Technology and Beauty: New Options for Spider Veins, Scarring, Excess Hair and More
Years ago there weren’t many options for spider veins, acne, surgical scars, or were plagued by unwanted hair. But today, technology offers new options and, finally, some solutions to these common cosmetic woes.
Cutting-edge technologies and treatments can help zap or treat scars, irregular veins and unwanted hair, resurface the skin and fade blemishes to improve their appearance, according to physicians at the Brigham and Women’s Vascular and Vein Care Center, which has offices in Newton Corner, West Bridgewater and Foxborough.
At the Vascular and Vein Center physicians use these technologies to treat a host of different conditions including the following:
Spider vein removal
These little red web-like blemishes are a common problem for many Americans. They are triggered by everything from hormones and pregnancy to smoking and temperature changes.
After an okay from a physician that the veins are strictly cosmetic, a board-certified physician at the Vein Care Center can use sclerotherapy and aesthetic laser vein treatments to help erase them from the skin. These treatments are also effective against other types of vein irregularities, including varicose veins-sometimes painful veins that appear gnarled and twisted under the skin and telangiectasias, starburst-like clusters of red veins. They may also work other vein irregularities that appear near the skin’s surface. Treatments are effective not only in improving the appearance of irregular veins, but can, in some cases, relieve associated pain, burning, aching and discomfort.
The most popular cosmetic procedure at the BWH Vascular and Vein Center is laser hair removal. This permanent hair removal method, which kills the root of the hair with a specially designed laser, is gaining in popularity nationwide-seeing a three percent increase between 2013 and 2014, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. And it’s not just women and girls over age 12 that are seeing out the procedure-more and more men are coming in looking to remove hair on their chests and backs, according to Vein Care Center statistics.
The procedure, which permanently damages the hair follicle to keep it from growing back works on virtually any body area, most commonly the legs, bikini line, face, neck, arms and back, provided the hair itself has color.
Surgical and Acne Scar Treatment
It’s bad enough to go through your teen years with acne-but many people are left with a lingering reminder of their skin troubles even when the pimples clear-scarring. Scarring can also come from past surgeries and in extreme cases, can affect more than just their appearance-actually limiting mobility.
In the past, physicians primarily relied on surgical scar-removal procedures, which were painful, invasive, and raised the risk of complications. Today, people have a new option, laser scar removal, which is non-invasive and can improve scars with less pain and downtime. These lasers use something called fractional laser technology, which provides a fast and reliable means of improving the skin.
Skin Rejuvenation Photofacials
Lasers can also help reverse sun damage, lightening dark spots and reducing mild scarring and wrinkles. Photo-rejuvenation treatment, which uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), is an option for individuals with hyperpigmentation, more commonly known as sunspots, and vascular areas, which are those red areas on your face or body. Photo-rejuvenation treatments are designed to even out the color of the skin, by removing discoloration. Not surprisingly, the most common areas for this treatment are those that get the most sun-the face, neck, hands, arms, back and legs. The technology also works on mild acne scars, dark under eye circles and fine lines around the eyes and mouth.
Whether they’re from pregnancy, weight gain or another cause, stretch marks are a concern for many. Lasers can also help improve the appearance of these areas of scarring. Lasers designed to stimulate collagen production in the skin, tighten it to improve its appearance on areas where stretch marks commonly appear, but also on the neck, chest arms and hands. The advantage of using laser treatment is that patients experience little downtime so they can get back to their regular activities quickly.
Skin Tightening Procedures
Another common concern for people as they age is that saggy skin around the face, neck and other parts of the body. To combat the droop the Vein Care Center offers laser skin tightening, which is a technology that heats the collagen under the skin, stimulating it and prompting the skin to tighten. The process also helps to fill in wrinkles and to eliminate the sag.
Patients who are interested in cosmetic treatments should meet with a specialist to find out which procedure is best for their needs and whether it’s appropriate for their condition.
To learn more about spider veins, scarring, excess hair and more, click here.This is a paid partnership between Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Magazine's City/Studio