WHAT IS IT?
Vbeam (Candela) is an oldie but goldie in the world of lasers. Vbeam is a brand of pulsed-dye laser (PDL) and is often referred to as a vascular laser because it is excellent at treating issues related to the body’s network of blood vessels, such as broken capillaries, rosacea, port wine stains, spider veins, strawberry hemangiomas, and poikiloderma. It can also target superficial pigmentation discolorations such as freckles and sunspots, and a variety of other concerns like stretch marks, acne scars, psoriasis, warts, and wrinkles. Vbeam can also be used to speed up the healing of any post-treatment bruising caused by other cosmetic or surgical procedures.
Vbeam uses a dye to generate different colors of laser beams, which are delivered in pulses. The color of light used is determined by the target. For example, a yellow light is specifically absorbed by blood vessels in the dermis, causing them to collapse without damaging surrounding skin cells. The collapsed vessels are then reabsorbed and eliminated by the body during the natural healing process. The Vbeam laser can be programmed to emit different colors of light to zap different targets, from blotches of redness to dark spots, causing them to break down and get naturally flushed out.
“Vbeam is a great laser for targeting large blood vessels (1mm and above) and individual spots, but it is less user friendly on covering larger areas,” explains dermatologist Robyn Gmyrek, whose practice is in the prestigious Columbia University Skin and Laser Center in New York City. If you have very small blood vessels and brown discoloration from sun damage diffusely in an area like your face, chest, arms, or back, then you may want to consider Photorejuvenation (IPL) instead.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Vbeam works very well on pale skin and moderately well on olive skin. It isn’t used on darker skin tones because the transmission of the wavelength is blocked by melanin (pigment) in pigment-rich skin. Individuals with darker skin types should consider chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser resurfacing to improve skin texture and tone.
Vbeam is safe for all skin types and gentle enough to treat vascular abnormalities on infants.
Vbeam is not appropriate for pregnant women or patients who have taken Accutane for the past six months. Persons with a history of cold sores or herpes simplex virus shouldn’t have this procedure until they are pre-treated for these conditions. Certain medications, particularly blood thinners, may increase the risk of side effects, so it is very important to talk to a trusted doctor about your medical history.
WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT FEEL LIKE?
Typically, there is mild to no discomfort associated with Vbeam, but more intensive treatments on sensitive areas might call for topical or local anesthetic.
Protective eyewear is worn by both you and the doctor during this treatment. The Vbeam has a built-in Integrated Dynamic Cooling Device that sprays a cold (cryogen) mist across the skin, eliminating any discomfort beyond a warm, tingling sensation while the doctor glides it across your skin.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
15 minutes to 2 hours depending on surface area being treated.
ARE THERE IMMEDIATE SIDE EFFECTS?
The darker your skin, the greater the risk of pigmentation, so tread with caution.
Immediately after treatment, skin feels warm, red, and slightly swollen, similar to having a mild sunburn, which should subside within a few hours to a week. There may also be some mild bruising (purpura) at the treatment site, which usually fades within the first 3 days.
WHAT ARE ANTICIPATED RESULTS?
Vbeam reduces redness and other vascular issues to impart a youthful, healthy, and even-toned complexion. Results are usually visible immediately following treatment, but because Vbeam can treat a range of conditions, the extent of improvement and healing time varies on your issues. For example, red veins respond to treatment more favorably than blue veins. Also, pigmentation areas may appear darker for up to a week after treatment until new spot-free skin surfaces.
RECOMMENDED COURSE FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS?
Dramatic and permanent results can be achieved with only a single treatment. However, a series of Vbeam treatments may be required for ideal and lasting results depending on the area of concern.
This is a highly subjective treatment in that it may take more treatments to eliminate a port wine birthmark than it will to clear minor sun spots, so it is best to consult with a trusted cosmetic doctor who specializes in Vbeam to determine the best course of action.
WHO SHOULD GIVE ME THIS TREATMENT?
You should only visit an actively board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). Plastic Surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Both of those boards are part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. Consult the Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider directory to find a doctor who meets these standards and specializes in this treatment. For more information about how we choose our providers, please read Credentials We Abide By.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$250 to $700 depending on areas treated.
Vbeam is one of the best options to treat redness and other vascular issues, and offers an added bonus as a wrinkle reducer. But for wrinkles alone, a treatment like Fraxel is still the way to go.
Vbeam is one of the best ways to treat fresh scars that are still pink, such as post-pregnancy stretch marks.
Always be very gentle to your skin, but definitely add a little more tenderness a few weeks after treatment…avoid products with harsh chemicals, scrubs, and masks, and load up on a hefty dose of sunscreen for added protection.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers