Pulsed dye laser treatment: 8 things to be aware of if you’re considering this treatment

Posted by Cedars Dermatology, 18th December 2018

Pulsed dye laser treatment is just one of the laser therapies we offer at Cedars, and can be useful for treating a range of skin conditions plus signs of ageing. If you’d like to find out more, our experts are here to help. Meanwhile, here are 8 things to consider.

1. It mainly helps reduce redness

Pulsed dye laser treatment can be helpful for treating a range of skin conditions and skin changes associated with ageing – but its general function is reducing redness. So this means it’s a form of laser treatment for rosacea, facial thread veins and scars. It can also be an effective laser treatment for acne scars. Our acne information videos explain more about acne causes and treatment options.

2. It works by ‘shrivelling’ blood vessels  

The treatment works by targeting the tiny blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface which, over time (or due to scarring or birth marks, for instance), can become large or clustered, creating the appearance of redness. The laser delivers a beam of concentrated pure yellow light to the targeted blood vessels. This converts into heat, causing the blood vessels to shrivel.

3. It shouldn’t damage surrounding tissue

Before the treatment, the laser will be set up so that the beam is only delivered to the specific area being targeted. The beam won’t be long enough to penetrate deeper tissue.

4. You’ll probably need multiple sessions

For the best results, three to six treatments are usually required – but this may depend on various factors, such as the size, depth and nature of the redness being treated.  

5. You will feel it – but it shouldn’t be too bad

It’s normal to feel a stinging sensation during the treatment – often described as like an elastic band ‘pinging’ against the skin. Some people say taking paracetamol an hour beforehand helps. For particularly sensitive areas, or when treating children, there are sometimes other options that can help, such as topical anaesthetic creams to help numb the skin, and cooling sprays delivered alongside the laser beam.  

6. The results won’t be instant

After treatment, the vessels will be bruised, and the area of skin being treated is likely to appear slightly bruised. This should fade within a week or two, and once this happens, you should notice that the redness has faded.

7. There might be some swelling and scabbing too

Swelling can sometimes occur after pulsed dye laser treatment, particularly if you’ve had treatment around the eye area. This should resolve fairly quickly, and an ice pack might help. Some people may develop scabbing over the treated area too.

8. There are certain risks to be aware of

Every procedure carries a certain degree of risk, and it’s always important to be fully aware of them before going ahead. Your consultant will discuss these with you. A ‘test’ session is always recommended, to ensure the treatment is suitable for you.

  • Share this article: