Laser Q&A

The effects of laser treatments are cumulative, producing progressively more dramatic results with each treatment. Small facial veins, which are easy to target, are often completely eliminated after only 1-2 laser treatments. More complicated and difficult to target are broken capillaries, rosacea and spider veins, which may take 2-3 follow-up treatments, though a dramatic reduction is usually apparent after the initial treatment.

For pigmented lesions, results should become apparent after a few days following the initial laser treatment. For darker and well-defined spots, 1-3 treatments may be needed. Larger pigmented areas, such as melasma or café-au-lait birthmarks, usually show progressive improvement over 3-6 treatments until the desired result is achieved.

HOW MANY LASER TREATMENTS WILL I NEED AND AT WHAT FREQUENCY?

For well-defined facial spider veins, 1-2 laser treatments are typically all that are needed. For rosacea, broken capillaries and pigmented lesions, a series of 4-6 treatments spaced 3-4 weeks apart is standard. Occasionally, more treatments may be required for certain individuals or conditions. Leg spider veins typically require 2-4 treatments. Depending on the underlying medical conditions and lifestyle factors that give rise to lesions, periodic maintenance treatments may be needed for lasting results.

ARE THERE ANY LASER TREATMENT SIDE EFFECTS?

Laser treatments provided by AMA are known to be very safe, with virtually no “downtime” and a very small risk of any permanent unwanted side effects. A bit of moisturizer and the usual makeup will usually have patients back to their normal activities shortly after treatments.

Immediately following a laser procedure, patients will experience some redness and slight swelling of the treated area, usually dissipating within a few hours. In some cases this may last 2-3 days, and occasionally, facial capillaries may turn slightly purple for a few days before completely fading. Treated leg veins often disappear on the first treatment, but may leave a residual reddish shadow or develop a ‘cat scratch’ appearance that typically disappears in 8-12 weeks, or which may simply scab and fall off.

After treatment, pigmented lesions are often darker than before, and will naturally peel for 1-2 weeks. Successive treatments and peeling should dramatically reduce the lesion and usually eliminate it completely. Moisturizer and/or makeup can be applied to the treated area immediately after each procedure, if desired. Additionally, hair growth may be impaired in the treated area, though it is not the intended purpose of any particular treatment.

ARE LASER TREATMENTS PAINFUL?

Most treatments are comfortable. Patients have actually fallen asleep during the SpectraLift™ Non-Surgical Facelift. For facial veins and pigmented lesions, patients report barely feeling anything at all. For leg veins, the sensation varies from a slight tingling to a mild stinging that lasts for a split second depending on how large and how deep the vein is. For hair removal, the sensation is often described as a rubber-band snap, and the degree of discomfort depends on what area is being treated and how dense the hair bed is. Patients unanimously report that laser hair removal is a “piece of cake” compared to waxing. Virtually all patients report that though the sensation may be uncomfortable (if at all) it’s completely tolerable. For patients who are particularly sensitive, we recommend taking extra-strength Tylenol (or any over-the-counter painkiller that doesn’t have blood thinning characteristics) one hour before the treatment.

CAN I HAVE A LASER TREATMENT CONSULTATION?

Comprehensive, one-hour consultations are complimentary, and are available during regular clinic hours. Basic questions are gladly answered over the phone by our trained staff.