Vbeam is a brand of pulsed-dye laser (PDL) and is often referred to as a vascular laser because it is excellent at treating issues related to the body’s network of blood vessels, such as broken capillaries, rosacea, port wine stains, spider veins, strawberry hemangiomas, and more. It can also target superficial pigmentation discolorations such as freckles and sunspots, and a variety of other concerns like stretch marks and scars. Vbeam can also be used to speed up the healing of any post-treatment bruising caused by other cosmetic or surgical procedures.
Vbeam uses a dye to generate different colors of laser beams, which are delivered in pulses. The color of light used is determined by the target. For example, a yellow light is specifically absorbed by blood vessels in the dermis, causing them to collapse without damaging surrounding skin cells. The collapsed vessels are then reabsorbed and eliminated by the body during the natural healing process. The Vbeam laser can be programmed to emit different colors of light to zap different targets, from blotches of redness to dark spots, causing them to break down and get naturally flushed out.
What can be treated?
- Angiomas (hemangiomas & Port wine stains and other birthmarks)
- Broken capillaries & Spider veins
- Early scars and red stretchmarks
- Facial & Spider Veins
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Pigmented Lesions & Vascular Lesions
- Redness of the face and neck & Rosacea
- Red Stretch marks
- Sun/age spots
- Venous Lake
- …and more!
What does the treatment involve?
Most patients are reclined or lying down depending on the area being treated. Both the patient and the doctor will be wearing protective eyewear . The laser will then be calibrated and the treatment parameters set based on the condition being treated. You will hear a number of ‘beeping’ sounds while the laser does this. Each condition and each individual is unique, and these settings will be individualized to maximize the results you will see following treatment.
Will it hurt?
No anesthetics are required, but they may be used if needed. The feeling most patients report is a warming or tingling sensation during treatment. The skin being treated is additionally protected by Candela’s dynamic cooling method, DCD, which delivers a cooling mist on to the skin before the laser pulse is emitted. This helps to minimise the discomfort during treatment, and side effects by protecting the top layers of the skin.
Each treatment pulse feels a little like an elastic band being ‘snapped’ against the skin. You may also feel some warmth. Most people tolerate the treatment without anesthetic. If you do find the treatment too uncomfortable, then an anesthetic cream can be used, but needs to be applied to the areas at least 60mins prior to the procedure.
Is treatment safe?
Yes. The pulsed dye lasers have been successfully used since the 1980’s for treatment of port wine stain birthmarks in infants and young children. Over the years, laser technology has improved dramatically, ensuring side effects are minimal. The Perfecta Laser’s Dynamic Cooling Device sprays a cold mist onto the targeted area of skin before each laser pulse, maximizing comfort and also protecting the skin during treatment. It is best to avoid treatment when the skin is heavily tanned, as this does increase the risk of pigment loss or lightening. It is also important that you follow your doctor’s post-treatment instructions.
Are there any requirements for treatment – how do I know if I qualify for treatment?
The only requirement is that you have a desire to improve the condition of your skin. Most patients who receive cosmetic laser treatment opt for procedures to correct skin conditions not out of medical necessity, but because they are interested in improving the appearance of their skin without invasive surgery that would cause downtime away from daily activities. From total facial rejuvenation which involves the reduction and removal of red and brown pigmented lesions with a general firming of the skin, to the removal of sun-spot damage, patients should discuss with their practitioner which treatments are right for them.
What are some side effects that may occur after treatment?
There will be some mild discomfort during the treatment. Immediately after the treatment the area will appear red, and mildly swollen (sunburn like). You may also have some degree of bruising (purpura). The degree of bruising will depend on the condition being treated and the treatment settings used (for example, port wine stains will usually always bruise following treatment). Immediately after treatment, an ice or cold pack will be given to you and the use of ice/iced water compresses over the next 24-48 hours will help to decrease swelling. Staying upright during the day and sleeping on an extra pillow at night will also help to decrease any swelling.
The skin will appear pinker for approximately an hour after treatment. A small percentage of patients have some swelling of the eyelids and cheeks , especially after extensive treatment on the cheeks. It could last for a few days.
Redness and swelling will usually decrease over 3-5 days or so. Bruising will usually settle over 7-14 days depending on its severity. Blistering or crusting is unusual (although can occur in scars), but some dryness or flakiness is common and will settle with the use of moisturizer. Make-up can be applied to the treated areas providing that it is applied and removed very gently.
If brown ‘sun’ spots are being treated, initial redness and swelling occur as above. The treated areas will also darken, lightly crust and flake off over the following 1-2 weeks in post patients.
Less common side effects include pigmentation changes (lightening or darkening of the skin in the treated areas), thinning of the skin (atrophy) and scarring. Some lesions do not respond as well as expected and limited improvement may be seen.
Are there any special precautions I need to take before or after treatment?
It is recommended that you avoid sun exposure before and for 6 weeks following the treatment to minimize side effects. An SPF 30+ sunscreen should be worn daily during this time (even on cloudy days). This helps to reduce the risk of brown pigmentation (increase in skin color). If it does occur, it is usually temporary, but can take a few months to fade.
Applying ice packs or cold compresses to the treatment areas on and off for 24-48 hours following treatment will help minimize swelling, bruising and discomfort.
If you do develop any blistering or crusting, do not pick the scabbing off. Gently clean the areas and apply a thin smear of Vaseline twice daily until healed. Make sure you let your doctor know at your next consultation that this has occurred.
It is best to use gentle cleansers and moisturizers during the healing phase. Avoid facial scrubs or potentially irritating creams (for example, those containing retinoids/retinols and AHA). If having treatment for redness or broken capillaries, it is best to avoid excessive aerobic activity or flushing triggers for 1-2 weeks following treatment.
How soon will I see results of my treatment?
Again this will depend a little on the condition being treated and the number of treatments required for clearance. Patients will usually notice some improvement within the first 6-8 weeks following treatment. Other beneficial effects such as firming and tightening of the skin may also be seen, but may take a little longer. This is due to the stimulation of new collagen production (an important support structure of the skin) and is the basis of the lasers’ use in treating fine lines and wrinkles and for photo-rejuvenation.
How many treatments will I require?
Multiple treatments are usually required, depending on the extensiveness and layering of the blood vessels. We recommend treatment intervals of 2-4 weeks.Response to therapy is dependent upon the initial condition. Patients with facial redness and blood vessels will typically require an average of 2-3 treatments. Patients with port-wine stains may need to be treated on multiple occasions. The average adult may require 6-10 treatments to lighten the port-wine stain. Facial port wine stains usually do best, fading on average, 50%-70% of the initial base colour.
Are the results of the Vbeam Perfecta laser permanent?
This depends on the condition being treated, and lifestyle of the patient. For example, if you are having redness or broken capillaries treated, but have a strong tendency to flush and blush, or do not avoid flushing triggers, the condition may recur over a period of years. If you are having brown sun spots treated, but continue to spend time in the sun without adequate sun protection, it is likely that your sun spots will return. Talk to your doctor about your goals and expectations of treatment.
How much does the treatment cost?
This will depend on the size of the area being treated as well as the condition being treated. You will be provided with an estimate of the treatment cost at the time of your consultation. Generally private health insurances do not cover treatment.
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