What is a Pulsed Dye Laser?
Pulsed Dye Lasers deliver an intense but gentle burst of light into selectively targeted areas of the skin. The light is absorbed by specific blood vessels or melanin pigmented areas in the dermis depending on the condition being treated. Factors such as the age, color and type of lesions, as well as the location on the body, all determine whether lesions can be removed.
What does the Pulsed Dye Laser Treat?
The pulsed dye laser is used to treat a variety of vascular or red lesions. Facial veins, hemangiomas, port wine stains, and even redness from stretch marks can be successfully treated.
Does the laser hurt?
No anesthetics are required, but they may be used. The feeling most patients report is a warming or tingling sensation. The skin is also being protected by a cooling method that is emitted before each laser pulse.
How long will it take?
The procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour depending on the areas being treated.
When will the results be noticeable?
The results vary depending on the condition and the number of treatments required for clearance.
What are the risks/side effects?
Some patients experience redness or mild swelling around the treatment area immediately following the treatment which usually goes away in a few hours. Many conditions require settings that cause immediate bruising to the treatment area. The bruising can last 10-14 days. There are typically minimal risks to this laser procedure.
How many treatments does it take?
Everyone’s skin is unique and different issues require a varied amount of treatments. For example a facial blood vessel may require 1-2 treatments while a port wine stain may require more than five.
Is there any pretreatment to the skin?
There is no pretreatment in advance of the laser treatment unless you are advised otherwise. It is advisable to avoid sun exposure before and throughout your treatment. Your skin should be cleaned to remove any makeup before the procedure. A topical anesthetic may be applied if desired.
- If applying topical anesthetic, apply at home 1 hour before arrival.
- Take any prescribed medications, like Valtrex, the morning of the procedure.
Post-Laser Wound care
- Apply ice packs as needed. There will be a sunburn sensation for about an hour after the treatment and potential swelling for a day.
- Use sunblock at all times.
- Use gentle moisturizers and cleansers and avoid retinoids and glycolic acids until the area is healed.
For emergencies at night or during the weekend, call (314) 878-3839, leave a message and the doctor will contact you shortly thereafter.