Less Painful Treatment for Treating Broken Capillaries?

Recently, I underwent a laser treatment for broken capillaries. I don't recall the type of laser the doctor used, but I found after a couple of minutes, that it was unbearably painful. Is there a less painful way to rid myself of those pesky broken capillaries?

Doctor Answers 8

Pain with laser for Spider Veins Telangiectasias

It depends where you are being lasered (this is not an acceptable English word). If the area is over bone, such as around the ankles, it is more painful than in the inner thigh where there is more fatty tissue under the skin.

The same is said about tattoos - people who have had tattos around the ankles and foot will tell you that it hurts more than a tattoo in the lower back. As always, topical anesthetics help with pain reduction and most people are able to get lasers on the face for spider veins or in the legs with minimal discomfort.

Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

It is very important to let the treating physician know that your session was painful!

It is very important to let the treating physician know that your session was painful! In our practice, we typically use topical anesthetics with many of our facial treatments, including those for broken capillaries. If someone conveys to us that their sensitivity to pain is high, we can take additional steps to make life a lot easier for them by prescribing prior to the treatment oral sedatives and analgesics. Additionally, nerve blocks can be administered to block certain zones of the face. Even the simple maneuver of applying ice to the area immediately before the treatment can be extremely helpful. The best treatment of facial broken capillaries is either laser treatment (595nm wavelength) or IPL. Both of these modalities are associated with discomfort. So please discuss this with your physician.

Thanks for your question.

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Less pain during laser treatment

The perception of pain is different for every person even on a day to day basis.  You'll find that some days you're more tolerant of pain than other days.  It helps to be well informed about the laser and the provider before the treatment, so at least, you're rest assured that you're in good hands and that the treatment should have a positive outcome.  Second, you can opt to have a topical numbing cream placed at least 30 minutes prior to the procedure.  During the procedure you can even hold or have at hand, an ice pack.  The ice distraction works well especially when the duration of treatment is very short.  Finally, if you still cannot tolerate the procedure, there is always injection of anesthesia to the local area.  But now that you have experience with the procedure, just remind yourself that the pain is short-lived.  Good luck!

Amir Moradi, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser treatment for facial veins does not need to be painful

Certain types of numbing cream can be used to reduce the discomfort from laser treatment of facial veins.  The type of laser and the settings also make a difference.  It is important to give your treating physician or licensed midlevel provider (RN, nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant) feedback about any pain you feel so they can make adjustments for your comfort.

Margaret Weiss, MD
Baltimore Dermatologic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser broken blood vessel treatment

Laser therapy is an ideal treatment for broken capillaries that are caused by sun damage or rosacea. These vessels can be heated using selective photothermolysis. Alternative treatments are less effective. Your experience is not typical of laser treatment for broken blood vessels.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Can be improved

I often do laser treatments for spider veins. Usually they are not painful. However, some people are more sensitive than otheres.  Sometimes topical anesthetics can be used to improve your experience.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Pain control is the key

While IPL treatment may be less painful than lasers, this technology is less effective and has a much higher chance of side effects when compared to the lasers that Dr. Kuo mentioned. Pulsed dye lasers are considered the gold standard for the treatment of vascular lesions (capillaries), and will give you the best results in the fewest number of treatments. For my patients that are pain-sensitive, I will use topical 4% lidocaine and give the patients the option of taking valium and or vicodin/percocet. There is no reason that you should have to suffer through these treatments. Seeking out an established dermatologist that specializes in laser procedures will be the best way to ensure that your pain issues are addressed properly. Take care, Dr. Groff

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Pain varies by location and laser settings

The nose is a very sensitive area and treatment of broken capillaries in that area may be painful. The 2 best lasers for treating telangiectasia are the 532nm KTP and V Beam 595 nm.

The settings, however, can be changed to make the treatment less painful. I never have to use any topical or local anesthesia for these treatments as my patients tolerate the procedure relatively easily.

I also would not recommend any anesthesia with epinephrine as it will clamp down the blood vessels. Post-treatment icing is also helpful.

Felix Kuo, MD
Long Island Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.