Vbeam laser treatment is a painless dermatologic procedure from which patients generally recover fast. It is non-ablative, aiming at the treatment area’s blood vessels and the surrounding structures without creating open wounds. It is an excellent choice for various skin conditions but most especially for those where the blood vessels have a prominent role.
Learn about Vbeam laser recovery and other things that you can expect from this form of therapy.
How Does Vbeam Laser Treatment Work?
The Vbeam laser is a type of laser that uses an organic dye to produce high-energy light beams. The intense radiation is delivered in short pulses to limit the skin injury, so the Vbeam laser is also commonly referred to as the “pulsed dye laser” or “PDL.”
The equipment emits light in the yellow-green color spectrum, which specifically targets the red blood cell’s main pigment hemoglobin. Heating up this molecule breaks down the red blood cells, blood vessels and a small fraction of the surrounding tissue. Through this mechanism, it improves dermal vascular lesions, or conditions where dilated blood vessels create unsightly marks on the skin.
Vbeam treatment also gets rid of skin disorders that thrive on a continuous blood supply. Additionally, the laser injury stimulates skin repair processes, enhancing collagen formation and cell renewal.
Therefore, this therapy is indicated for the following conditions:
- Vascular birthmarks like the port wine stain, hemangioma and cherry angioma
- Acquired conditions like rosacea and spider vein
- Lesions fed by blood vessels, such as skin tumors, warts, raised acne scars and red stretch marks
- Sun damage
- Fine lines and coarse wrinkles
- Pigmented lesions like freckles, benign moles and café-au-lait spots
Unlike the CO2 laser and other ablative types, the Vbeam laser does not create epidermal breaks, which take more time to heal. The treatment has fewer risks, and the recovery is quicker, although the results are not as dramatic.
What Should You Do Before Your Vbeam Treatment Session?
Your BHSkin Dermatology skincare expert will give you a full medical examination before considering any procedure. Giving your complete medical history will help the physician determine if Vbeam laser treatment is right for you. If it is not, they will recommend a safer and more effective alternative.
If the dermatologist thinks that the procedure is suitable, you may be asked to do the following before your appointment:
- Avoid photosensitizing treatments because lasers can burn skin that is overly sensitive to light. They include the following:
- Skin treatments like sun tanning, vitamin-A-containing medications, whitening agents, alpha-hydroxy acids and chemical peels
- Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, which can also interfere with the healing process
- Photosensitizing antibiotics like minocycline, which some acne formulations have
- Blood thinners can complicate vascular laser treatment, so you must also avoid them.
- Lasers can reactivate cold sores. You may be advised to take cold sore medication if you are prone to reactivation.
Following these recommendations will help you avoid unwanted side effects that can delay your recovery or worsen your skin condition.
What Happens During a Pulsed Dye Laser Session?
You will be asked to wear eye protection at the beginning of your session. The dermatologist will then clean the treatment area and apply the laser in pulses. The equipment sprays a coolant to limit laser heat on your skin, so expect the procedure to be painless even without anesthesia.
However, patients with large blemishes may need some numbing cream. Multiple passes of the laser equipment can cause heat buildup and a burning sensation. Similarly, children’s anxiety can disrupt the procedure, so the doctor may put them to sleep preoperatively.
The duration of the session depends on the problem’s extent and location. Small lesions can be done in as fast as 15 minutes but spread-out ones can take more than one hour.
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What Can You Expect During the Vbeam Laser Recovery Period?
Vbeam recovery is usually quick and problem-free. However, health conditions affecting the blood, immune system and connective tissues can delay healing or produce complications. That is why you must tell your dermatologist about any other medical concerns before undergoing this procedure.
For suitable patients, below are the different aspects of the recovery phase following a Vbeam treatment.
Does Vbeam Laser Have Downtime?
Pulsed dye laser treatment requires little to no downtime. Redness, swelling, and minimal discomfort can develop after the session, which resolve on their own in a day or two. You can recover quickly by avoiding strenuous activities until the inflammation subsides.
What Are the Side Effects of Vbeam Treatment?
The most frequent side effects of this procedure are mild swelling and redness, which are normal. The treatment creates controlled skin injury, and consequently, some inflammation. Minimal discomfort and itchiness are also common.
Some people may notice blood spots under the skin surface. They usually resolve in 1-2 weeks.
Skin yellowing or browning is not uncommon. It can make the site look bruised, but it can be faint if the treatment is done the right way. This side effect is due to hemosiderin, a pigment left behind by damaged red blood cells. It may also last for weeks but will go away on its own.
Rare side effects include blistering, crusting, scarring and severe pain.
Skin pigmentation changes can happen to individuals with a dark complexion. Skin of color is rich in melanin, a pigment that absorbs pulsed dye laser beams like hemoglobin does.
Infection is uncommon but may occur in people prone to Staphylococcal pus formation (MRSA). Eye damage may complicate facial laser procedures but is prevented by wearing proper protection.
How Do You Take Care of Your Skin After Vbeam Laser Therapy?
Below is a list of aftercare recommendations that will help speed up your recovery and skin renewal.
- You may apply a cold compress on the treated skin during the first 24 hours postop to minimize redness.
- Stay hydrated to eliminate the breakdown byproducts fast.
- Sleep on your back with your head elevated on the first night after your treatment.
- Apply or take antibiotics, if prescribed.
- You may take Tylenol for pain.
- Use sunscreen when going outdoors.
- Your physician at BHSkin Dermatology will prescribe a post-procedure repair kit that includes a gentle cleanser, laser enzyme gel and nighttime moisturizer. Follow the doctor’s instructions for its use. Each item in the kit has ingredients that promote proper healing and boost the skin’s radiance.
- Applying vigorous pressure, scratching or picking on the skin
- Smoking and drinking
- Activities that cause skin flushing, such as exercise and sauna bathing
- Resuming your usual skincare regimen without clearance from your dermatologist
- Taking medications that may interfere with the healing process, e. g. steroids, unless medically necessary
- Applying makeup when the skin is still inflamed and highly irritable. Skip cosmetics for a day or two if you develop significant inflammation after the procedure. Mineral makeup is preferred.
Faithful adherence to the aftercare regimen helps ensure the best results from your Vbeam laser treatment.
How Many Vbeam Treatments Do You Need to See Results?
Each patient’s requirements are different. Most people need multiple treatments, usually 3-5 spaced 4-8 weeks apart, although some may respond after only 1-2 sessions. The number of treatments varies depending on the problem’s severity and the individual’s response to the therapy.
You may see significant improvement 4-6 weeks after a session. Your dermatologist will assess the need for another treatment during this time. The results of pulsed dye laser treatment are permanent. However, conditions with persistent triggers, such as rosacea, sun damage, and acne scarring, can recur, needing repeat treatments.
As always, getting excellent cosmetic outcomes rests on your choice of skincare professional. Vbeam laser therapy is suitable for a wide range of skin disorders. But misdiagnosis and complications can easily occur in the wrong hands. Only a highly trained dermatologist can guarantee the best treatment results.
Vbeam therapy uses non-ablative laser energy to improve various skin disorders. It is indicated for vascular lesion treatment, acne scar removal, skin rejuvenation and many others. It is generally safe and effective, but it is not for every skin type.
Most patients do not require anesthesia. However, children and people with large lesions are better off with some form of pain management. Recovery from the procedure is quick, but you can help ensure its success by strictly following your doctor’s pretreatment and posttreatment advice. To guarantee the best cosmetic outcomes, choose only a highly skilled skincare professional to perform your Vbeam laser treatment.
Let LA’s Award-Winning Dermatologists Zap Away Your Skin Imperfections
Facial redness from rosacea, broken blood vessels and similar skin conditions can conceal your natural beauty. Worse, it can make you look tired or unhealthy. Good thing there’s laser technology to get rid of skin flushing.
At BHSkin Dermatology, our board-certified skincare experts are some of the best laser treatment providers in LA. Visit us at our Glendale or Encino clinic or consult remotely through our virtual portal so they can examine you right away.
For any skin concern, trust only your doctors at BHSkin Dermatology. Book your appointment today!
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