Help for Redness Around Mouth/nose, Small Capallaries, Brown Spots

VBeam or IPL: what is better for slight redness around mouth/nose, small capallaries, a few borwn spots, skin texture? one derm told me that the IPL was "archaic" technology, the other one told me that the IPL machine was still the best...who should I beleive?

Doctor Answers 5

Which laser for mutiple conditions?

Part of the issue is that you are trying to address multiple conditions with the same device - slight redness around mouth/nose, small capillaries, a brown spots and skin texture. Lasers are quite specific in that there is a limited target depending on the type of light used.
The good news about the IPL is that it uses more then one type of light so (theoretically) has the ability to treat multiple conditions. The bad news is that because it's designed to treat more than one condition, it's not really very good at any of them. Try these laser recommendations instead.

  • Facial redness - V-Beam or V-Star.
  • Small Capillaries - KTP laser, Long pulsed Yag for visible blood vessels.
  • Brown Spots - Q-switched lasers.
  • Skin Texture - Resurfacing lasers - Erbium, fractional, etc.
The sad truth is that normally the physician is advising you to undertake the procedure recommended because he/she owns the laser that will be used. Very rarely do you hear a physician in an elective health care practice advise you to go somewhere else for the best treatment. This is an unfortunate part of our business and why you are being given conflicting information.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Both are acceptable

Both are acceptable devices for your condition. The IPL will be better for the brown spots and help with reducing redness, while the VBeam is good for vascular issues.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

IPL for brown and patchy red. VBeam for specific vascular targets.

Both the VBeam (or other vascular true laser) and IPL devices are excellent when used properly by experienced physicians for appropriate targets. Without seeing you it is hard to say whether the doctors you saw were telling you the right things, but IPL is not an "archaic technology". There are older lasers and older IPL devices, and also newer versions of both, that have advanced both types of technology.

Sometimes treatment with both a laser and IPL work synergistically to optimize results for multiple different types of skin targets. It sounds like it's possible that this may be the case for you. If you have major vessels in the area, you may do better with a vascular laser, but vascular lasers don't target brown pigment caused by sun damage. IPL treats brown sun damage spots and fine red vessels or surface redness, but doesn't do as well with larger visible vessels. 

Keep getting (hopefully free) consultations with different board-certified dermatologists until you meet one that seems right. You do not have to pursue any treatment where you are not totally comfortable.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Vbeam best for redness

Both the Vbeam and the IPL are great devices and are both are very popular among my patients. The Vbeam is more the treatment of choice for redness and capillaires. I tend to use the IPL to treat a combination of redness and brown spots. Both devices can help improve skin texture. There does tend to be more swelling after the Vbeam which is a function of the fact that it more directly targets blood vessels. Sometimes I start a patient on IPL for global improvement of sundamage - redness, brown spots, texture - and then, if there is any redness or capillaries left over after 2-3 IPL/ photofacial treatments, we will then do a Vbeam treatment either alone or immediately after an IPL treatment.

Elizabeth F. Rostan, MD
Charlotte Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Both will work well, but V-beam is the gold standard

Thanks for your question.

This is a good question as there are differences between IPL and the V-beam laser. IPL is Intense Pulsed Light and emits light energy of different wavelengths while the V-beam is a laser emitting light at only the 595nm wavelength.

Both of these will target the hemoglobin in blood/blood vessels, but the 595nm is more specific and tends to work slightly better. All this being said, the IPL is a very versatile machine and does extremely well for blood vessels and other conditions, so many doctors choose this technology.

On the other hand, the V-beam is the absolute best choice for superficial vascular lesions, and is very specific for this cause. I own an IPL and use this for facial vessels. In treatment resistant cases, I send out my patients who do not respond well to the IPL to one of my colleagues to specifically get the Vbeam. I don't think you can go wrong with either technology, but the Vbeam is the gold standard.

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.