Telangiectasia are small, discolored blood vessels found on the skin of the face, chest and neck.
Similar vessels are found on the legs nicknamed spider veins. The vessels are not necessary for any essential body function. Removing them gives a more pleasing cosmetic appearance.
What causes Telangiectasia? Telangiectasia are created by anything that causes the face to flush or blush. Heredity, accumulated sun damage, acne rosacea (an adult form of acne), hot and spicy food, exercise, emotions, hormones, cortisone medications and some rare skin diseases can cause or contribute to the formations of telangiectasia.
How are Telangiectasia treated? Vascular lasers provide the best treatment for telangiectasia. This intense light is either pulsed on the skin or a beam of yellow-green light is focused on individual vessels. Because telangiectasia are either red, pink or purple, they will absorb more of the laser light than the surrounding normal skin. When the laser light is absorbed, the vessels will shrivel up without damaging the normal skin.
How is the treatment performed? When large patches of telangiectasia are treated, sometimes a test patch is done on a small area of telangiectasia to determine safe and effective settings for your skin type. If the test patch is successful, a more extensive treatment can be done. The pulse of light seals the unwanted vessels.
How soon will I see results? Many telangiectasia are completely removed in one treatment. Several treatment sessions are required to eliminate more extensive and stubborn telangiectasia. Results become apparent immediately in most cases. With some vascular lasers there is sometimes purple discoloration which must fade before the final results can be seen.
Does the laser treatment hurt? The laser treatment causes a brief snapping sensations on the skin with temporary stinging. Laughing gas (nitrous oxide), or preoperative sedatives and pain pills can be given for extensive treatments. Most patients can tolerate the treatments with no medications at all.
What does the area look like after treatment? The treated areas may have temporary redness, or purple discoloration. Blisters may rarely occur following treatment. In rare cases the treated areas may heal with increased or decreased pigmentation (white or brown skin). Scars are possible but occur very rarely. Almost all telangiectasia can be successfully treated. Darkly tanned or pigmented skin is usually not treated with vascular lasers.
Are there any restrictions after treatment? Normal activities can be removed after treatment. The treated areas should be protected from sunlight or tanning until the skin color has returned to normal. Gentle cleansing of the skin and application of an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin Ointment (available without a prescription) should be used if any blistering, crusting or scabbing is seen.
Will the veins come back after treatment? People who have an underlying condition which causes telangiectasia will gradually develop new vessels throughout life especially if they frequently flush or blush. Some causes of telangiectasia are not correctable (inherited fair skin). Sun protection will prevent telangiectasia which result from repeated sun burns. Periodic touch-up treatments every year or so will likely be required to get rid of new telangiectasia. Telangiectasia at the corners of the nose are the most likely to recur because of high pressure vessels feeding this area of the face. Treatment of an underlying condition such as acne rosacea, may prevent new telangiectasia from forming.
Vascular lesions: number of treatment sessions required
Port Wine Hemangiomas: 6-18
Facial Telangiectasia: 3-4
Cherry Angiomas: 2-3
Venous Lake Angioma: 2-3
Poikiloderma (neck – sun induced blotchiness): 3-5