By Mariah Johnson, M.D.
Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon, Board-Certified Dermatologist
Lasers and medicine go hand in hand nowadays. A day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear about the different uses of lasers in the medical field. The Food and Drug Administration gives examples of how medical lasers are used in cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, refractive eye surgery, and general surgery. They have proved to be effective in treating all kinds of skin issues and concerns, which is why at Bend Dermatology, we would like to spotlight some of the lasers we offer and how we use them to help our patients, starting with the Candela® Vbeam Perfecta®.
What is the Vbeam Perfecta?
The Vbeam Perfecta is a device manufactured by Candela, a leading US-based medical device company that has been around since 1970. This is a pulsed dye laser that targets blood vessels. It works by emitting a 595nm wavelength that is rapidly absorbed by hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. The heat from the red blood cells is transferred to the blood vessel walls, causing them to collapse and/or rupture.
This type of laser has many uses, including treating:
- Telangiectasias – superficial blood vessels or broken capillaries that can be found on the face or nose area
- Spider veins
- Small vascular growths, such as cherry angiomas and hemangiomas
- Vascular birthmarks like port wine stains and salmon patches
- Pink scars
Vbeam Perfecta is a highly effective and safe laser. This makes the treatments beneficial to all types of patients, including children with vascular birthmarks, teenagers or young adults with pink acne scars, and adults with rosacea or cherry angiomas. Side effects are usually minimal, with possible bruising and swelling after treatment.
How to Prepare for Your Treatment
At Bend Dermatology, we will schedule a consultation to first talk about your medical history, what medications you are taking, and what your skin concerns are. Your Provider will also examine the area to be treated. Based on all the above, we will discuss with you the best course of action and what type of results to expect based on your particular situation.
Once you decide to have this treatment performed, we recommend scheduling it during a time when you don’t have to look your “best.” This is because the treatment zones may appear red, puffy, and possibly bruised for 1-2 weeks. You will also need to minimize sun exposure for a few weeks before your appointment. Any other preparation information, if required, will be provided at your consultation visit.
The Day of Your Treatment
Many of our patients ask us if the treatments are painful. An excellent way to describe the experience is that it feels like a “wet rubber band” hitting the skin. For most people, that sensation is tolerable, although a bit uncomfortable. Thankfully, the treatments are generally very quick, plus the Vbeam Perfecta is equipped with a cooling device that makes the treatments more comfortable. You will be provided with eye protection to shield your eyes from the laser’s light. Treatments typically last about 15-30 minutes, depending on the area being treated.
Downtime and Aftercare
Downtime is usually about a week, but it could be shorter or longer depending on factors such as the anatomic location of treatment, the surface area being treated, and whether or not bruising occurs.
You can expect some redness and mild swelling post-treatment, which usually resolves within a couple of days. After treatment, the areas should be iced periodically for 1-2 days. Stay out of the sun and use sunscreen when you do go outside. It is okay to resume gentle skin care (cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreen, etc.) as well as make-up immediately, but avoid using exfoliators or scrubs until your skin has had a chance to recover. Follow any instructions your Provider gives you for your aftercare.
Will I need more than one treatment?
Multiple treatments are usually required to achieve the best outcomes. In general, patients should expect 3-5 treatments, though the number of treatments depends on the circumstances and the type of vascular lesion being treated. Some people will see visible results from the first treatment.
If you are interested in what the Candela Vbeam Perfecta laser can do for you, our highly skilled and experienced Board-Certified Dermatologists, Certified Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, and Certified Advanced Aestheticians are available to help you with any laser questions and skin care concerns. Book a consultation at any of our six locations.
About the Author:
Mariah Johnson, MD – Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon, Board-Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Johnson practices out of our East Bend Mohs & DermaSpa, Redmond, and Klamath Falls locations. Her specialties include Medical Dermatology, Cosmetic Dermatology, and skin cancer treatments. She stays active by hiking, cycling, and yoga and loves spending time with her husband and their two dogs.