BroadBand Light Therapy for Telangiectasia Treatment: Does It Work?

January 6, 2022

Do you have red spots or visible veins on your face? If so, you may have a condition called telangiectasia. Do these marks make you feel self-conscious or reluctant to socialize?

Talk to a Dermatologist about telangiectasia treatment using BroadBand Light therapy. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Telangiectasia?

Veins, arteries, and capillaries carry blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the facial skin. In some individuals, the blood vessels get stuck in a wide-open position. This describes conditions known as telangiectasias.

These open or dilated veins and capillaries are more visible through the skin. You may see individual vessels or a cluster of vessels. While this is usually harmless, it can create undesired marks or discoloration.

The following provides an overview of common telangiectasias conditions.

Rosacea

Rosacea describes an ongoing red appearance of the facial skin. This chronic blood vessel inflammation or swelling may start with short episodes. Over time, this occurs more often until it doesn’t go away.

Experts estimate that over 16 million Americans have rosacea. This is more commonly seen in women, but it’s usually more severe in men.

It can affect people of all ethnicities but has a higher prevalence among those with fair skin. Individuals who blush or flush easily may have a greater risk. Rosacea often runs in families, especially those of eastern or northern European heritage.

Spider Veins

Spider veins occur when the capillaries in your facial skin dilate and may break. This creates visible discolored lines on your face that may look like spider legs.  

There are several causes for this condition:

  • Aging
  • Poor circulation
  • Sun damage: pulls the vessels closer to the skin, especially around the nose
  • Pregnancy due to increased circulating blood and hormonal changes
  • Family genetics
  • Drastic weather changes can affect your blood circulation causing vessels to burst
  • Sudden, extreme pressure changes, such as hard vomiting or sneezing can burst vessels
  • Chemical or environmental pollutants can lead to skin damage and more visible vessels
  • Excess alcohol consumption causes blood vessel dilation and they can break

In some instances, spider veins may disappear over time. If they don’t and they’re bothersome, talk to your doctor.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when the vessels become large and twisted. Many of the conditions that cause varicose veins are the same as with spider veins. This includes:

  • Age
  • Dramatic weather changes
  • Drinking alcohol frequently
  • Genetics
  • Pollutants in the environment or chemical exposure
  • Pregnancy
  • Sudden, extreme pressure changes
  • Sun damage

People who have varicose or spider veins may also have rosacea. Talk with your provider if these marks affect personal relationships and/or self-confidence.

Strawberry Nevus

The common term used for a strawberry nevus or hemangioma is “strawberry mark”. They result from malformed blood cells and vessels close to the skin. This creates a colored and often raised mark that looks different from the rest of the skin.

A strawberry nevus is a noncancerous tumor that occurs most often in children. They may grow larger, but they’re usually not harmful. Many fade without treatment by the age of ten.

If the hemangioma is located on the face, it can impact the child’s self-esteem. They may experience bullying and poor school performance. Some children feel anxious or depressed and can show personality and behavior changes.

These individuals often benefit from counseling as well as dermatologic treatment.

Telangiectasia Treatment

It’s important to understand that there’s no cure for telangiectasia. Many providers now use BroadBand Light (BBL) to treat these conditions.

BBL therapy uses infrared and broad-spectrum visible light. It heats the upper skin layers causing unwanted blood vessels to dry up. Destroying these capillaries causes the discoloration to disappear.

It’s important to understand that this is not the same as laser treatment. This light isn’t as intense and uses a broad spectrum of light. The specificity of BBL improves treatment effectiveness and reduces side effects.

For example, the controlled wavelengths of light can target oxyhemoglobin. When oxygen enters the blood, it combines with the hemoglobin creating oxyhemoglobin. This substance carries oxygen to all parts of the body.

The oxyhemoglobin absorbs the light. it then heats up and damages the lining, or intima, of the vessel. This causes the blood vessel to shrink in size. 

What Is It Like to Have BBL Therapy?

BBL therapy is performed in the dermatologist’s office. You’ll lie comfortably on an exam table or chair. Depending on the size of the treatment area, most sessions last about 30 minutes.

A handheld device delivers the light to specific areas. It gently heats the upper layer of the skin.

The body absorbs the destroyed blood vessels parts in a few weeks. This heat also stimulates the regeneration of new collagen in targeted cells.

You may wonder if this procedure is painful. Most people describe feeling a warm, popping sensation.

Since this is non-invasive, most patients don’t need anesthetics. A numbing agent may be used in sensitive areas.

What to Expect After Each Treatment

You can expect your skin to look red and feel like a light sunburn right after treatment. Some patients also notice some swelling and/or bruising.

For most people, these symptoms clear within a few hours to two days.  The broken capillaries absorb and disappear over the next few weeks to a couple of months.

Each individual will have a personalized plan of care. Most patients only need three to four treatments. Yet, you may need sessions every two to six weeks to get the desired effect.

Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s aftercare instructions. You’ll need to avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen during the healing stage.

Are You Looking for Treatment to Achieve Better Skin?

BroadBand Light therapy offers a successful approach for telangiectasia treatment. Kirsch Dermatology is a boutique dermatology practice led by a Board-Certified Dermatologist. Our mission is to make thoughtful and compassionate care available for everyone.

We offer the highest standard of care to our diverse community in Naples, FL. Our team continuously advances our practice through research and education. This lets us maintain our professional calling to focus on excellent patient-centered care.

Contact our office today for an appointment.