Capillary or spider vein removal on the face is performed with one of our vascular lasers laser or with one of our IPLs
Patient is to arrive with no makeup and no history of use of self tan/ spray tan for at least 2 weeks
The doctor will take a history
A. skin type and tanning
B. previous treatments and their success, complications etc
C. discussion of desired outcome
D. Assess risk of PIH
Doctor will examine the patient
Typically if the patient is Fitzpatrick 1-2 (fair skinned) then they can go ahead with the treatment on the day. Patients who are Fitzpatrick 3 may also be able to go ahead with the treatment on the day. If the patient is darker skin toned or at risk for PIH (Post inflammatory Pigmentation) then they may be advised to use topical lightening agents for several weeks prior to treatment. These topical agents are sold at our clinic.
Photographs will be taken
There is opportunity to ask the doctor questions about the procedure
Consent form will be given to the patient with a discussion of risks, benefits, pros and cons of the treatment. If the patient signs the consent form, the procedure will go ahead.
With spider veins, 1- 3 treatments are required, minimum of 3 weeks apart. This will usually improve the capillaries by about 80%.
The appointment is 30 minutes, but capillary removal on the face will take about 15 minutes in total.
The patient will lay on the treatment bed
All makeup will be cleansed off the face.
Goggles will be worn by the patient to protect the eyes
The procedure is relatively painless, and most patients tolerate it very well. I do not like to use topical anaesthetic when removing capillaries because it will shrink the veins
Immediately after the treatment
The patient will feel a small sunburn-like feeling over the face.
The face will be red and may have raised areas where the laser was used
It is fine to apply sunscreen or makeup immediately after the treatment.
At home care after laser treatment
The sunburn-like feeling may last several hours and then nearly disappear. It will commonly be brought on again by showering.
On the drive home, it is great to have your car air-con nice and high.
Sun should be avoided. Be aware that while driving one is exposed to the sun
Sunscreen should be applied every morning and reapplied as often as recommended
A hat should be worn.
Soothing gel may be purchased from the clinic and used twice daily.
Do not use acid or antiaging face products for 2 weeks after treatment.
Rarely on the morning after capillary removal, the patient will wake up to a swollen face, particularly in the eye area. This usually resolves in the first 48 hours
If you are at risk of PIH, the doctor will have given you instructions to buy some corticosteroid from the chemist to reduce the inflammation and lower your risk of PIH. This should be used for 7 days, twice daily. You should start your lightening agent again at day 7 unless advised otherwise by your doctor
What should you expect to see on your skin after spider vein treatment?
The redness will improve in the next few hours-days after the treatment.
The capillaries may disappear immediately after treatment or fine, vein-like “scabs” may appear and then lift off or crumble away. Do not pick the skin
The results will be complete by 3 weeks
Treatment 2 will be at a minimum of 3 weeks after treatment 1.
Treatment 2 will proceed exactly as treatment 1, except a higher power may be used.
Treatment 3 will be at a minimum of 3 weeks after treatment 2.
Treatment 3 will proceed exactly as treatment 2, except a higher power may be used..
Facial Redness: nearly always occurs, should resolve within a few days
Facial Swelling:. This should resolve within the week.
PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) ie the laser can cause areas of brown pigmentation due to inflammation and the patient’s susceptibility to this. It is less common in the lighter skin tones.
Patients who are at risk for this are treated very differently to those who aren’t. Prevention is important, ie prelightening is important, and steroids may be necessary after the treatment.
Blistering: This is very uncommon. If this occurs, the patient needs to call the doctor urgently
Infection: The patient may notice a combination of the following: redness, tenderness, swelling, pain and pus. This needs to be treated urgently. The doctor must be contacted immediately
Hypopigmentation/scarring: This is very uncommon, but possible if too high powers are used.
Recurrence of capillaries after removal: This will always occur with patients who are prone to capillaries. We recommend a top up treatment at least every 1-2 years.