“I was pleasantly surprised at the immediate disappearance of spider vein clusters. Improvement continued for several months. No more pain or stinging from those areas where clusters used to be – Just one treatment!” – Dorothy P.
The V-Beam is a pulsed dye laser manufactured by Candela Corporation. It has several uses, but is best known for its ability to reduce facial redness, one of the symptoms commonly found in aging.
Aging and exposure to the environment affect facial appearance. Age-related changes include prominence of blood vessels and skin discoloration, skin growths, facial redness, gravitational effects which include loss of volume of the skin, loss of elasticity, and bone loss. Wrinkles and telangiectasia (see spider veins) can be improved with the VBeam laser and loss of volume can be improved with Fillers and Botox. The secret of success in applying cosmetic facial rejuvenation techniques lies in understanding the varying processes of facial aging. The best approach is a combination of procedures involving the use of both lasers and injectables, with less emphasis on the face-lift as a ‘cure-all’. Energy-based devices largely affect the skin and serve to improve pigmentation, smooth lines and wrinkles, and decrease the ruddiness and redness of aged skin. Several procedures improve facial appearance and the pulsed dye laser is, in my opinion, one of the best cost-effective cosmetic treatments to improve sundamaged skin.
Vascular lasers use laser light to heat and coagulate small red vessels. These include facial and leg veins, facial flushing, rosacea, port wine stains, acne, sun damage and much more. The role of lasers to improve and eliminate redness on the skin has grown since these lasers were first developed in 1983. Small blood vessels often referred to as “broken capillaries” are common on the face and legs. The tendency to develop these blood vessels runs in families and certain ethnic groups. Pulsed dye lasers are used with great success to eliminate generalized facial redness, individual blood vessels and angiomas, which are small red growths on the skin. The laser also provides a modest level of fine wrinkle reduction as well. This is often a side benefit of treatment. Of course, the laser can be used for this purpose alone.
The V-Beam is one of the newest technologies to be brought to dermatology. It is manufactured by Candela which has over a 20 year proven track record of safety, reliability, and efficacy for treatment of a wide range of vascular conditions. Redness of the face, facial or leg blood vessels, and scars can all be improved with this laser. It has been shown in numerous studies to markedly improve the appearance and redness on the face and sun-exposed skin. The newer pulsed dye lasers minimize the bruising and break up the laser energy into super-fast burst pulses spread over the target area. Older vascular lasers caused trauma which often resulted in bruising; this newer pulse separation technology prevents much of that trauma. The small vessels still receive the same amount of energy, but with a higher level of comfort and lower incidence of bruising or discoloration. It is so safe and effective that it has been used successfully for the treatment of infants as young as a few weeks old.
Acne scars are noticable because of the “red” left behind from the patient’s history of acne. The red color is a result of tiny broken capillaries at the site of the healed acne lesion. This redness is more common to newer acne scars and is hard to conceal, making the evidence of acne more pronounced, even after it has healed. Lasers which target these broken capillaries cause the small vessels to coagulate and be reabsorbed by the body. This removes the redness effectively.
The two sets of photos below show results of Vbeam and Smoothbeam combination laser treatments for acne and acne scars. V-Beam and Smoothbeam lasers are commonly used to improve acne scars. They can both also be used to treat stretch marks (striae) or keloid scars. The VBeam laser removes the redness and Smoothbeam triggers the body to build up collagen, filling in the depressions left by acne scars and smoothing the skin. put picture here in of VBeam and Smoothbeam seen below
What precautions should be taken before and after treatment? The most important rule is not to tan your skin, either artificially or naturally, prior to a laser treatment, and to wear sunscreen daily. Use one that protects you against both UVA and UVB rays.
Side effects: The most common side effect immediately after laser treatment is some redness of the skin, sometimes associated with some swelling. There is usually no bruising with the shallow blood vessels. (Deeper ones include angiomas or venous lakes on the lip.) Any bruising almost always resolves within 7-10 days. Some people experience a discoloration of the skin which typically returns to normal pigmentation over time.
After your laser treatment: Usually a cooling gel and/or ice will be applied to your skin while you are still in the office. Ice can be applied for 24 hours for discomfort and a moisturizer can be applied if needed. The skin should not be scrubbed or cleansed with an abrasive cleanser for the first few days following treatment. A sunscreen should be applied daily and sun exposure and tanning should be avoided.
Dr. Basuk performs all of these laser procedures herself and is one of the few board certified dermatologists on Long Island performing this procedure.