Treatment for vascular lesions and spider veins are now possible due to recent advances in medical technology. At Dermatology Center of Acadiana we use the Cutera Excel V because it is the single most effective laser or device on the market to target redness or visible blood vessels. It is more effective due to combining two ultra-precise laser wavelengths in one device to give it the ultimate range and flexibility for treating a wide variety of discolorations.
Why the Excel V Laser is the Best Option for Vascular Lesions
The Excel V Laser is far ahead of the competition. The closest competitor, Vbeam, has been around since 1986. While it was revolutionary at the time, the Excel V laser has incorporated a number of improvements over the Vbeam.
Advantages of Excel V Laser over Vbeam
- Excel V can do several treatments Vbeam cannot and is more effective at many of the same treatments
- New treatments Excel V can do that Vbeam cannot: deeper blue vessels of the face and legs, including spider veins
- Warm up time for Vbeam: about 20 minutes, for Excel V: about 1 minute
- Excel V’s 532 nm wavelength has been clinically shown to be significantly more effective than 595 nm wavelength of Vbeam for treating redness of skin
- Excel V has cooling tip that allows exact area of treatment to always be targeted for cooling
- Excel V can be adjusted as you go digitally, with real time auto calibration for color and spot size changes
- Vbeam cooling system can cause complications when Vbeam not administered perpendicular to skin
- Changes of color or spot size can require recalibration of device and/or changing handpiece
Why Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is not ideal for treating Varicose or Spider Veins
IPL treatment has a few downsides that make it less preferable than the Excel V for most treatments. It is generally less effective and sometimes causes skin pigmentation to get darker, especially in Asian and darker skinned patients. The more reliable results of the Excel V laser make it an easy choice for both practitioners and patients alike.
About Vascular Lesions, Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
There are a number of different types of vascular lesions, and most of them can be treated effectively with the Excel V laser. Vascular lesions are simply blood vessels that are visible through the skin.
Some of the most common and best known types of vascular lesions include:
- Spider veins
- Cherry angiomas
- Port wine stains
The Difference between Spider Veins and Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are raised and swollen blood vessels that twist and turn, while spider veins are also easily visible veins but they are not generally raised or swollen. Spider veins can be red, purple or blue. Some people with varicose veins may have symptoms such as aching, cramping, throbbing or burning in their legs. Generally these symptoms are not experienced with spider veins.
While laser therapy is often the best choice for spider veins, varicose veins may be better suited by other treatments. Make a consultation with your dermatologist to find out what is best for you. You can also ask your dermatologist about any other cosmetic procedures that may interest you.
What causes Varicose Veins, Spider Veins and other Vascular Lesions?
There are a number of different factors that influence the appearance of vascular lesions, including:
- Jobs that require standing for long periods of time
- Being overweight
- Hormonal changes from puberty, pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills
- Tumors, pregnancy or other issues that can cause abnormal pressure in the abdomen
How the Excel V Laser Gets Rid of Unwanted Visible Veins
The light energy from the laser causes the blood to coagulate in the vein. This causes the blood vessel to be destroyed and reabsorbed into the body. The blood will continue to flow in the deeper vessels under the surface of the skin.
Common Questions about Laser Treatment for Spider Veins and Vascular Lesions
What does laser treatment feel like?
Patients generally describe a stinging sensation with each pulse of energy. The Excel V has a built in cooling mechanism that helps to dampen this sensation and lessen the discomfort. After treatment there is little to no pain.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment usually takes about 15-30 minutes.
Is there downtime after treatment?
There can be redness, swelling or bruising after treatment. It is always temporary and will lessen over time. Usually the effects dissipate after 48 hours.
How long does it take to see the results?
Facial vein treatments is almost immediate. Whereas, treating facial redness can cause a temporary increase in redness, usually only for a few hours to days, before the gradual decrease in redness which will be seen over the course of the next few weeks. When treating the legs, it can often take several weeks to see the final results of treatment. There is usually a significant improvement between weeks 2-6 after the procedure.
Do I need to do anything after treatment?
For spider vein treatment, you will see better results if you wear compression stockings for 48 hours afterwards and refrain from activities that will pump a lot of blood to your legs such as biking, running or extensive walking.