Facial Veins and Rosacea Treatment (Laser and IPL)

Our sister company, York Laser and MedSpa has been providing laser treatments for a variety of vein problems since 2002. They can treat rosacea, capillary hemangiomas, venous lakes, spider nevi, and periorbital veins. You can read more below or visit them here.

When you are ready to book an appointment, it's best to call them directly at (905) 726-1126

"Thank you for the wonderful service that was provided to me yesterday by all the staff at York Laser Clinic.  I was nervous and everyone was so knowledgeable and caring - it really put me at ease.  I will definitely be coming back to you for any future treatments I may choose to have and feel confident referring your clinic to any friends or family who are interested in having any cosmetic procedures done."
JM, 29*

"This has changed my self-esteem. My confidence is improved. Skin not only looks better, it feels better."
MH, 25, Newmarket*

"Love the results of spider veins and red spot removal."
MM, 52, Mt. Albert*

"I had no problems whatsoever and am very pleased. My friend had a red spot on her neck which is completely gone after one visit."
DP, 52, Aurora*

"I was very happy with my treatment. I was told I may need two treatments, but I was very happy with the first."
SS, 43, Pefferlaw*

*Results may vary.

laser face treatment

Rosacea: Before and one month later immediately before second and final Nd:YAG laser treatment*

facial vein treatment
nose vein treatment

Spider Nevus: Before and immediately after one Nd:YAG laser treatment. In a week or two there will be nothing at all to see.*

picture of nose vein treatment
spider veins treatment

Spider Nevus:
one Nd:YAG laser treatment*

spider veins removal
best facial vein treatments

Venous Lake: Before and after one Nd:YAG laser treatment *

get rid of varicose veins
spider vein laser treatment

Cherry Angioma: Before and immediately after laser treatment. In a week or two there will be nothing at all to see.*

after spider vein laser treatment
veins on nose treatment

Rosacea: Before and immediately after laser treatment*

best nose vein treatment
facial spider vein treatments

Rosacea: Before and after one treatment with Nd:YAG laser and intense pulsed light.

A second session cleared the rest of her veins.*

facial vein removal
treatments for facial vein

Rosacea: Before and immediately after one treatment. The redness will clear in less than a day. (He didn't need another treatment for six years.)*

facial vein removal treatment

*Results may vary.

Questions and Answers


What veins can be treated using lasers?

Facial veins are treated using laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) or a combination of the two.

Veins that are easily visible to the naked eye are readily treated with our CoolGlide Excel laser. Frequently, only one treatment are required.*

Very fine vessels are best treated with intense pulsed light. Usually one to three treatments are needed.* Rosacea is an example of this type of facial vein.

Spider nevi (see photo above) are small red blood vessels with a central dot and little "legs", giving them the name "spider". They respond well to laser.*

Capillary hemangiomas respond very well to laser.* These are the so-called "ruby spots", little red dots that you get anywhere on your skin. If you have one, you likely have dozens. When these spots are larger and raised, they are called cherry angiomas (see photo above).

Venous lakes are pools of darker blood, most frequently found on lips. They are often mistaken for moles, because they can be almost black. They respond very well to laser.* (see photo above)

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How does laser vein treatment work?

Light is absorbed by dark objects and reflected by light-coloured objects. For example, a black car in the sun gets very hot. A white car doesn't.

In the case of laser treatments, the energy is absorbed by the blood (dark) and reflected by the skin (light-coloured). The hot blood damages the vessel wall resulting in contraction and closure of the vein.* The skin is uninjured because it has reflected most of the energy.

Some vessels are only damaged and do not die. They may go into spasm and be invisible for an hour or two, and then return. These vessels need to be treated again.

Some vessels do not appear to have been damaged initially, but they shrivel and disappear over the next two to three weeks.

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How much does it hurt?

There is no easy answer to this question, since pain perception and tolerance varies greatly from person to person.

Laser shots feel like jolts or pokes or snapping elastic bands. The sensation goes quite deep.

When IPL is used, the shots feel superficially hot, like touching a hot cup of coffee.

Topical anesthetic creams are available, but they produce constriction of blood vessels, which reduces the efficacy of treatment. These creams are useful for hair removal or the treatment of pigmentation, but not for vein treatments.

We use a Zimmer cooler which blows sub-zero air over your skin. This cools the skin to decrease discomfort. It also greatly reduces the risk of injury since the skin temperature is dropped so much that it can't be heated up enough by the laser to cause a burn.

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What are the risks of laser vein treatment?

Laser vein treatment causes mild to moderate pain. This pain is momentary, like a jolt or the snap of an elastic band. It doesn't persist following the treatment. Following IPL, you may feel like you have a sunburn for a few hours.

Mild redness is normal and usually lasts about two days for laser and a few hours for IPL.

The powerful light of the laser can occasionally cause burning and blistering. Burns are only one to two millimeters in diameter. Most burns heal uneventfully, but burning may lead to scarring. Laser scars look like chickenpox or acne scars: small, circular, and slightly indented. They are permanent. Burns are extremely rare because we use a Zimmer cooler that blow sub-zero air across your skin to cool and protect it.

Skin color changes can occur. This can be increased pigmentation or decreased pigmentation. Recent exposure to sunlight or tanning booths will increase the risk dramatically when using IPL. This effect is almost always temporary, usually lasting a few weeks to months. In very rare cases it is permanent.

Bruising occasionally complicates laser treatment of veins. Generally, these bruises resolve in one week or so, but rarely a brownish staining of the skin persists for a few months. This is iron staining.

Occasionally people develop a light-induced rash (photodermatitis), which can be intensely itchy but resolves spontaneously in a few days. It can be treated with cortisone cream.

Goggles must be worn during the procedure to protect the eyes.

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Does laser vein treatment increase my risk for skin cancer?

Absolutely not. The wavelength of light that produces skin cancer is in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum. The CoolGlide laser produces light at the opposite end of the spectrum in the infrared range. It will not cause skin cancer.

Intense pulsed light contains all wavelengths of light, but the short wavelengths in the ultraviolet range are all filtered out.

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Is laser vein treatment permanent?

Veins that are destroyed by the laser will not regenerate. Veins that are only damaged may persist. Some veins are not damaged at all.

In the case of rosacea, since laser and IPL treatments do not alter the underlying condition, new vessels will develop. Rosacea treatments are commonly repeated every two to five years or so, but may require touchups every year or so.

The goal of treatment is improvement, not perfection. Your expectations must be realistic.

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How many treatments will be required?

Facial veins can frequently be treated in only one or two sessions. Occasionally, three or more treatments are required.

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What skin colors can be treated?

Whereas the laser can treat any skin color for hair removal, the high energy used for vein treatments may not tolerated by darker skinned people. Blacks and East Indians may be too pigmented to treat safely. A small test patch in a less visible area might be recommended during your consultation.

IPL is definitely not recommended for darker skinned people.

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Should I avoid tanning prior to treatment?

The darker your skin color, the more dangerous the laser is to your skin. This is because melanin in the skin absorbs the laser light and heats the skin.

In most cases, a bit of suntan is not significant. However, for certain individuals, this little bit of tan may put your skin over the threshold for burning or pigment changes when treating veins.

Therefore, it is preferable, but not absolutely necessary, to treat untanned skin.

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How long do treatments take?

Laser or IPL treatment of the face usually take 10-15 minutes. Usually 60 to 120 laser pulses are required. IPL uses a larger spot size, so the same area might require about 20 to 40 pulses.

Small areas the size of a loonie can be treated in a few minutes with 10-20 laser pulses.

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At what intervals are treatments repeated?

It takes three to four weeks for veins that have been successfully treated to be dissolved by your body. Any remaining veins need further treatment. Therefore, we recommend waiting four to six weeks for maximum benefit to become evident, before deciding on further treatment.

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What can be done to minimize discomfort?

It is perfectly reasonable to take Tylenol with or without codeine prior to treatment. Aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen (and any prescription anti-inflammatories) should be avoided because they may contribute to bruising.

Topical anesthetic creams are available, but they produce constriction of blood vessels, which reduces the success of treatment. These creams are useful for hair removal or treatment of pigmentation, but they are not recommended for vein treatments.

We use a Zimmer cooler which blows sub-zero air across your skin making treatments much more comfortable.

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What can I expect following treatment?

The ultimate goal is for you to achieve instantaneous results and leave the office free of visible veins. This is only possible with some veins. Many veins will take weeks to disappear and they can look worse before they look better.

Redness always occurs and may persist for two or three days.

Treatment of facial veins is unlikely to produce any adverse reaction such as swelling, bruising, and blistering. Makeup will easily cover most adverse skin reactions that occur. This is in contrast to laser treatments in the early days when swelling, blistering, and bruising were considered normal and were evident for two or three weeks following treatment.

Tiny blood clots may form inside the vessel. They usually look like thin blue streaks.Sometimes they will make the vessel appear darker than it was, and you may think that the treatment has not worked. These clots are harmless and will disappear over three weeks or so along with the vein.

Blistering is not considered normal or acceptable. Unfortunately, due to the high levels of energy used for vein treatment, burning and blistering do occur, though rarely. These burns are only a one or two millimeters in diameter and heal uneventfully. If a scar forms, it will have the appearance of an acne or chickenpox scar.

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What are my restrictions after treatment?

You should avoid exposure to the sun and use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for about three days following laser treatment and two weeks following IPL treatment.

We stock a varity of excellent sunscreens with broad-spectrum coverage of UV-A and UV-B rays.

Avoid hot baths, saunas and hot tubs for a few days.

Otherwise, there are no restrictions. You can return to your daily activities immediately.

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Does OHIP cover the cost of laser vein treatments?

No. This treatment is considered to be cosmetic.

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Does extended health insurance cover the cost of laser vein treatments?

Generally speaking, the answer is no, but this depends on your policy. Check with your insurance agent.

If you have one, you can use a Health Spending Account to cover the cost.

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Is laser vein treatment eligible for tax credits?

Probably not. Revenue Canada cracked down on the use of tax credits for cosmetic procedures in 2010. Discuss this with your accountant.

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What is your cancellation policy?

We require 48 hours notice for cancellation of your consultation or treatment, in order to fill the appointment time. If sufficient notice is not given, the full value of the treatment to be done may be charged. The minimum charge for a missed appointment or late cancellation is $100 (one hundred dollars).

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*Results may vary.

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