How can I achieve remarkably clear skin with the 532nm VariLite laser?
The team at Jack & Jill Aesthetics takes pride in providing quality treatments, customized to your needs. Therefore, our Nashville, TN practice is equipped with an extensive array of lasers and other technology. The VariLite 532nm is among the most requested skin lesion laser solutions, particularly for facial redness, broken capillaries, and other vascular lesions.
What is the VariLite 532nm?
You might be wondering what 532nm means, and why it is important. The light spectrum is measured in nanometers (nm). Violet light has the shortest wavelength, beginning at less than 400nm. The spectrum progresses through blue, green, yellow, orange, and finally to red, which is often well over 600 nm. Wavelengths from 495nm to 550nm appear green. In the middle of that range, 532nm is considered the purest and most powerful wavelength of green light.
The visible color is just one of many characteristics of individual light wavelengths. In terms of medical treatment, and an even more important factor is the way they interact with specific chemical compounds. Nearly everything absorbs broad-spectrum light to an extent, but that is not the case when it is narrowed to a single wavelength.
Green light specifically targets hemoglobin, a component found in red blood cells and vascular tissues. Yet, it has very little effect on skin cells. Therefore, the 532nm laser can easily target problems such as spider veins without harming nearby tissue of overlying skin.
What are the benefits of VariLite 532nm?
This device is a noninvasive laser, meaning that it does not remove or injure the skin. Instead, targeted energy passes through the epidermis targeting veins and other vascular tissue. Therefore, side effects are minimal and there is no open wound to heal. With a unique combination of power and gentleness, this procedure is safe for most patients.
The benefits include:
- Little to no downtime associated with this procedure
- The precision of laser treatment is able to correct spider veins that are too small for sclerotherapy injections
- Noninvasive treatment is generally preferred over sclerotherapy for facial veins
- Can be used on leg veins, particularly for patients who have an aversion to needles
- Unlike sclerotherapy, laser treatment can address issues such as general redness, port wine stains, birthmarks, and other skin concerns
- This treatment is appropriate for most skin types and colors
What can I expect from the procedure?
As with all procedures, we conduct a preliminary consultation to determine the safest and most appropriate treatment options. The steps of the actual laser procedure include:
- You will need to use protective eyewear, which is provided
- We will use a numbing gel, air cooling system, or both, as needed, to ensure you remain comfortable
- As the laser is applied, you might experience a stinging or snapping sensation, though most patients find it quite tolerable
- The procedure generally takes just minutes, depending on the area treated
- As needed, we may apply a soothing balm, cool pack, or both immediately after the laser
- There may be some lingering redness, inflammation, or soreness, which generally resolves within a few days
Can you explain the difference between a vascular laser and sclerotherapy?
Spider veins have long been treated with sclerotherapy, which utilizes and injectable formula. It is quite effective, and still considered the gold standard treatment for most leg veins. However, it cannot treat all vascular lesions, and in some cases, it is not the first choice.
A sclerosant formula only acts on the vein it is injected into. Small spider veins may be quite visible, but not large enough to inject. Sclerotherapy cannot treat marks such as port wine stains or general redness of the skin. Although those lesions involve vascular tissue, they are not associated with a singular vein that can be targeted.
Like sclerotherapy, vascular laser treatment can target spider veins, causing them to close off and fade away. However, it is not limited specifically to veins of a certain size. This technology can selectively target vascular tissue, including hemangiomas, red blemishes, rosacea symptoms, and more.
Laser treatment is a great option for vascular lesions that are not treatable by sclerotherapy, or when the size and number of veins makes injections impractical. Additionally, because laser treatment is noninvasive, it is usually the preferred method of correcting facial veins.
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What about vascular laser vs. IPL?
Laser therapy is not the only light-based treatment option for vascular lesions. Intense pulsed light (IPL) can also be quite effective, and in some circumstances is a better option. These devices differ from lasers in the spectrum of light they emit. Whereas a vascular laser produces pure 532nm wavelength light, IPL devices work with powerful broad-spectrum light. Device settings and attachments are used to filter IPL to a certain range.
In terms of patient experience, the most significant difference is that IPL treatment is much more subtle, and also more versatile. Because skin receives a wider range of light wavelengths, the procedure can address more types of cosmetic concerns. However, without the concentration of a singular wavelength, it is not as powerful as laser treatment.