Pulsed dye laser treatment
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Conditions We Treat With A VAscular LAser
TREATING SKIN CONDITIONS WITH A VASCULAR LASER IN LONDON
Vascular lasers are used to target and remove unwanted or abnormal blood vessels in the skin. The laser is targeted, meaning it focuses on the areas which require treatment, while leaving the surrounding healthy skin untouched. Here at the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, we use the Pulsed Dye Vascular laser to treat the following common skin conditions:
- Surgical scars
- Portwine stains
- Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia
What is a Pulsed Dye Laser or Vascular Laser?
The Pulsed dye laser treatment is designed to lighten red coloured skin marks, such as port wine stains, birth marks on your skin or facial thread veins. These marks are referred to as ‘lesions’ throughout this leaflet. These lesions contain tiny blood vessels (capillaries) which have grown larger or more clustered; this is the site of laser treatment.
HOW DOES VASCULAR LASER TREATMENT WORK?
During you consultation at the Harley Street Dermatology clinic, your consultant dermatologist will assess your skin condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you. In some cases, this may be a vascular laser.
Vascular lasers work to treat a range of skin conditions by exposing the lesion to short pulses of light. They emit a very strong light of a single wavelength that is carefully matched to the absorption characteristic of the target tissue. The light is absorbed by the target and converted into heat thereby destroying the target. Because this destructive process is over in a tiny fraction of a second, there is little time for the heat to affect other tissue nearby, and because of this the risk of scarring is minimised. The temperature from the light is just enough to damage the vessel of the lesion, which is then absorbed back into the body, making them less visible.
Multiple treatments are often required to achieve the best results from a vascular laser depending on your skin type and the severity and location of your condition which requires treatment. Following treatment you may experience some redness, bruising or swelling but this will settle down over a couple of days.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In some cases, treatment using a vascular laser may not be suitable for you. These will be fully discussed during your consultation where alternative treatments may be offered. These include:
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have an active infection at the area which requires treatment
- Are taking certain medications that cases sensitivity to light
Following treatment you may experience some redness, bruising or swelling. In very rare cases there may be some blistering or temporary changes in colour to the skin. These risks are minimised by using cooling devices and having a very experienced therapist carrying out the treatment. It is also important to not expose the skin to strong sunlight following treatment.
If used by experienced and well trained staff then vascular lasers are safe to use and they are not associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. At the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, all our staff are fully trained with a wealth of experience and treatment is carried out in care quality commission approved facilities.
As with any procedure, pulsed dye laser treatment carries some degree of risk. Whilst serious complications are rare, it is important to be aware of any potential risks and to discuss any concerns with your doctor at the time of treatment.
- Bruising – The area of treated skin will look bruised initially, but this should fade in 1-2 weeks.
- Swelling– treatments round the eyes, especially when non bruising mode is applied can result in some puffiness or swelling. This usually resolves in 48 hours.
- Alteration in skin colour– There is a minimal risk of changes to the skin’s colour with use of a pulsed dye laser. The laser can cause hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) which usually fades or hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) which can very rarely be permanent. This is uncommon; however hypopigmentation is more likely to occur if you have black or brown skin or if the treatment area is suntanned. Most doctors will therefore avoid using a pulsed dye laser on a suntanned area of skin.
- Increased sensitivity to light – Skin that has been treated with a pulse dye laser is more susceptible to sunlight and at a greater risk of sunburn for up to a year after treatment. If there is any risk of exposure, you must apply a sunscreen which protects from UVA and UVB rays at factor 15 or higher.
- Eye damage – The laser beam will damage eyes if you look directly at it without protection. You will be supplied with special goggles to protect your eyes from the light.
- Scarring –A scab may form over the treated area. Try to avoid picking at the scab as it may leave a scar or increase your risk of infection.
- Infection – There is a slight risk of infection, but this is very rare. Infection is most likely to happen if scabs form in the treated areas.
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Please fill in this form and one of our team will give you a call back to arrange a consultation with one of our expert dermatologists.
HEAR FROM OUR PATIENTS
WHY HAVE A VASCULAR LASER TREATMENT AT THE HARLEY STREET DERMATOLOGY CLINICS?
Having the right dermatologist is important especially when you have a chronic skin condition that will require ongoing treatment. We want you to feel confident that we’re providing you with the best possible care. We also want you to feel as comfortable as possible with your dermatologist.
The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic specialises in conditions affecting the skin, hair and nails. Our goal is to provide all the care that you need when you’re experiencing these kinds of problems. We want to make it easy for you to access the best quality pulsed dye laser treatment and support in London.
The clinic is conveniently located in Central London, so it’s easy to visit us if you need to see a dermatologist. You will find yourself in a very comfortable and welcoming environment. We have created a relaxing space where you will receive the highest quality of care. We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, are part of the British Association of Dermatologists and are top rated by patients of Doctify so you can be sure of safe and effective treatment with us.
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