The Candela Vbeam® Laser is a pulsed dye laser, which delivers an intense burst of yellow light to the skin (wavelength 595 nm). This wavelength of light is absorbed by hemoglobin, which is in red blood cells. Because blood vessels are filled with red blood cells, laser light can be specifically absorbed in these areas, to diminish or fade the vessels, with minimal damage to surrounding tissue. The blood vessels are coagulated and reabsorbed by the body. The Vbeam® Laser has a unique cooling device, which sprays a cooling mist onto the skin with each laser pulse, protecting the epidermis (the top layer of the skin), and increasing comfort. In addition to hemoglobin, melanin, the pigment in the skin, absorbs the 595 nm wavelength of light. If lasering a pigmented brown spot on the skin is desired, a special hand piece is used. This hand piece compresses the blood away from the target area, leaving only the melanin to absorb the laser energy.
What conditions does the Vbeam® laser treat?
The Vbeam® Laser has proven effective in treating a number of skin conditions, including:
- Small, dilated blood vessels on the face, nose, cheeks and chin
- Benign blood vessel growths, also called angiomas
- Red birth marks
- Lentigos, or brown spots
- Uneven pigmentation, also called “poikiloderma”
What can I expect during treatment?
At the laser appointment, your eyes will be protected with special goggles. The laser beam is aimed at the skin. You will feel multiple “zaps” which may feel like rubber band snaps. The mist may also be sprayed onto the skin. Most of our patients tolerate this without any problems. You can ask your practitioner about using a topical anesthetic before the treatment. Sometimes, cool compresses are applied after the treatment. Depending upon the number of areas affected, treatment time can take between 10-40 minutes. You may need several laser treatments for the best outcome.
What can I expect after treatment?
After treatment of red spots or blood vessels, you can expect post op changes ranging from minimal redness like a sunburn, or bruising (purpura), depending on the treatment selected by your practitioner. If you do not want excess bruising, your practitioner may purposefully select gentler laser settings, and you may need more overall treatment sessions. Brown spots after treatment will usually turn red then dark after a few days, then peel away. The healing is generally a few days to one to two weeks. After treatment, you should not rub, scratch, or pick at the area. Avoid swimming, hot tubs, and contact sports if there is redness or irritation. If there is scabbing or discoloration, your usual moisturizer, makeups, and sunscreen can be used.
What risks are involved?
Risks from the Vbeam® Laser treatment are minimal, but can include the possibility of light or dark discoloration, or scarring. There is a risk of eye injury, if eyes are not shielded properly from the laser light. Some lesions will need more than one treatment, and may not be completely faded after the first visit. We recommend avoiding sun exposure before and after treatment. You will be asked to use sunscreen after the treatment. Self-tanning products should be removed before treatment. Patients receiving Accutane treatment for acne should wait at least six months after completion, before laser. Tattoos should not be lasered. Let your practitioner know if you have a history of Herpes Simplex Virus (cold sores) in the target area, so that prophylactic treatment can be started before the laser. Topical medications should be stopped a few days before and after the appointment. Darkly pigmented skin may not be appropriate for laser treatment.
We are looking forwards to treating you with this state of the art laser system. The Vbeam® Laser can be very effective at fading and diminishing redness and hyper pigmentation, with minimal downtime.