiation emitted by indoor tanning lamps is many times more intense than natural sunlight. Dangers include burns, premature aging of the skin, and the increased risk of skin cancer. The next best protection from the sun is a high SPF rating that does not come off with sweaty or vigorous exercise and protective gear like a sunshade.