Laser treatment - skin conditions

What is laser treatment?

Many people are born with vascular birthmarks which are made up of clusters of blood vessels near the surface of the skin and may be pink, red or purple. Other marks caused by dilated blood vessels occur over time.

Laser therapy can be used to treat skin conditions by targeting intense light energy into your skin to reduce the appearance of abnormal vessels. Common conditions that can be treated are:

  • Port wine stains are a red or purple mark on your skin and usually present from birth. About 3 in 1,000 people are born with one, often on your face but any area of skin can be affected
  • Facial Telangiectasia are small dilated blood vessels near the skin. Around 30% of fair skinned people suffer from telangiectasia, usually caused by chronic sun exposure, alcohol and some medications
  • Spider Naevus are small lesions with a number of tiny blood vessels radiating out from them resembling the legs of a spider. They most frequently occur on your face and upper body

What does this involve?

Laser therapy can be used to treat all three conditions as well as others where lesions from dilated blood vessels are near the surface of the skin and appear unsightly. The treatment works by targeting intense light energy into your skin to reduce the appearance of abnormal blood vessels.

A pulse dye laser is absorbed by the red blood cells within the abnormal blood vessels which destroys them before the energy can be absorbed into the surrounding tissue.

Depending on the size and site of the lesion, a course of treatment sessions is usually required for the best effect. Our pulse dye laser has a larger spot size to enable large lesions to be quickly treated in fewer sessions.

When will I recover?

You will be able to go home the same day and be able to return to normal life immediately. You may have some bruising for 7-14 days following the treatment and it is important to wear high factor sun protection cream.

What risks should I know about?

Laser therapy may not completely clear your vascular birthmark or lesion, but it will usually make them significantly paler and less noticeable.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it is important that you review your expectations thoroughly before you decide to proceed. Your Consultant will explain the results you can expect and will discuss the associated risks and alternatives to the procedure before going ahead.