When it comes to visible veins, rosacea, freckles, brown spots, acne scars and other skin pigmentation concerns, nothing beats the excel® V. It is an upgrade to our former VBeam®, pulsed-dye laser (PDL), which has traditionally been the standard for skin colour problems. While both give about the same results for colour corrections, the excel® V has the added advantage of a newer technology that comes with fewer components, faster treatment time, better skin response, and less risk for patient safety.
The excel® V is the latest laser by Cutera for treating vascular lesions and other skin conditions. Cutera is a highly regarded brand in the cosmetic laser industry, and we have been using their products for well over 15 years. We’ve also been updating our technology at our laser clinic, as they update theirs.
What is there to love about this skin pigmentation laser?
This laser provides a comprehensive, all-in-one solution to multiple skin pigmentation or skin smoothing issues. It can help to reduce 20 variations in redness, purples, browns and blues in abnormal skin tones. It does skin revitalization on warts, skin tags and scars.
It does all this by offering the ability for very precise treatments, with two wavelength options, so that practitioners don’t need to affect the skin anymore than necessary.
The Nd:YAG beam (1064nm) on this laser has a longer reach, making it more effective at treating skin issues faster, in fewer treatments because of the depth it can penetrate in the skin. The 532 nm KTP beam is better at absorbing red hues than a 595 nm pulsed-dye laser.
It also comes with a cooling surface that touches the skin during treatment, to reduce pain.
This laser has been proven to be just as effective, if not better than a 595 nm pulsed-dye laser for face redness. And, it is said to cause less bruising than the Vbeam Pefecta (a pulsed-dye laser).
What can excel® V be used for?
At our laser and skincare clinic in Surrey (outside Vancouver, B.C.), we use this laser as our top-of-the-line solution for most skin pigmentation issues. This includes medical cases, as well as simply cosmetic treatments that are otherwise not harmful and have no other symptoms. A list of common skin discolouration conditions the laser can treat includes:
- Angiomas (also known as Campbell De Morgan spots, or ‘cherry angiomas’)
- Port wine stains (PWS, or ‘firemarks.’ Scientific name: nevus flammeus)*
- Venous lakes
- Facial veins
- Legs veins
- Telangiectasia (‘spider veins’)
- Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)
- Age spots and brown spots
- Poikiloderma of Civatte*
- Acne scars
- Other uneven skin tone issues
*These treatments can also be done on minors who suffer from these conditions. Please ask for details.
It can also be used for non-pigmentation beauty issues such as:
- Scar reduction
- Skin tags
However, we also have other lasers in the office that can be great for treating these other skin issues.
How does the excel® V work to correct redness, veins and pigmentation on the skin?
This laser is actually two lasers in one. In one handpiece, it offers both a 1064 nm Nd:YAG wavelength for deep skin revitalization, or a 532 nm wavelength for surface-level pigmentations like rosacea and red or purple veins. Each wavelength is designed to be absorbed more heavily by certain types of pigmentation or skin issues.
As the pigments absorb the laser light waves, they begin to solidify from their liquid state (coagulate). In this new state, they can not maintain their stronghold in the skin, which is what causes the visible veins and lesions. So, they dissipate as their molecular parts are absorbed by the body.
During a treatment session, we will first use a numbing cream, if your condition requires it. A laser handpiece that is about 12 mm in diameter will be glided across your affected skin areas. The laser uses what’s called spot treatments. The practitioner will decide the size of each spot to be lasered in a single pulse, which will be millimetres in length.
With each pulse, a flash of light will appear (you will be wearing protective eye gear). However, the direction of the light will be towards the skin, where the laser wavelengths are meant to be absorbed.
Depending on what is being treated, the handpiece may be either a CoolView™ (for treating abnormal skin pigments), or a Genesis V™ (for skin revitalization, like wrinkle treatments). The handpiece isn’t very important for you to know, however. What is important is that the practitioner is aware of which one will deliver the right results for your case, and how to use each one safely.
There is no anesthetic required for this treatment. It is not very painful. The cooling effects of the sapphire tip on the handpiece are usually enough to keep patients comfortable.
Depending on the area being treated, a single session can last between 45 – 60 minutes.
How many treatments does the excel® V take to achieve permanent skin tone correction?
Depending on what is being treated, and the depth of lesions, the number of treatment sessions can vary. In some cases, people are satisfied with results after only 1 treatment. Usually patients need up to 4 treatments, with more serious cases requiring 6 or 7 sessions.
Treatments are scheduled 4 weeks apart. Though, this can change depending on our recommendations after your first consultation with us.
Is there downtime with excel® V for pigmentation correction? What about side effects?
Again, this will depend on the depth that the laser needs to reach inside your skin, to be able to heal the red tones or lesions. If it is a superficial treatment for redness, there can be very little downtime. To remove deeper pigmentation issues, there can be swelling after treatments. However, makeup can be used to cover this up, if desired.
Before your treatment sessions begin, we will ask you to come in for a consultation. During this time, we will let you know in more detail what type of after effects we think there will be for your particular case.
It is highly unlikely that excel® V will create any other long-term side effects.
During treatment, you may feel a burning sensation, as it does use heat. However, this is usually well-tolerated by most patients.
What is the cost of pigmentation removal with excel® V at your skin clinic? Will MSP cover my condition?
Since every case of redness, rosacea or pigmentation we deal with will be unique in size and severity, we can’t say that there will be one price point for everyone. We do require that you come in for an in-person consultation. This will allow us to give you a better estimate of what we think it will take to treat your condition.
However, to give you a rough, general figure, we can say that pricing for redness removal on the skin can start at $350 for one treatment, and go up to $2000 for a full solution package. During your consultation, we’ll be able to offer you a customized pricing package. This will be useful since, when it comes to pigmentation issues, some cases may require a mix with other lasers, which can come with different pricing.
Please note that consultations do come with fees, however these can be credited towards treatments at our clinic.
Unfortunately, at present, the medical cases that can benefit from an excel® V treatment are not covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) in the province of B.C. We do advise that you check with any other insurance provider to see if they will cover treatment.