Pulsed dye laser treatment is a simple procedure, effective at lessening the appearance of capillary skin markings such as port wine stains. The procedure can also be an effective treatment option for other types of skin markings such as spider veins, rosacea, stretch marks and genital warts. Pulsed dye laser treatment is performed by a licensed and trained professional, usually a dermatologist.
The procedure takes place in an outpatient clinic and there is no recovery period involved. If necessary or requested, a topical anesthetic will be applied to the treatment area for pain relief. A laser is directed at the skin, which transmits a yellow light. The laser converts the light into heat, which will destroy the blood vessels causing the red discoloration of the skin. Some pain and bruising may be associated with pulsed dye laser treatment, but risks and complications are generally rare.
The process takes approximately half an hour and though some conditions can be completely treated with one session, most skin markings will need to have more than one treatment session for maximum results. Darker skin markings, such as port wine stains, will likely require at least three sessions for the full benefit. Following treatment, it is important to wear a quality sunscreen to prevent sunburn or damage to the skin from UV rays.