Facial veins are small red to purple dilated blood vessels or broken capillaries, often found on areas of the cheeks, forehead, chin and the nose. Facial blood vessels may be caused by over-exposure to the sun, the natural ageing process, heredity or trauma. Many individuals may find these veins undesirable and unattractive, and seek laser treatments as a cosmetic correction. As with all procedures, there are pros and cons of laser treatments for facial veins.

Pros of Laser Treatments for Facial Veins

Studies indicate good success rates of as much as 80 percent success with laser treatments for facial veins. Successful treatments for facial problems can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. 

Laser treatments are normally quick, being 15 to 20 minutes in duration. They are often painless or with minimal pain and stinging, without the necessity for pain medication. Individuals can return to work shortly after a session.

With treatment for visible facial veins, results can usually be seen soon following the procedure. Often just after 1 to 3 sessions, differences can be noticed. These sessions are normally spaced about one week apart.

Cons of Laser Treatments for Facial Veins

Although laser treatment is normally painless, if the diode laser is utilized, more pain may be experienced. Usually acetaminophen (Tylenol) is instructed for use for pain and not aspirin or ibuprofen, as these could cause bleeding. Anesthetic ointments or creams are seldom used to minimize pain for vein treatment, as they constrict blood vessels which would not complement the procedure.

Some treatments for facial veins need to be done at three-month intervals, which may be lengthy. Vessels that are hardly noticeable are treated with intense pulsed light, often requiring several treatments. This is because some of these vessels do not die completely at first, and more sessions are needed to get rid of them. Some may never disappear completely and could return. 

Laser processes may cause excessive dryness of the skin. Some undesirable side effects, such as temporary swelling and redness and bruising at the site of the procedure, may occur with these sorts of treatments. This can make the skin extremely sensitive for a few weeks. Bruising can sometimes cause a permanent staining of the skin. Also, burns and blisters can occur from the powerful laser light. In addition, indentations may result following the burns. Skin pigmentation and scarring from the laser are normally permanent. 

For the avid tanner, tanning is not recommended before laser treatments for facial veins, as this could place the skin more at risk for burning and skin pigmentation.

Although there are no studies proving that laser procedures are dangerous for pregnant women and their babies, most cosmetic laser clinics discourage laser treatments for expectant women. Although the laser lights should not emit radiation, there are not enough studies done to know positively if the light could cause complications to the unborn child or during the delivery. As a precaution, pregnant women are normally advised to come back at a later date, after delivery, for the correction of facial veins with laser treatment.