How does it work
Although zapping your face and body with laser beams may all sound a tad science fictiony, it's described as a totally safe and sound process. The lasers used produce high intensity rays of powerful yellow light that’s absorbed by the red colour in the veins. As the light is soaked up by the skin, it turns into heat which effectively cooks the vein in question. The heat also closes off the lining to the blood vessel, causing the walls of the vessels to seal. The vein is then gradually absorbed by the body and disappears. And because the flash of light is so short, the heat doesn’t have time to spread to surrounding areas, so only effects the specific vein in question.
Despite the process being non-invasive, the area you’re having treated will usually be lightly anaesthetised with cream and you’ll be asked to wear goggles– not to protect your eyes from flying debris, but because the shots of light are so intense, they could seriously damage your eyes. Your therapist will also be wearing goggles so you won’t be the only one imitating a welder.
When the laser hits the skin, the sensation is described as being similar to an elastic band being snapped on the skin – not pleasant but not painful. Depending on the type of problem being treated the procedure can take from 30 to 60 minutes and the number of repeat treatments will also vary according to your condition, although leg veins may need more sessions than facial ones.
After your veins have felt the force of the light sabre, sorry – laser, the area might feel hot and appear red but this will quickly fade. Some people also experience some minor bruising and tenderness but often a few test shots will be tried so your therapist can assess the correct power level for you and avoid causing you any major side effects.
Is it for me?
Most regularly used by people who suffer with thread veins on the face and body this treatment can be used to treat port wine stains, rosacea and birthmarks as well as warts, scars, stretch marks and some tattoos.
If you’re especially sensitive to light or have any skin infections, the treatment will not be administered and similarly if you have a suntan this one’s a no-go as the pigment in your skin will block the laser beam. It also means this treatment is unsuitable if you have dark skin as the pigment will be removed by the laser leaving white patches in its place.
Good to know
Even though thread veins can be removed, it doesn’t mean that they’re gone forever and there’s a possibility new veins will grow in. For optimum results, make sure you always apply sunscreen on the treated area and avoid over exposure in the sun.