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Pulsed Dye Laser: All You Need to Know

Pulsed dye laser is a specialised laser that targets the blood vessels under the skin. This is known as a “vascular laser” or “blood vessel laser”.  Pulsed dye lasers reduce redness, rosacea and inflammation.

How does a pulsed dye laser work?

Pulsed dye laser of 595nm wavelength targets specifically on haemoglobin, which makes blood red in colour. By selectively targeting the haemoglobin, this intense pulse seals up the blood vessels, which instantly reduces redness of the treated area. The laser energy passes through the superficial layers of the skin and targets selectively on blood vessels without affecting the surrounding skin tissue.

This intense energy is extremely safe for the rest of the skin does not absorb as much energy, preventing thermal damage to the skin that results in complications of burns and scarring.

What does pulsed dye laser treat?

By understanding how a pulsed dye laser works, it is not difficult to understand that pulsed day laser is effective in treating red lesions and vascular lesions like

  • Rosacea
  • Telangiectasia (broken blood vessels) on face and legs
  • Red birthmark – e.g. port-wine
  • Red acne marks
  • Stretch marks (red striae)
  • Spider veins on the legs
  • Hypertrophic scars

What’s the price/ cost of pulsed dye laser in Singapore?

The price/cost of pulsed dye laser in Singapore ranges from $250 to $800 per session. The price of pulsed dye laser treatment depends on the number of sessions undertaken, severity of skin condition and type of laser amongst other factors.

How is the pulsed dye laser treatment procedure performed?

Depending on the area of treatment, usually no numbing is required. A protective eye shield is then put on for you. As the 595nm pulsed dye laser is emitted, yellow light is given off. You may perceive the light to be red as your eyes are closed and you see the red light reflected off the blood vessels of the eyelids.

The procedure should be quick and bearable without the need of anaesthesia. Post-care sunblock and moisturisers will be applied.

Is there any downtime for pulsed dye laser?

Mild redness and swelling over the area should resolve within a few hours. The treated area maybe bruised or discoloured when the underlying blood vessels are coagulated. This should resolve in the next 1-3 weeks. Occasionally, there may be minor peeling, crusting and scabbing, which will take about 1-2 weeks to recover.

Review: which is the best pulsed dye laser/ vascular laser?

There are several types of vascular lasers to treat skin redness and inflammation like V Beam, Pico Gold Toning and Excel V. Each laser has its unique characteristics that make it more suitable for certain skin types. 

It is best to consult a doctor face to face for a skin assessment in order to find out which is the best vascular laser for your skin.

What should I do after pulsed dye laser?

Avoiding sun exposure and using sunblock of no lesser than spf50 is required to prevent any sun damage. Applying adequate amount of moisturisers and ointments will help to form a barrier to lock in moisture to help with skin recovery.

Is pulsed dye laser safe for everyone?

Pulsed dye laser is a very safe treatment and is commonly performed on children in treating birthmarks like port-wine stain. However, dark toned skin will be at a higher risk of burns. It will be best that you consult the doctor to discuss the different treatment options available to treat your condition with the minimal risk.

How many treatments of pulsed dye lasers are required?

Depending on the condition we are treating, some conditions may be treated with lesser session than the others. Multiple sessions are usually required. For example, in the treatment of acne marks, it usually take more than 5 sessions to see results. Even when the you have achieved satisfactory results, depending on the type of lesion, recurrence is common and maintenance treatment every 3-4 months is required.

For more information, please consult an expert doctor.

Author

Dr Sau earned her medical degree from the historic University of Glasgow, UK, one of the top medical schools in the world. She also holds Certificates of Competence in Aesthetic Procedures to provide the full complement of treatments available at Sozo.