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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.
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.
The pulsed dye laser 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.
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.
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.
It’s normal to feel a stinging sensation during the laser 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.
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.
Swelling can sometimes occur after pulsed dye laser treatment, particularly if you’ve had the laser 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.
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.