Treating Spider Veins and Dark Skin Spots (Hyperpigmentation)
Cutting-edge laser technology has already revolutionized semi-permanent hair removal, but at Vitality Health, that’s just the beginning. In addition to vanquishing unwanted hair, our team is using the advanced Cutera Excel HR laser to treat spider veins and skin discoloration, often with life-changing results. How does it work? We’re so glad you asked…
The Lowdown on Laser Technology
If the invention of laser hair removal was a small step for man (and woman) kind, the Cutera Excel HR is nothing short of a giant leap. The effectiveness of previous lasers was uneven at best. Lasers target pigment; the less pigment skin or hair has, the harder it was for “old school” lasers to do their job. This inability to adequately read and react to light-colored hair and darker skin often meant patchy hair removal and unpredictable regrowth. The new Cutera (the newest of its kind on the market) changes all of that. Studies have repeatedly shown that the Cutera Excel HR is less painful for patients while also producing superior results on all skin types and hair colors.
Like any medical procedure, laser treatment is only as safe and effective as the person administering it. While some unscrupulous facilities allow unqualified and inexperienced personnel to perform laser treatments, at Vitality Health that is never the case. Our lasers are always operated by one of our expertly trained and continuously educated nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or physicians, ensuring the best possible results.
Revolutionizing Spider Vein Therapy
For many people, spider veins are a fact of life. Much like frown lines and gray hair, spider veins can emerge as you age, but spending prolonged periods of time either sitting or standing can also put you at risk. People whose professions require hours upon hours of sitting or standing (think nurses, office workers, cashiers, salon employees, teachers, and restaurant workers) are especially prone to developing varicose veins or spider veins, but they can also emerge due to pregnancy, hormonal changes, from lifting heavy items, or simply because they run in the family.
What are Spider Veins?
There are small networks of blood vessels just underneath the skin that generally remain invisible to the naked eye. When those veins are under stress, either internally or from external sources, they can swell and dilate, turning purple or red and webbing out like a starburst or, as the name suggest, like spider legs across the surface of the skin. They frequently appear on the face and legs, as well as the hands and chest, and these highly visible locations can have a devastating impact on the sufferer’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
Varicose veins are a bit of a different story. The bigger, bluer cousin to spider veins, these veins are further away from the skin’s surface and are also larger in size. Unlike thin spider veins, varicose veins look like bulging, twisted rope, and can be so swollen that they push at and distort the skin’s surface. Varicose veins aren’t much fun to look at, but more importantly they can also be quite painful. Left alone, these weakened and strained blood vessels have the potential to develop into more serious medical conditions such as thromboses or even a venous ulcer.
Treating Spider Veins
In the past, there were several prominent ways to tackle the issue of spider veins. One of the most common is sclerotherapy. For nearly a century, physicians have been treating damaged veins by injecting them with a special saline or chemical solution, causing them to collapse, dissolve, and eventually be reabsorbed. Another technique, primarily used for deeper, larger veins, is called vein stripping. This requires an incision through which damaged veins are excised and removed. Do these techniques work? Sure, sometimes, and for some people, but there are also problems. Patients may react to the chemicals used in sclerotherapy (or not react, as in the injections fail to produce results) and experience bruising or pain, and teeny tiny spider veins are very tricky to inject. After sclerotherapy, patients must wear restrictive compression stockings for several weeks, which is both cumbersome and uncomfortable. Vein stripping, on the other hand, is invasive, painful, not indicated for shallow spider veins, and requires downtime that may interfere with your work schedule or personal responsibilities.
Then there’s laser therapy. Laser therapy is quite simply the gold standard when it comes to combating spider veins. These blood vessels have already been compromised and are no longer beneficial to your circulatory system – in fact, quite the contrary – so by eliminating them, you’re helping to restore and normalize your body’s blood flow. We use our laser to focus an intense beam of light on the damaged vein, breaking it up into microscopic pieces that your body can absorb and dispose of naturally. This technique is so precise that the only tissue affected is the tissue we target. For this reason, there is no required downtown post treatment and very little discomfort. In fact, our primary recommendation regarding preparation is that you dust off your short-sleeved shirts and summer dresses because you’ll be wearing them with renewed pride in as little as 2-6 weeks.
Your wellness is a comprehensive concept; if we can improve your health while also boosting your confidence, the benefits are quite simply exponential.
How to Handle Hyperpigmentation
Your skin gets its color from the presence of pigments. Occasionally these pigments are produced in excess or deposited unevenly, resulting in patches of skin that are overly dark, or hyperpigmented. Whereas once upon a time self-conscious patients sought out bleaching creams or subjected their skin to harsh chemical peels or painful microdermabrasion sessions, the answer to hyperpigmentation today lies in laser therapy.
Treating Hyperpigmentation with Laser Therapy
One of the many benefits of the new technology embodied by the Cutera Excel HR is the ability to distinguish between skin pigments like never before. Our experienced practitioners focus the laser’s thin beam of light onto the affected tissue, where it is absorbed into the skin’s melanin. The more melanin the skin contains the darker it is and the more light it will absorb. That absorbed energy causes the melanin to break down and dissipate, creating lighter, brighter, and more consistently complected skin. You may see changes in just one treatment, although full restoration of you natural pigment may require several visits over the course of a few months. There may be some bruising or redness, but the side effects are temporary – the feeling of happiness you’ll get upon seeing your “old self” is, however, very long lasting.
Laser therapy can also help people with common skin conditions like seborrheic keratosis, which results in benign skin growths, and lentigines, otherwise known as age or liver spots.