What is VBeam Prima laser?
The Pulsed Dye Laser or V-Beam is the most effective laser for removing spider veins (small dilated vessels) from the face, and cherry angiomas (small red spots on the face and body). These lesions often clear with only 1-2 treatments. V-Beam can also help fade, over the course of multiple treatments, red or raised scars, “port wine stain” birthmarks, and red discoloration of the face from rosacea. Although leg veins respond better to sclerotherapy, laser can be used to treat vessels that are too small for sclerotherapy. Unfortunately, all of these conditions, with the possible exception of some facial birthmarks, are considered cosmetic and are not covered by insurance.
How does the laser work?
V-Beam emits a burst of light tuned precisely to target the red pigment in blood and blood vessels with out harming other parts of the skin. Therefore, this laser can remove dilated blood vessels while leaving the surrounding area unaffected. A brief pulse of a cold spray precedes the pulse of light, further protecting the skin from injury.
Does this laser treatment hurt?
Each pulse of light feels like the snapping of a small rubber band, while the cool spray of the laser minimizes this brief discomfort. A topical numbing cream called Topicaine may be purchased in our office. Apply a layer of Topicaine to the area to be treated 1 hour before your appointment. Repeat this application again 10 minutes before your treatment.
What does the skin look like after treatment?
Each pulse of light treats approximately the size of a pencil eraser. These spots often turn pink to slightly red. Occasionally, small areas may turn a purple or blue color (particularly in port wine stain treatment) that can last for about a week. You may want to schedule the treatment at a time when you don’t have major social or work commitments for 2-3 days until the redness, and occasionally swelling, go down. Makeup can generally be used after 24 hours.
What are the risks?
Complications of treatment with the pulsed dye laser are uncommon. Dark discoloration (hyperpigmentation) of the treated area is unlikely to occur and would fade over months; however, it is important to avoid sun exposure after treatment to minimize this risk. Light discoloration (hypopigmentation) and scarring are extremely rare. Bruising can occur, but generally resolves in about a week. It is important to follow instructions regarding aspirin and ibuprofen in order to avoid bruising. Laser light cannot penetrate deeper than the skin and will not harm internal organs, but goggles must be worn to protect the eyes. Some lesions may not be completely cleared with one treatment and may require multiple treatments at additional cost.
Who should not be treated with V-Beam laser?
You may not be treated if:
- You are pregnant
- You have been treated with the anti-acne medication Accutane (Isotretinoin) within 6 months.
- You have a tan now or within the past 4 weeks.
- Avoid sun exposure or tanning for 4 weeks prior to treatment. Tanned skin can shade blood vessels from the laser light, making treatment less effective and increasing the chance of discoloration.
- Discontinue aspirin for 10 days prior to the procedure and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil or related products like Aleve, Naprosyn) for 5 days prior to the procedure. Avoid alcoholic beverages for 2 days prior. You may take Tylenol, which will not affect your laser results. Also avoid fish oils.
- Do not use Retin A, Renova or glycolic acid products for 2 days before the treatment. And do not scrub or traumatize the skin to be treated.
- A topical numbing cream called Topicaine will decrease any discomfort associated with the procedure and may be purchased in our office. Apply a generous amount of Topicaine 1 hour before your appointment and rub into the skin. Repeat this application again 10 minutes before your treatment.
- The treated area may be slightly red, with mild soreness like a sunburn for a few hours to two days. These symptoms, if they occur, can be relieved using cool compresses and Tylenol. If a large facial area has been treated, you may experience swelling. If this occurs, keep your head elevated, and prop it up on 3 pillows at night. Some over-the-counter Zyrtec or Claritin antihistamines by mouth at night can help with swelling. Avoid ice packs as these may cause increased swelling.
- For a week after the treatment, the treated may have some small blue to purple spots. Make-up may be applied very gently starting 1-2 days after treatment. Makeup with a green or yellow tint can be especially helpful in neutralizing the any purple or blue discoloration.
- Cleanse the treated area gently, and apply gentle moisturizer or if tender Vaseline jelly or Aquaphor ointment, once or twice a day until the skin returns to its normal color. Use moisturizer with sunscreen when going outdoors. Take lukewarm, not hot, showers, and avoid strenuous exercise for 2-3 days.
- Do not, under any circumstances, pick or rub the treated areas even if a scab forms (which is very rare). Call our office immediately if any scabs or wounds occur.
- Avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and avoid alcoholic beverages for 7 days after the procedure. You may take Tylenol, which will not affect your laser results
- Strictly avoid sun exposure for at least a month after treatment to minimize the risk of dark discolorationin the treated skin. Use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, preferably containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and a hat or sun protective clothing.
Take the First Step – Request A Consultation
Please fill out the form on this page to request a consultation and one of our knowledgeable medical staff members at Krauss Dermatology will reach out to you promptly. You can also call our Wellesley, MA office directly to schedule – (781) 416-3500.
Krauss Dermatology serves the greater Boston area.
*Individual Results May Vary*