What are port wine stains?
A port wine stain is a red or purple mark, usually on the face, that is caused by a localised area of abnormal blood vessels (capillaries). As port wine stains usually occur on the face and can be quite prominent, they often affect the confidence of sufferers.
How can it be treated?
The pigmented areas of the port wine stain(s) on the face or neck are usually difficult to camouflage using makeup and this is not a permanent solution. The Vasculight technology system using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is designed to deliver high energy pulses with variable duration and velocity to destroy the stain. The rapid absorption of the light energy causes the melanin (pigment in the skin) to be destroyed. This dilutes the concentration of melanin in the skin, causing the skin to appear uniform in colour and texture. The large spot size capability of the Vasculight allows a larger area to be treated quickly and successfully.
How many treatments do I need?
The number of treatments depends on the size and severity of the port wine stain. The high specification of the Vasculight system means that we are able to keep the number of treatments to a minimum compared to inferior machines. On average, patients will need three treatments spaced around four weeks apart, but individual treatment plans will be discussed at consultation.
Will it hurt?
The treatment does not hurt although some patients do notice some slight discomfort that’s similar to a sting or the snap of an elastic band. There is no downtime following the treatment so patients will be able to resume their normal daily activity immediately. Some patients may experience some redness following the Vasculight: this will subside within a few hours and can be covered using makeup.
When will I see the results?
You should see a noticeable improvement after the first treatment and, with repeated treatments, you will see increasingly reduced visibility of the port wine stain. At the consultation the nurse practitioner will discuss expected treatment times and results with you.