You can add a type of benign nodular vascular growth, known as a venous lake, to the many negative effects of sun exposure. It is commonly found in areas of the body that are often unprotected such as the vermillion or red part of the lip. It appears as a dark blue or purple collection of dilated, blood filled channels. It is compressible and tends to be very slow growing. It can mimic melanoma or basal cell carcinoma and must be distinguished from these malignant conditions prior to treatment.
The Nordlys Nd:YAG laser delivers energy at a wavelength that is selectively absorbed by the blood cells in the vascular channels of the venous lake. This causes a heating of the channel lining and collapse of the vessel wall that ultimately results in shutting down blood flow. Without blood flow, the venous lake will disappear. Treatment of the venous lake is quick, often requiring only 1 or 2 pulses of laser energy with minimal discomfort. In most cases, one or two treatment sessions at 6-8 week intervals is sufficient.
Written by Dr. Forley on June 29, 2016