Millions of Americans are affected by vascular skin conditions, such as rosacea, spider veins and telangiectasia, which can cause unsightly broken blood vessels, discoloration and lesions to appear on the skin of the face and legs. People affected by these skin conditions often report embarrassment or self‐consciousness, which can deter them from joining social occasions or even going out in public. While much progress has been made in identifying the causes of these conditions, treatment options have been largely limited to procedures that incur adverse side effects on patients, such as electrosurgery, sclerotherapy and surgery.
Excel V is a new approach to treating vascular skin conditions that puts patients’ safety and comfort first. The system uses a unique high power green laser that is absorbed by abnormal blood vessels in the skin. The laser heats and eliminates the abnormal vessels, ultimately restoring normal skin tone and color. Excel V can be customized to each patient’s skin condition, enabling precise and effective treatment of everything from superficial blemishes to deep scars. The system leverages innovative cooling technologies to ensure patient comfort, and there are no long‐term side effects or downtime.
Rosacea is a common disorder that mainly affects skin on the face. While it is typically characterized by harmless cosmetic symptoms, such as redness in the face, some patients also complain of heating or discomfort when they flush. Triggers of rosacea episodes can include strenuous exercise, temperature extremes, alcohol and spicy foods.
Telangiectasias are tiny broken blood vessels that are permanently fixed in the dilated state. While they usually do not present a medical issue, they do create a cosmetic concern as they can take on the appearance of fine red lines coursing through the surface of the facial skin.
Port Wine Stain
A port wine stain is a type of red or purple birthmark made of dilated blood capillaries. They often appear on the face and do not fade unless they are treated. Non‐laser treatment of port wine stains has included radiation, freezing and surgery, often resulting in pain and scarring.
Cherry Angiomas are small red bumps that appear spontaneously on the skin. They typically appear in middle age and will proliferate. Non‐laser treatment of cherry angiomas includes cryosurgery and electrosurgery.
Laser Vein Treatments
How does Excel V work?
Excel V, which was developed by Cutera, is a new laser system for providing treatment of a variety of vascular skin conditions. Many skin conditions manifest in the form of broken or abnormal blood vessels in the skin, such is the case with rosacea, in which the facial blood vessels dilate excessively causing redness and flushing. Excel V treats these conditions by administering a unique high power green laser that is absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the skin. The laser heats the abnormal vessels until they are removed. At the end of treatment, the patient’s natural skin tone and color are restored.
What specific conditions does Excel V treat?
Excel V has been shown effective at treating a number of conditions, including rosacea, telangiectasias, leg veins, port wine stains, and cherry angiomas. Excel V treats mild and severe forms of these conditions. The system may also have a cosmetic benefit for patients who have skin lesions or scars from past injuries or surgeries.
What are the benefits of Excel V compared with other treatment options?
The benefit of Excel V is that the treatment can be highly adjusted to ensure that the physician is delivering a level of treatment that specifically matches the patient’s skin condition. The system contains various wavelength modes, allowing the delivery of both short pulses for superficial blemishes, such as small lesions and skin discoloration, and longer pulses for deeper vascular conditions, such as leg veins and nodular port wine stains. It also offers a wide range of laser spot sizes to ensure that small treatment areas can be targeted at greater precision and larger areas can be treated in a shorter period. This high level of customization is what makes Excel V so effective at treating, often in one session, so many different conditions, which, in the past, would have required several different systems or procedures.
Are there other laser treatment options available for these skin conditions?
Yes, there are other laser treatment options available for skin conditions. The challenge usually associated with laser treatment is tailoring the treatment to precisely match the patient’s unique skin condition. Some existing lasers may be effective for treating a condition at one size and depth, but may not work effectively on conditions that affect a larger area.
How is the procedure performed?
After an initial consultation with the patient, the physician determines if treatment with the Excel V is appropriate. Unlike other procedures, injections or topical anesthesia are not required throughout the duration of the 15 – 30 minute procedure. Depending on the condition, the physician places the Excel V hand piece over the affected areas of the skin until the abnormal vessels diminish. To minimize discomfort and protect the patient’s skin, the Excel V uses a proprietary cooling mechanism.
What skin types does Excel V treat?
All skin types indentified in the Fitzpatrick skin type classification can be treated with the Excel V system. This classification denotes 6 different skin types, ranging from very light (type I) to very dark (type VI).
How many treatments are needed?
The number of sessions depends on various parameters, including the size, thickness and color of the vascular lesion. Superficial vascular lesions such as small telangiectasia and diffused redness are easiest to treat; some patients might see significant improvement after just one treatment.