The skin on your face has an extensive network of veins and small blood vessels. Through aging, sun exposure, trauma, surgical procedures and genetic factors, some of these small blood vessels expand just below the surface of the skin. The result is commonly referred to as spider veins. They can appear in many different forms and sizes, but usually appear red, blue or purple in color. Often they can even rupture leaving your skin with a red streaky or splotchy appearance.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that manifests itself as diffuse redness or flushing. It affects millions of fair skinned Americans, often of Northern and Eastern European descent, typically between the ages of 30 and 50. In the later stages of rosacea, it is common for spider veins to appear often on the nose, chin, nasolabial folds and the cheeks. The flushing or redness associated with rosacea is usually triggered by sun exposure, certain medications, stress, embarrassment, hot weather, alcohol and spicy foods.
With proper use of a laser device or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device small spider veins and rosacea can be removed, with no down time or inconvenience to your busy schedule. In essence, the color in these small blood vessels attracts the energy of the laser which causes coagulation of the blood, shutting down the blood vessels and clearing the skin of the problem. In most cases facial spider veins can be completely resolved in 1-2 treatments whereas rosacea, with background flushing, may require 3-4 treatments. Shortly after completing this procedure with minimal pain, your skin will look younger, healthier and you’ll feel better about yourself.
Is it painful?
By cooling the skin prior, during, and after treatment most patients do not find this procedure painful, although in some cases there might be a minimum amount of discomfort. The feeling has often been described as being snapped by a rubber band on your skin. For patients that are extra sensitive to pain we can prescribe a topical anesthetic cream to be applied 45 minutes before coming in for the procedure.
How long after the treatment will it take for the spider veins or rosacea to clear?
It depends on the degree of the condition. Usually patients will see the condition begin to clear within 2 hours of treatment. Patients with rosacea and generalized redness will require multiple sessions, however, within a couple of hours after a treatment patients should see noticeable improvement.
Am I allowed to use makeup to cover the treated areas?
There is no problem in covering the treated area with makeup immediately after treatment.
Are there any special skin care procedures I must follow after being treated for the rosacea or removal of facial spider veins?
We recommend the use of a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25, and a copper peptide topical cream twice a day for the treated area. Specific copper peptide creams have been proven effective at accelerating the healing process and aiding in the generation of collagen. Additionally, we advocate adopting a good skin care regimen which includes the use of at least a moisturizer that contains a UVA and UVB sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. LaserMed also stocks a complete line of physician based skin care products that can speed up the healing process of laser based procedures. Some patients with active rosacea lesions may need to continue a maintenance regimen prescribed by a LaserMed physician.
How long do I have to wait between procedures?
In most cases patients may schedule treatment sessions as close as 2-3 weeks apart.
Is the treatment safe?
Yes, the treatment is very safe. Studies indicate that by using the correct laser settings the risk of scarring is less than 1%. In some cases patients might notice a slight bruising to the treated area, but this condition will resolve itself in 5-7 days. Concurrent use of vitamin K or Arnica cream may help resolve the bruising more quickly.
Can the treated facial veins come back?
The ones effectively treated will not return, however due to genetics you may be predisposed to get more veins with time, in other areas of the face.
How much does it cost?
Charges are based upon the size of the area to be treated and the number of sessions required. Most facial spider veins can be treated in 1-2 sessions and rosacea patients usually require 3-5 sessions. Costs start at $250 per session for these procedures. LaserMed Skin & Vein Clinic also offers Care Credit Patient Payment plans.