Laser / IPL Thread Vein Removal
Laser and IPL treatments for thread veins
Many of us suffer from those unsightly purply/red thread veins on our legs, but now Laser/IPL provides a very effective treatment for this problem. It has largely replaced sclerotherapy, where needles are inserted into the veins, and an irritant liquid is injected. This can be painful, slow, and can leave staining of the skin. The Laser/IPL system uses no needles, is fast, and has the added advantage of treating the deeper blue veins often visible on pale skin, up to a diameter of 4 millimetres in size.
What is Laser/IPL?
The Laser/IPL system that we currently use has two different light technologies, and is called Quantum, by Lumenis. The IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is often used to treat more superficial smaller cluster of thread veins, on the legs, face and chest, and the Laser arm is used to treat the larger blue veins. However, both types of treatment are often combined, to achieve the best result. The light produced by both sources is concentrated in the target veins, and converted to heat energy, which coagulates the contents of the veins, which causes the temporary darker appearance. This is then absorbed by the body's natural processes, causing the veins to fade, which takes between 2-3 weeks.
What should I expect after treatment?
The veins will darken after treatment, which is normal, and resolves over 2-3 weeks, when an improvement should be seen. Occasionally, when dense areas of veins are treated, there can be some temporary bruising, which resolves in a week or two. In our experience, there is little or no discomfort after treatment, but we always provide clients with an ice pack, to cool any treated areas that may feel warm for an hour or two. We advise clients to avoid very hot conditions, such as saunas/ hot showers/baths for the rest of the day after treatment. It is important to avoid suntan/sunbeds on the treatment area before, during, and for 3-4 weeks after treatments have finished, and to use high SPF factor suncream daily on those areas, if exposed to the sun.
How often do the treatments take place?
Treatments take place at 4 weekly intervals, and usually 3-4 treatments are necessary to achieve optimum results. However, treatments are priced individually, so clients can stop when they feel happy with the results.
Is there anything before treatment that I can do?
Yes! It is very important that the area to be treated is not tanned, and to avoid artificial suntanning cream, unless it can be completely wiped off prior to treatment. This includes avoidance of sunbeds, and preferably using high SPF factor suncream daily and/or covering the area with clothing if possible. If tanned skin is treated with Laser/IPL, the light is absorbed excessively by the surrounding tanned skin, and can lead to complications such as burning/increased/decreased pigmentation. We are very careful not to treat tanned skin for this reason.
What are the advantages of Laser; Nd:YAG technology?
The Laser technology provides multiple synchronized pulsing to selectively heat blood vessels of different sizes and depths. The wavelength of light and pulsing characteristics of the system allow the energy to be virtually invisible to the epidermal melanin, thus protecting the skin and allowing treatment of all skin types and tanned skin. Normally only a few pulses of the laser are required to achieve complete closure and sealing of the vessels. The sapphire cooled Nd: YAG treatment head, available in the IPL Quantum DL increases patient comfort. The spot size of the Nd: YAG head allows accurate targeting of broken vessels, thread veins anywhere on the body including larger telangiectasia, (broken veins) on the face.
How do I find the right Practitioner?
Always ensure that the clinic is registered and approved by the Care Quality Commission. Clinic inspection reports are available to view at www.cqc.org.uk. Ensure that only experienced qualified Doctors and Nurses carry out the treatment.