Patients frequently seek treatment of cutaneous vascular lesions for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Advances in the use of lasers and light sources enable physicians to effectively treat vascular lesions that were previously untreatable.
Vascular lesions such as birthmarks, hemangiomas, rosacea and broken capillaries arise from a wide range of natural and environmental sources including photodamage, genetic makeup, and the natural aging process. They can vary in size, shape, and prevalence in a given area.Port wine stains (PWS) are a type of vascular lesion involving the superficial capillaries of the skin. At birth, the lesions typically appear as flat, faint, pink macules. With increasing age, they darken and become raised, red-to-purple nodules and papules in adults. Congenital hemangiomas are benign vascular tumors that appear at or shortly after birth. Lasers are used to treat both PWS and hemangiomas.
The Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) was developed specifically for the treatment of cutaneous vascular lesions. The goals of PDL therapy are to remove, lighten, reduce in size, or cause regression of the lesions in order to relieve symptoms and alleviate or prevent medical or psychological complications. Depending on the lesion and its location, the treatments may be done with or without anesthesia. Multiple treatments are often required.To successfully treat these one must carefully apply energy to break up coagulated blood but spare surrounding tissue. Laser energy penetrates skin, targets blood and eliminates blood and shrinks vessel. This can be more or less difficult depending on each patient’s individual characteristics such as skin color or the presence of other competing discolorations. Understandably, treatment of darker skin is more challenging due to the higher concentration of melanin in the skin as a competing coloration; in those cases treatment may be too painful or cause burning.
Dr. Hochman has extensive experience in the management of vascular birthmarks and other lesions and has continually led the field of treatment and procedures.
To learn more about vascular malformations, visit our website: www.hemangiomatreatment.com