Facial Vein Laser

Thank you for the wonderful service that was provided to me yesterday by all the staff at York Laser Clinic. I was nervous and everyone was so knowledgeable and caring - it really put me at ease. I will definitely be coming back to you for any future treatments I may choose to have and feel confident referring your clinic to any friends or family who are interested in having any cosmetic procedures done. :)
JM, 29*

This has changed my self-esteem. My confidence is improved. Skin not only looks better, it feels better.
MH, 25, Newmarket*

Love the results of spider veins and red spot removal.
MM, 52, Mt. Albert*

I had no problems whatsoever and am very pleased. My friend had a red spot on her neck which is completely gone after one visit.
DP, 52, Aurora*

I was very happy with my treatment. I was told I may need two treatments, but I was very happy with the first.
SS, 43, Pefferlaw*

*Results may vary.

facial vein laser treatment

This is a spider nevus before and immediately after laser treatment. In a week or two there will be nothing at all to see.*

spider veins laser treatment
facial vein treatment

This venous lake of her lower lip was treated once with our Coolglide laser.*

facial vein laser treatment before and after
varicose veins laser treatment

He has rhinophyma (a subset of rosacea). The blood vessels cause continued growth of the nose. Reducing the blood vessels slows this growth.*

laser treatment for nose
laser spider vein treatment

Another spider nevus*

laser spider vein removal
laser vein treatment face

Laser for facial veins. The second photo is one month after one treatment. We are about to do a second treatment.*

best treatment for facial veins
laser treatment for facial vein

She has rosacea. The second photo is one month after one session of laser. We are about to do a session of Intense Pulsed Light to treat the finer veins.*

treating facial vein
*Results may vary.


Questions and Answers


What veins can be treated using lasers?

Facial veins are treated using laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) or a combination of the two.

Veins that are easily visible to the naked eye are readily treated with our CoolGlide Excel laser. Frequently, only one treatment is required.

Vessels that are barely visible to the naked eye and produce a blushed appearance are best treated with intense pulsed light. Usually one or two treatments are needed. Rarely, three treatments are needed. Rosacea is an example of this type of facial vein.

Spider nevi are small red blood vessels with a central dot and little "legs", giving them the name "spider". They respond well to laser.*

Capillary hemangiomas are the so-called "ruby spots", little red dots that you get anywhere on your skin. If you have one, you likely have dozens. When these spots are larger and raised, they are called cherry angiomas. Dark red ones respond well to laser.* Pink ones don't respond well.

Venous lakes are pools of darker blood, most frequently found on lips. They are often mistaken for moles, because they can be almost black. They respond very well to laser.*

*Results may vary.

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How does laser vein treatment work?

Laser energy is selectively absorbed by hemoglobin, the pigment in blood. This produces a rapid rise in temperature that damages the vessel wall resulting in contraction and scarring of the vein. 

Some vessels are only damaged and do not die. They may go into spasm and be invisible for an hour or two, and then return. These vessels need to be treated again.

Some vessels do not appear to have been damaged initially, but they shrivel and disappear over the next two to three weeks.

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How much does it hurt?

There is no easy answer to this question, since pain perception and tolerance varies greatly from person to person.

Laser treatment of veins results in mild to moderate pain. It feels like hot jolts.

When IPL is used ,treatment is generally well tolerated, producing a brief hot zing.

We use skin cooling to decrease discomfort.

Topical anesthetic creams are available, but they produce constriction of blood vessels, which reduces the efficacy of treatment. These creams are useful for hair removal or IPL pigment treatments, but they cannot be used for vein treatments.

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What are the risks of laser vein treatment?

Laser vein treatment causes mild to moderate pain. This pain is momentary, like a pinprick or the snap of an elastic band. It rarely persists following the treatment.

Mild redness is normal and usually lasts a few hours for IPL and one or two days for laser.

The powerful light of the laser can occasionally cause burning and blistering. Burns are only one to two millimeters in diameter. Most burns heal uneventfully, but burning may lead to scarring like chickenpox or acne scars. 

Skin color changes can occur. This can be increased pigmentation (melanin and/or hemosiderin) or decreased pigmentation. Recent exposure to sunlight or tanning booths will increase the risk dramatically when using IPL. This effect is almost always temporary, usually lasting a few weeks to months.

Bruising occasionally complicates laser treatment of veins. Generally, these bruises resolve in one week or so.

Occasionally people develop a light-induced rash (photodermatitis), which can be intensely itchy but resolves spontaneously in a few days. It can be treated with cortisone cream.

Since the laser and IPL can also damge hair follicles, you may lose some hair in the treated area.

Goggles must be worn during the procedure to protect your eyes.

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Does laser vein treatment increase my risk for skin cancer?

Absolutely not. The wavelength of light that produces skin cancer is in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum. The CoolGlide laser produces light at the opposite end of the spectrum in the infrared range. It will not cause skin cancer.

Intense pulsed light contains all wavelengths of light, but the short wavelengths in the ultraviolet range are all filtered out.

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Is laser vein treatment permanent?

Veins that are destroyed by the laser will not regenerate. Veins that are only damaged may persist. Some veins are not damaged at all and remain unchanged.

The most common condition we treat is rosacea. Since laser and IPL treatments do not alter the underlying condition, new vessels will develop. Facial vein treatments for rosacea are commonly repeated every two years or so, but this is highly variable.

The goal of treatment is improvement, not perfection. Your expectations must be realistic.

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How many treatments will be required?

Most people are satisfied with facial veins treatments after only one or two treatments. Occasionally, three treatments are required. Most commonly, a single session is required combining laser for the larger vessels followed by IPL for the smaller vessels.*

*Results may vary.

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What skin colors can be treated?

The CoolGlide laser is very safe for all skin types when we are doing laser hair removal. But the higher energy used for vein treatments may not be tolerated by darker skinned people. Blacks and East Indians may be too pigmented to treat safely. A small test patch in a less visible area is recommended.

IPL is only safe in lighter skin types.  

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Should I avoid tanning prior to treatment?

The darker your skin color, the more dangerous the laser is to your skin. This is because melanin in the skin absorbs the laser light and heats the skin.

In most cases, a bit of suntan is not significant. However, for certain individuals, this little bit of tan may put your skin over the threshold for burning or pigment changes when treating veins.

Therefore, it is preferable, but not absolutely necessary, to treat untanned skin.

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How long do treatments take?

Laser or IPL treatment of the face usually take 15-20 minutes. Usually 60 to 120 laser pulses are required. IPL uses a larger spot size, so the same area might require about 20 pulses.

Small areas the size of a loonie can be treated in a few minutes with 10-20 laser pulses.

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At what intervals are treatments repeated?

Over a period of six weeks or so, veins that did not seem to respond to treatment may fade and disappear. Therefore, we recommend waiting four to six weeks for maximum benefit to become evident, before deciding on further treatment.

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What can be done to minimize discomfort?

It is perfectly reasonable to take Tylenol with or without codeine prior to treatment. Aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen (and any other anti-inflammatory medication) should be avoided because they may contribute to bruising.

Topical anesthetic creams are available, but they produce constriction of blood vessels, which reduces the success of treatment. These creams are useful when we are doing hair removal, but they cannot be used for vein treatments.

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What can I expect following treatment?

The ultimate goal is for you to achieve instantaneous results and leave the office free of visible veins. This is possible with some veins, but most commonly the treated veins take two or three weeks to disappear. You might look worse before you look better, because some injured veins take on an inflamed angry look as the body breaks them down.

Redness always occurs and may persist for two or three days.

Treatment of facial veins is very unlikely to produce any adverse reaction such as swelling, bruising, and blistering. Makeup will easily cover most adverse skin reactions that occur. This is in contrast to laser treatments in the early days, when swelling , blistering, and bruising were considered normal and were evident for two or three weeks following treatment.

Tiny blood clots may form inside the vessel leaving a blue streak. You can see a few little blue spots in the last photo above, which was taken immediately following a laser treatment. These clots are harmless and will disappear over two weeks or so along with the vein.

Burning and blistering rarely occur. In most cases these burns are only one or two millimeters in diameter and heal uneventfully. If a scar forms, it will have the appearance of an acne or chickenpox scar.

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What are my restrictions after treatment?

You should avoid exposure to the sun and use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for about five days following laser treatment and two weeks following IPL treatment. We have a variety of excellent sunscreens with broad-spectrum coverage of damaging UV-A and UV-B rays.

Avoid hot baths for a few days.

Otherwise, there are no restrictions. You can return to your daily activities immediately.

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Does OHIP cover the cost of laser vein treatments?

No. This treatment is considered to be cosmetic.

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Does extended health insurance cover the cost of laser vein treatments?

Generally speaking, the answer is no, but this depends on your policy. Check with your insurance agent.

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Is laser vein treatment eligible for tax credits?

As of March 2010, medical services that are purely for cosmetic purposes ceased to qualify for the medical tax credit.

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What is your cancellation policy?

We require 48 hours notice for cancellation of your consultation or treatment, in order to fill the appointment time. If sufficient notice is not given, the full value of the treatment to be done may be charged. The minimum charge for a missed appointment or late cancellation is $100 (one hundred dollars).

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